We did it! We conquered potty training with Elyse! Surprisingly, it went way smoother than the process with Jase. I don’t know if that is because I did this before, knew what to expect, and went in with the experience or if she was just easier. Whatever it was, I am thankful for it.
Elyse has been showing signs of being ready for a very long time. Probably the moment she hit 18 months she started to recognize when she needed to poop. She would tell me before she went and never wanted to stay in that dirty diaper for long. I wasn’t ready to train her at this point, so I didn’t even attempt it. A few months later and this continued, she even began to recognize when her diaper was too wet for comfort. She would tell me when she wanted changed, I knew she was getting closer. She even tried to poop on the potty a few times. At this point, I was letting her lead. If she wanted to try, okay. If she didn’t, no big deal. I just let her get comfortable with the idea.
Around 21 months she asked to wear her underwear, so I gave it a shot. But I could not get her to pee on the potty for anything. She just couldn’t figure out what I was saying and thought I was asking her to poop every time. Then she just got really frustrated with sitting on the potty so after a couple hours I threw in the towel. I decided to wait closer to the two-year mark to give her understanding and patience a little more time to develop.
So another month passed and we were a week shy of her hitting 23 months and stuck home because of sickness. The kids kept running random fevers that kept us home even though they seemed normal. So, since I was stuck home I decided to conquer this potty training deal.
Day One: I started her in a pull up. I thought, maybe I will do this a little more laid back since I am pregnant and uncomfortable and really didn’t want to put all the work in. So I started by taking her every half hour. She wouldn’t go for anything. She could not figure out how to pee on the toilet which was a bit frustrating. I knew if I couldn’t get her to understand what it felt like to pee, this wasn’t going to be successful. So after her nap, I just bit the bullet and switched her to underwear. Her dad was home so I knew he would be there to help. She had three accidents and didn’t go on the toilet at all. But the accidents were huge! She started to figure out what it felt like when her body had to go, realized she didn’t like being wet, and it helped the process click. Right before bed we succeeded in getting her to go once and made a huge deal of it! This really propelled her forward.
Day Two: I was taking her about every 15 minutes. Each time she was going very little and then stopping. I could tell she hadn’t figured out how to empty her bladder yet so we continued to go a lot. Every 15 minutes a lot. She had quite a few accidents this day as well, because she was not emptying her bladder. We had about a total of six accidents this day.
Day Three: I prepared for this day to be EXHAUSTING. This was the worst day with Jase and I assumed it would be with her as well. She woke up, we took her potty, and she completely emptied her bladder right away! Big praise, rewards, big deal, happy dances all around. I decided to bump it to every 30 minutes this day to see how she did. The second time I tried to take her, she pitched a HUGE fit. She was not happy with me. This was Jase so here I was thinking, great this is third day I am over it. But it was actually opposite. Her attitude was, third day I got this so don’t bug me! True story! She just didn’t want me telling her when to go! I continued to ask her if she was dry, if she had to go potty, reminded her over and over. She would answer no, but when she had to go she would tell me. At this point she was holding it about an hour to an hour and a half. She wanted to go when she needed to go, not when I made her. Pretty much by day three she had the concept! We did still have a few accidents, but for the most part, it wasn’t a big deal. It would mostly be her catching herself as she started to go and finishing on the toilet. Still learning bladder control.
Day 4-5: The fourth day and fifth day continued much the same. She was going about every hour to hour and a half, didn’t want to be forced to go, and wanted to go when she had to. I continued to remind her and ask her and that’s pretty much all it took. Jase and I went and picked out her potty training gift and told her once she finished her sticker chart, she could have the present. I attempted to set it on the fridge like I did with Jase, but she forgot about it too easily. So I gave it to her in the box. She would ask to open it multiple times, and I just kept reminding her about telling me when she had to go. This helped encourage her to tell me as well. She also managed to poop on the potty this day to! Poop is harder for her because she really struggles with constipation, so we often take her to the bathroom multiple times before she actually goes. It’s the hardest part of her being potty trained.
- We had to remember that she was NOT Jase. She potty trained very differently. She was a lot easier, but also took a bit more persuasion the first day. She would get a piece of candy just for being dry, then one for sitting on the toilet, and one for going. Small M&M’s friends. But if she didn’t get all three, she would not even be willing to sit the first day. Then if she went, she also got to put a Minnie Mouse Sticker on her sticker chart.
- When it came to the third day, I had to feel her out again to realize the differences of her and Jase. She didn’t need to go as much, so I had to go with it.
- The stickers worked so well for her that I was able to fade the candy out by day four.
- The challenge with potty training the second child, the first felt very left out. Jase wanted me to praise him for going potty again, wanted candy, and just wanted to be there the entire time. It was a bit frustrating and distracting at first, but I realized Elyse was getting A LOT of attention. So I looked for a way to include him. He helped celebrate when Elyse went and would also get a piece of candy. Then he got to help her get the sticker out of the book and show her where to put it in on her chart. Including him in the process hands down took the frustration away. He was even ecstatic about helping pick out her gift. This was something I did not think of at all, but definitely was a problem that I had to solve!
- We printed Elyse’s sticker chart off from Pinterest and loved it!! Then we had a little sticker book full of stickers as we trained. She still wears diapers for naps and bed, but she’s trained now with only minimal accidents! She even does great when we leave the house!
How was your potty training experience? If you have more than one kid, did you find the experiences different?