Friday, January 14, 2011

Monkey Is Potty Trained!

When I started this blog, there were things that I knew I wouldn't write about or post pictures about . . . specifics about my children's potty training experiences are one of them. I'm not condemning or looking down on anyone who does - I just decided that I personally didn't want to embarrass my children later down the road. With all that said, I don't mind sharing our general experience. After all, if parents never shared their experiences we wouldn't be able to learn from each other, would we?


My husband and I decided that we would tackle potty training Ella this week with what he dubbed "potty training boot-camp." We had several folks recommend the three-day potty training method. We modified it to fit our life (after all, it would be impossible for us to stay at home without going anywhere for three days - our schedules just don't allow it), but the basic method uses these ideas: 1) let your child go naked from the waist down during waking hours; 2) encourage the drinking of juice and water so that they need to use the potty; 3) constantly watch for signs that they need to use the potty and take them to it (we used this stand-alone potty our friends handed down to us); 4) when the child uses the potty, get really excited and give some sort of little reward (we used jelly beans, but other things I've heard include M&Ms and stickers); 5) if the child has an accident, explain that they should do their business in the potty and get them to "help" clean it up.

I'm not going to sugar coat it . . . the first day was rough and really hard work. I was exhausted by the end of the day, and my husband had been here helping the entire time! Even though Ella was familiar with the potty, actually getting her to understand it was OK to use it was a different thing completely. But, we survived day one with several uses of the potty and only a few accidents. I was not looking forward to day two, but things went SO much better. Although it was still hard work, things were going much more smoothly. By day three, I knew we were on a roll when Ella took monkey to use the potty. :)

Now, Ella isn't night-trained or nap-trained yet - those will come with time; and we haven't ventured out of the house without a diaper yet, but she knows to use the potty when she needs to go - and goes to it without our prompting. I like the way my husband put it: Although Ella isn't potty perfect, she is potty trained!