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We started potty training in July. Last year. “Started” being the operative word.
In my usual OCD manner, I read every book I could get my hands on, viewed every video at the library and Netflix. Talked incessantly to Phoebe about it and how exciting it would be. I bought cute little princess underpants. I bought 3 different potty chairs. We read books together about pottys. And I talked to just about everyone I knew.
And then we sucked.
We sucked because deep down I wasn’t sure she was ready. I worried that her speech wasn’t good enough to tell me what she needed. I worried we didn’t have the right potty. I obsessed over every little detail. I followed EVERYONE’s advice but I did it all at the same time so I think I just confused her. I would say one thing and do another.
Case in point: pull-up diapers. They are EVIL. Do not use them. Well except if you’re going on a long trip or at night time or during nap time. See what I mean?
So during the day, at home, I’d have Phoebe in a dress sans pantaloons or “without underpants” for y’all that don’t speak messed up French. Then, we’d put on a pull-up if we were going somewhere or it was nap time or bedtime. Phoebe would stay dry and clean as long as she was pants-less but would save poops for the pull-ups or underpants. She got to the point that she didn’t like getting cleaned up and would stay just out of poop smelling range to avoid it. Which meant that by the time I smelled it (10 minutes or so) she would be a little irritated and we’d have to stop everything to get her cleaned up and cream applied. I was at my wit’s end. Bribes in the form of suckers were no good. It really seemed like she could careless about being potty trained.
A friend of mine suggested a particular book and told me that purchase of the book also granted you access to the author in a forum so you could ask questions. I purchased the book, looked at the forum and found it all completely useful information. And then I promptly went back to what I was doing.
Until about six weeks ago when she went in a pooping spree. At bed time, she’d poop a little, request cleanup and then go back to bed. Then a little more poop and more cleanup. This would happen 3-4 times every evening. I’d ask her if she was done pooping and make her sit on the potty but no dice. She’d poop a little more and be back for cleanup.
After about 6 nights of this, her butt was getting raw and cleanup time was no fun for anyone.
I went on the Internet looking for answers and was reminded of the book I bought and the forum. We were 9 months into this and I had no idea what to do next and I didn’t feel we were any closer to being trained than when we started.
The woman who wrote the eBook answers questions directly in her forum. I posted where we were in the process and what we were doing and she came back with the fact that the pull-ups HAD TO GO. NOW. DO NOT PASS GO. DO NOT COLLECT $200.
So we went cold turkey with the pullups and it has been amazing. Phoebe went from refusing to poop on the potty to doing it willingly. We’ve only had a few accidents and those only in the first couple of days. We even went to the zoo last weekend and she was perfect.
Night time training is sucking but not for the reason you think. She’s only had a few accidents at night mainly because I check on her about 2 hours after she goes to bed and then I get up about 3 hours later and take her to the potty again. Then, sometime between 3 or so and 8:30 am, she’ll get up and go potty without help. I’m working on stretching the time of the second check so that I can train her out of that one.
So between getting up with her at 3AM and with Griffin, who is experiencing his first ear infection and a growth spurt at the same time, I’m not sleeping a lot. But the fact remains that my kid is nearly potty trained. I can’t say she’s perfect – we’re not done. But day time is no problem anymore.