At the end of February, a couple of weeks after the girls' third birthday, I decided the time was nigh. I would start potty training right after our trip to Florida. Little did I know, Dani wanted to start sooner. While on vacation, we had to buy a potty seat because she wanted to go all the time (including at DisneyWorld). It was definitely a sign of what was to come.
A week and a half ago, Lillie, Dani, Tim & I hopped on the potty train. I told the girls we would start potty training on Thursday. A song happened...and they excitedly performed.
Dani went right away and didn't have but one accident. Lillie took five times, a change to pull ups (because she didn't like the pink training pants) and me cheering her on before she finally went. And when she went...it was a beautiful moment; I am not joking. She'd been stressed all day--not wanting to sit on the potty and only staying for a minute when she would. I thought about forcing her to either wear the training pants or be naked, but I felt that might be a bad way to go. I finally told her she had to sit on the potty long enough to watch three Elmo videos. I pulled out my phone, she watched, complained, watched another, complained, and halfway through the third, she peed!! Her face lit up, and Dani and I both clapped for her. I could tell she was proud. It was awesome.
This was them at the end of day one...
Now we've been at it for over a week. Five accidents between the two of them--all mild and two occurring in the bathroom. They've been very calm and helped clean up each time. We've gone potty at Taco Bell, Walmart, Target, K-Mart and Publix (twice). I now know that they hate, hate, HATE automatic flush toilets. Dani doesn't want you to look at her while she goes, while Lillie wants everyone to hang out. She demands privacy only when she goes poopy.
I'm thinking about night training, but have no intentions of working on it for at least a few months. I want them to be solid with the daytime thing first.
So what have I learned from this experience? Here's a list, in no particular order:
- It's not as bad as you think. It seems so scary, but if you just find the patience and realize that they will not be in diapers forever, it will happen.
- There's a upside and a downside to every type of potty trainer. Sometimes, you'll have a kid who thinks it's fun to pull down her pants and sit on the big potty, so she'll want to go ALL the time even if she doesn't have to which interrupts meal time, play time, snack time, bed time, and every other time in between. Sometimes, you'll have a kid who's afraid she'll fall in and won't go until you make her sit and sit and sit.
- M&Ms are amazing motivators.
- No matter how much your child likes a drink or a cool cup, she'll probably be sick of you pushing it on her 10 times a day for two days.
- Letting them pick the stickers and the treats will get them super excited about potty training.
- Distractions for those scared of the potty really does work. I used my trusty iPhone, but reading books, singing songs, doing silly dance--it all works.
- I bought disposable training pants because I was going to transition. I would advise only using them at night and for longer trips. Lillie was less reluctant to go in the potty when she had them on. Once I got her in the cloth ones, she was all about using the potty.
- Buy flushable wipes! They make clean up easy and maybe they'll save you half a roll of toilet paper.