Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Potty training.

Potty pals Linna and Dora.
At 24 months, we've decided to potty train Linna. We've cleared our schedule for the next three days, and we have one rule: There's no turning back! We got Linna a princess potty, big girl Elmo underwear (thanks Courtney, Bridget & Dave), Mini M&Ms for rewards, Charlie Banana Training Pants (we use these as swim diapers too), and two supportive parents. We're all set to make this a very positive experience for all involved, so here goes nothin'!

DAY 1

Today was quite the learning experience. Linna spent half the day in underwear, and the other half naked. We didn't leave the house, except for a quick walk around the corner to the convenience store to get some M&Ms, eggs, and milk. I asked Linna every 10-15 minutes if she had to use the potty, and walked her into the bathroom every 45 minutes or so if she wouldn't go in there on her own. She did a really good job actually peeing in the potty, and she did a poop in the potty before she went to bed! We had LOTS of accidents though: on the couch, on the floor (thank goodness for Singapore's marble floors), in her underwear, and in her bed. Every time she would have an accident, I wouldn't get mad or upset. Instead, I would show her that I was disappointed, explain that we only potty on the potty chair, and walk her into the bathroom to finish the job on her potty chair. By the end of the day, Linna was catching herself during an accident. She would do a little dribble on the floor, then say "uh oh", and we'd rush into the bathroom. She totally gets that accidents are "bad", because after it happens she says, "no potty in underwears". We give her one M&M for a pee in the potty, and two for a poop, even if she starts with an accident. If she can finish the job on the potty chair, she gets a reward. We are making this experience as positive as possible, with lots of praise, singing, and potty dances. Potty training is definitely testing my patience though. We've spent so much time in the bathroom reading books, playing on the Nabi, washing the potty out, doing laundry... only to have Linna pee on the floor. But we're only on day #1. I put Linna in a Charlie Banana Training Pants during her afternoon nap, and as I expected, she wet the bed during her three-hour sleep. We put her in an actual diaper at night, and AJ took her to the potty as soon as she woke up this morning.

Even after all the accidents today, we're not going back to diapers. Linna is totally ready to be potty-trained, and it's not going to happen over-night. Time to start another diaper-free day!


Playing on her Nabi while she does
her big job on her potty.
DAY 2

We're making progress! No accidents today, other than a random turd on the floor:) This afternoon while I was doing dishes in the kitchen, Linna went into the bathroom to poop on her potty all by herself. When she was finished, she came to get me saying, "poo poo on potty". I thought she was telling me that she needed to go poop, so I raced into the bathroom with her, only to find that she had already done it (one big poop in her potty, and a turd on the floor)! She looked a little disappointed that she pooped on the floor, but I just praised her for going poop on the potty, and reminded her that we should try to get all our poop in the potty (showing her as I picked the turd up off the floor and put it into the potty). Oh the glamorous life of a stay-at-home mom:) I was SO proud of her, and she definitely got her two M&Ms! We're still reminding Linna to go potty every 15 minutes, but she is actually going in there on her own. Now we just need to work on getting her to wipe after she pees, due to the pee dribble-trail she leaves on the floor afterwards.

I put her in some Charlie Banana Training Pants during nap again today, and she did pee in her bed... a LOT. My goal is to have her start waking up from her afternoon nap dry, and I am willing to do lots of daily laundry in order for us to get there. We put a diaper on Linna before bed again last night, and will continue to do so until she has a week of dry afternoon naps. Oh, and Linna hasn't been asking for an M&M every time she pees on the potty, but we do give her one if she asks for it. Weening her off the "reward M&Ms" might be easier than we thought. Off to start another naked day!




Tough work.
DAY 3

I am so incredibly proud of our little potty-trainer. Today, I had to run to the market to get a few things to make AJ's birthday dinner, but the thought of actually leaving the house with a 2-year-old potty-trainer who is still in training, made me a bit nervous. We were going to have to leave the house at some point, so today was the day! I had Linna pee on the potty right before we left the house, put her underwear on, and told her to keep her underwear dry until we get home (being very positive about everything). I think I used the words, "no pee pee or poo poo in your underwear... only on the potty". I packed a towel, some wipes, a plastic bag, and an extra pair of underwear just in case. I gave her a snack to keep her occupied, and carried Linna to the bus stop. To my surprise, Linna made it to the market and back home (about an hour) without having an accident! She even drank her juice at the market and on the bus. When we got home, we both ran into the bathroom, and she sat on her potty and peed! I was SO impressed. This little girl is really catching on! I will admit that while we were at the market, I bought some wafer cookies and gave Linna a few. I kept reminding her that she could have another cookie if she kept her underwear dry. Hey, it worked!

Also, while I was making dinner last night, Linna came running into the kitchen saying "poo poo on potty!". I went to check it out, and she had pooped in the potty all on her own... and this time, there wasn't a turd on the floor! Linna has been going into the bathroom by herself, and peeing without me reminding her (I am still reminding her every 15 minutes or so). She also tells me that she has to go potty if she's in her high-chair eating, and we get right up and head to the bathroom. We are only having accidents during her afternoon nap when Linna is wearing her Charlie Banana Training Pants, so I've been doing lots of daily laundry. We still put her in a diaper at night, and she wakes up really wet, so I think overnight potty-training might be an entirely new challenge. We make sure she goes to the potty as soon as she wakes up from afternoon nap and in the morning, as well as right before she goes to bed at night and before afternoon nap.

This is how she's
been welcoming Papa
home this week:)
On a side note, I'm pretty sure our neighbors think I'm crazy, because I seriously treat every one of Linna's poops and pees in the potty, as if I've won the lottery. There's been lots of excitement in the Saigh condo every hour or so, and I'm kind of thinking I should put a "potty training in process" sign on our door:) Whatever works though, right?!


DAY 4

Linna woke up from a 2-hour afternoon nap with DRY underwear today! While that was a huge success, she also dropped a turd on the floor in her bedroom, and the rest of it made it into her potty. Oops! She was so disappointed, that she actually asked me to put a diaper on her. Poor bug! I explained to her that, "accidents happen, but we should always try to get all of our poop in the potty". Positive positive POSITIVE! She didn't have any other accidents all day, and Linna is doing a great job at going to the potty without us having to remind her. This weekend we're going to a brunch with AJ's boss, so that should be interesting. At a restaurant, with a potty-trainer who's still in training, away from home... sounds like a recipe for disaster. Hopefully AJ will have a job on Monday;)



She's naked a lot these days!
DAY 5 & 6

While Linna was waiting in her swimsuit (one-piece) to go down to the pool yesterday, she had an accident (pee). I give her credit for actually going into the bathroom and sitting on the potty by herself, but the only problem is that she didn't know how to take off her swimsuit. Oh well! She also had a huge accident (pee) during a long afternoon nap yesterday, so I put her in a diaper during her afternoon nap today (I didn't have much of a choice because her training pants were all in the wash or still hanging out to dry). Linna's diaper was COMPLETELY dry when she woke up from her nap today. Go figure! She also had her first skid mark in her underwear today. Linna started her poop grunts while she was playing with me, but caught herself about 5 seconds into it, saying "no poop in underwear", and we ran into the bathroom together. She made it to the potty in time for the big poop! Other than that, she has been going pee and poop on the potty all by herself, without us even having to remind her (we still remind her every so often).

AJ took Linna to the park Saturday morning for an hour and a half while I did some grocery shopping, and Linna made it there and back without any accidents! AJ said he brought Linna to the bathroom twice and put her on the potty, so I'm sure that helped. I did the same thing with Linna when we went out to brunch with AJ's boss and his wife this morning. Again, no accidents! AJ also taught Linna how to pull her underwear on and off all by herself this weekend, so we can start to get her a little more independent when she's actually in clothes. She's pretty much been naked for 90% of the day. Onto another week of potty training!


2-WEEK UPDATE

"I peed on my mom today." - Anonymous 2-year-old
Lots of success, and a couple accidents! For the most part (give or take a mishap or two), Linna is what we like to call "daytime potty-trained". From the moment she gets up in the morning, to the time she goes to bed at night, she is going to the potty all by herself (still without a reminder). In the last week or so, we have had two accidents, and I'm putting the blame on Mama and Papa Saigh:

1. AJ brought her home from the park and told her to go sit on the potty, and poor little Linna didn't know how to pull her pants and underwear off by herself, so she sat on the potty and soaked herself in pee:( Linna is naked in our house 95% of the time, so going potty when she had clothes on was a bit of a challenge. Lesson learned for Papa Saigh:) A naked toddler is a happy toddler!

2. We were at an indoor playground today, and Linna literally sat in my lap and peed on me (not sure when I became a toilet). We had just been to the restroom about 45 minutes prior, but I was talking on my phone, and must have missed her "potty cues". I'm blaming this one on Mama Saigh! This was her first accident in a public place, and a GREAT reminder why we should ALWAYS have a change of undies and clothing for Linna (I had clean undies with me, but no clean bottoms for her today - OOPS!).

We're not really giving her "treats" any more for going pee on the potty (although we still get really excited for her), unless she asks. Poops, however, are ALWAYS rewarded with a treat! We're realizing that either the idea or sensation of pooping on the potty, is something Linna is having to get used to. What we thought was her having some constipation issues, has turned out to be a "fear" or hesitation of doing a poo on the potty. This past week, she didn't do a poo for four days, so I gave her prune juice and Doterra DigestZen Essential Oil drops (I LOVE this line of essential oils). Within an hour, she was doing her anxious poop dance while saying, "no poop on the floor". We ran into the bathroom, and I sat her on the toilet (even though she didn't want to), sang a song while rubbing her back, and after a minute of so, a big soft poo came out. Hooray! The soft poo made me know that she wasn't constipated, but simply hesitant to do her poo on the potty. So, EVERY TIME she does a poo on the potty, we basically throw a party, in hopes that she'll start to get used to the idea of pooping daily on the potty. We're slowly getting there.

We also made the decision to let Linna sleep in a diaper for nap time and bed time. Linna has always been an amazing sleeper, but ever since we started having her sleep in her training pants, her nap times have been cut in half, because she'd often wake up and yell for me to take her to the potty to pee (and once she's up, she's up!). That's a no-go for Mama Saigh, as nap time is my only ME time! Call it a selfish decision, but when you have a 2-year-old who takes a 2 to 3-hour nap, and sleeps from 8 p.m. to 8:30 a.m., you want to keep it that way for as long as possible. Plus, she's an all-around happier kiddo when she's had a good sleep, and most of the time she's waking up with a dry diaper after her nap! Dry sleeps are something I'm not too concerned about at the moment.

Overall, I think Linna is doing great, and we've cut down on diapers (only two a day)! Now we just have to get Linna to realize that she's not the little boy from The Jungle Book, and that she should start getting used to the idea of wearing clothes. My neighbors must think we can't afford clothes for her, when they see her darting out the front door, or hanging out on the balcony in the nude. Naked or fully-clothed, we are VERY proud of our little bug!

Random "poo" question: Linna had a poo last week that was half white (or a light clay color) and half normal. Just happened once, and now we're back to normal-colored poos so I'm no longer worried. Anyone else ever experienced this???


1-MONTH UPDATE

After about a week of "beating myself up" over the question of whether or not we started potty-training Linna too early, I am extremely confident in saying that I think we made the right decision. We had to deal with a lot of issues during the last month of potty-training (i.e. shorter naps, waking up at night, accidents, an over-tired two-year-old, etc.), but everything was a learning experience, and we now have a potty-trained two-year-old! Linna wears underwear all day, and a pull-up diaper during nap and at night. We haven't had an accident in over three weeks! I am so happy we didn't just "give up" and try to potty-train later. I'll admit, having a kid in diapers is SO much easier than CONSTANTLY reminding them about going to the bathroom, and cleaning up after accidents all day, but now that we are confident with Linna's bladder control, all is good! While I was worried that Linna was stressed out and waking up from her afternoon nap and at night (something she had never done before) because she had to pee or poop, that was simply resolved by us putting Linna in a diaper during naps and at bedtime, and explaining to her that it's ok for her to potty in her diaper if she's sleeping. We still reminder her of this every night. Linna is still sleeping in a crib, is back to her two-hour afternoon naps, and sleeping through the night again (yippy!). I know that she'll have an accident at some point, and that's ok because accidents happen. However, I don't like fearing a public accident though. Been there, done that. Bottom line is that I'm less stressed about potty-training, happy we stuck with it, and learned a lot in the end. Three things I learned for next time...

1. Wait until they're three years old. Two-year-olds can be potty-trained, there's just really no "need" for it. Remember, life in diapers is much more convenient:)
2. Once you start, don't go back. Stick with it!
3. Don't worry about night-time and nap-time potty-training at first, especially if you start at two years old. Little kids need their sleep, and they don't need to have their sleep interrupted by stress or worry about having an accident. A tired kid is a crabby kid.

Now, we just have to work on Linna wearing clothes in the house. It's still "nudist central" in the Saigh household... just for Linna of course;)

7 comments:

  1. This is not a criticism of your parenting or potty training methods, but a genuine question of curiosity, because I haven't seen this method done before - how do you ween her off of M&M treats after she is trained? How long will she expect a treat every time she does #1 and #2? (This is not to say what you are doing is wrong, so please do not take offense.)

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  2. M&M"s are for potty..when you are done with potty, you say, you are now a big kid. and thats it..when she asks for them for going, you say we needed to pass them to the next little girl who is learning to potty...because YAY YOU did it, youre a big girl.....

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  3. Great question! I guess we will cross that bridge when we get to it... OR just keep giving her M&Ms;) - Melissa

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  4. Oh I have had many people tell me treats have worked the best for them! My little cousin (24 years difference) got a Hot wheels car for every day with no accident and mini-m&m's every time he went on the potty and was potty trained within a week! I've actually heard of this quite often with great success! Good Luck Linna!

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  5. I was potty trained 26 years ago with M&M's! Glad to see this system is still in use. Good luck Missi and AJ! Go Linna!!

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  6. Thanks for sharing your experience. We are preparing to potty train our child and this is very helpful.

    Lori Goodman
    http://www.pottytrainingsystems.com

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  7. M&Ms. What a great idea. Thanks for the advice. :)

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