This week Lindsay learned how to use the toilet!!
I’ve had a lot of people ask me what I did, and if I had any tips—so here it goes.
I started out by doing a lot of reading and talking to a lot of people. My SIL, Kristy, and my friend, Bridget, had both just trained their daughters so I did a lot of talking to them.
About a month before I trained Lindsay we started talking about it and how excited we were! We watched a movie that Kristy let us borrow (Once upon a Potty) over and over again.
Two weeks before I made a countdown chain.
The night before, after Lindsay was asleep, Darin helped me set up her “Potty Party.” We put balloons, steamers, and decorations in the bathroom (including candy) and set up the “Party” in the kitchen.
I am a REALLY big stickler when it comes to any sugary drinks in that my kids can only have one a week (or less) and it is usually on Fridays. When Lindsay woke up, she saw the table filled with fun drinks. She was so excited, especially when I told her she could have any kind, and as much as she wanted.
Then we had breakfast and let Lindsay open her “presents.” (New underwear that she picked out, stickers, and a sticker chart).
After breakfast we potty trained Lindsay’s Doll. The doll had “accidents” and “successes.” (I just used a water bottle and spilled on the floor or into the toilet). When the doll had accidents, Lindsay helped me clean up the mess, take the “dirty” underwear to the laundry, and get a new pair. When the doll had a success she got a sticker and a treat. THAT is when Lindsay decided she was ready.
I put Lindsay in her first pair of underpants and threw away her last diaper. Then I juiced her up! We got LOTS of practice in the first day. Every time Lindsay tried I gave her 3 skittles and a sticker. When she was successful she got a sticker for her potty chart and then she got to choose a treat (a dumdum, licorice, or gum). Then, on her potty chart when she filled up rows on her chart she got prizes. (A dollar store paint set and nail polish).
The first day I set the timer to “try” every 15 minutes, and I stayed RIGHT next to her—she didn’t leave my side. We did lots of coloring, reading, tea parties, and playing with toys. She had 5 successes, and then it seemed like the timing just got off. After her successes she had 12 accidents. By the end of the night, I was in my room, crying, wondering why I ever started. After Lindsay went to bed, I had a couple of encouraging phone calls, I looked for more ideas online, and I decided to give it another try in the morning.
Tuesday, we woke up, and I decided to ditch the timer. Instead, I just asked Lindsay about every 5-10 minutes, “Tell mom when you need to go potty.” I never made her “try” I just kept asking her over and over. That seemed to really work with her. On the second day she had 10 successes and only 2 accidents.
Wednesday, I did the same thing—I kept her right next to me the whole day and said, “Tell mom when you need to go potty.” We had endless successes, and NO accidents!
Here we are on Friday, and she’s still doing GREAT!!
#1- Someone told me that potty training is where kids begin their self-esteem, so you want them to feel successful and stay positive with them. (I wish I had been better about this with Matt).
#2- Someone also said that potty training is like teaching your child to ride a bike. If they fell off, you wouldn’t get mad you just stay happy and have them try again. I kept telling myself this. After Lindsay’s 12th accident on day one I said in a really happy voice, “That’s ok sweetheart. We’ll just keep trying. You’re doing great!” And then, I went into my room and cried on my bed. But, in front of her I stayed positive the WHOLE time. I really was exhausted by the end of the day.
#3- I am not above bribing. It worked really well for me and I will do it again. Just be sure to brush their teeth a little more than usual with all those sweets!
#4- I think I am going to give myself a prize for finishing potty training too—because, well, I deserve it!
#5- Have someone you can call or talk to at the end of each day. I felt like that helped me a ton, just to have some encouragement at the end of the day.
To all my mama friends about to embark on the potty-training experience, GOOD LUCK!!
Lindsay's "Potty Party" count down.
All of her "fun" drinks--with some salty snacks.
And let the drinking begin!!
YAY LINDSAY!! We are so proud of you!!