A Mom’s Guide To Toilet Training
August 18, 2011 · Posted in Parenting, Toddlerhood, Toilet Training · Permalink
A mother in an ongoing group here at Soho Parenting has culled a year’s worth of toilet training advice and her own experience and sent it out to fellow toilet training compatriots. It seemed like a good idea to post since it has such great tips-troubleshooting advice and the story of her daughter’s journey to underwear!
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The gist of all this advice comes from Soho Parenting and you can read their posts on toilet training on their blog. First and foremost, I have to say that the anticipation of full-fledged potty-training was worse than actually doing it!  We didn’t take the all-or-nothing approach, which worked for us because it helped ease us into it.  The first thing we did was purchase little a potty chair, a potty seat, and a step-stool.  We did this BEFORE we started full-fledged potty training so Vivian could get used to them.  She played on them and sat on them when she felt like it but we didn’t push her.  We always asked her if she we wanted us to take her diaper off and she always said “NO,” until one day she said, “YES!”. We started the transition from diapers a few days later.
Anyhow, here’s the scoop.  We started on a Monday and Vivian spent the entire week naked from the waist down – but ONLY while we were at home.  When we went out, we visited the potty to check it out and get her comfortable for next time we were there in undies. The naked/diaper back-and-forth was not a big deal.  I just explained to her that we were now going to be naked at home and put a diaper on when we went out.

This first week was MESSY, but it helped Vivian really understand her body and the process.  She VERY quickly learned that when she started to pee, she needed to run to the potty.  At the beginning of the week, she would start to pee (yes, on the floor or carpet), then scream, “go
to potty!!”, hold the rest in, run to the potty (sometimes with a trail of pee behind her), and finish peeing on the potty.  By the end of the week, she was running to the potty just in time.

The second week was less messy.  We started underwear at home and wore it out to select places — on walks, to little gym, and on short errands.  We “tried” to pee before we left the house and i just told Vivian to tell me when she needed to pee.

By the end of the second week, she was wearing undies all the time. She has had 2 accidents (just pee) so far and they were both times that she was just having too much fun to stop and run to the potty.

Okay so now all about pooping.

The best thing about doing the naked/undies thing (no pull-ups) is that they don’t have the option of pooping anywhere but the toilet.  The first week Vivian popped once on the potty, once on the floor ON THE WAY to the potty (no joke), and somehow was able to time her other poops for after her nap when she was still in her crib and wearing a diaper. But by the second week, she was on the potty every time. The little potty was the best at the beginning because it was more comfortable for her, but now she prefers the big potty. We put a little box of books and magazines in the bathroom and she now LOVES the whole process. She loves to read her magazines and I try to sit on the floor in there with her when I can — she always does much better this way.  The more I tell her to relax and take her time, the better she does.  And I give her TONS of positive reinforcement during the process. Biggest advice here…patience, patience, patience. She
pooped in the trunk of our car in the travel potty after blueberry picking on thursday and I think it took her over 25 minutes to finish! it’s hard, but the more you can relax, the easier time they will have.
A few other things….we didn’t do any kind of rewards, just a lot of positive reinforcement. Some ongoing challenges that we’ve been having are wiping and washing hands. She likes to run away down the hall without doing either, but this really only happens when i’m not in the bathroom to remind her (and she IS 2 so of course she has to fight me on something!) I know some people are kind of grossed out by these little potties, but I have to say, I have found them REALLY helpful. Vivian can now go to the potty by herself — and while she can get up on the big potty by pulling up the step-stool and climbing up, the little potty has been great for when she’s in a rush and can just plop herself down.  the little potties are also great at the beginning forwhen they go #2 b/c it is really important that their feet be supported so they can relax. We also purchased a travel potty (coolgear travel potty –http://www.diapers.com/p/Cool-Gear-Travel-Potty-9379 ) and it is AMAZING. I don’t know what I would do without it.  Now I just bring wet-ones and wipe the seat down if we are in a public toilet. I know every little kid is different, but this has all been very helpful for us!
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