Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Our Potty Training Essentials

Summer Infant Step by Step Potty : We loved this potty for a few reasons. We actually first bought it when she was about 18 months, and just let her get comfortable with the idea of using the potty for quite a while. We had some issues when she was younger with her playing with it rather than using it (opening and closing the lid and storage area, taking the seat off, etc),so we ended up taking the lid off. Once we started actively perusing potty training, this was the gateway. We left this in the living room, so it was always accessible. We put it at the foot of her bed at night to encourage her to go when she woke up, which totally worked. We still take this places with us and leave it in the back of the car if a public restroom won't be easily accessible.

Dreambaby Soft Touch Potty Seat : I love this because it actually fits on our toilet. The seat that came with her little portable potty was very loose, didn't support her, and made me uneasy. It could fall in the toilet, or pinch her legs if she tried to move. This one is perfect. It doesn't move on the seat, supports her back, and encourages "proper" sitting since there are actual spaces for her legs to go. She's far more comfortable with this than with anything else we've tried.
Bumbo Step Stool : I love it because it's the perfect size, light weight, and doesn't slide on the bathroom floor. She can lean on it, stand on the edge, jump up and down, and I don't get (too) nervous. She can move it from in front of the potty to the sink by herself too. It's also easy to clean. The top has a nonslip finish that's great. She feels like such a grown up since she can do it all on her own now.

Ultimate Sticker Book : Miss A loves puppies, so puppy stickers were a sure-fire reward for her. I didn't want to use candy or food to reward her, but this worked perfectly. Originally, we tried a chart... but that didn't work as well as just letting her pick a sticker. When she peed, she got one sticker. When she pooped, she got two (and a popsicle if she was super awesome that day). She only needed rewards for the first week or so, but I still offer them when we're at home. I still always make a huge deal about her success. Her new favorite phrase? "I did it! I did it!" I adore seeing her so proud of herself.

Character Underwear : We used Sofia the First, Hello Kitty (even though she only knows that it's a kitty), and Disney Princesses, Ariel in particular to encourage her to stay dry. Whenever we put undies on her, we'd say "Don't pee on ____" or "_____doesn't like to get wet! Remember to use your potty." It worked pretty well. The only thing I didn't like about this is that Miss A would get extremely upset when they did get wet. Accidents happened a lot the first few days, but I tried to keep calm and remind her that it's okay and ____ just needs a bath now.  Overall, it worked great.

I hope this guide helps you as much as these products helped us!

Potty Training Success (She's done!)

I'm excited to say that Miss A has "officially" been potty trained for over a week now. In my last post, I'd mentioned that I didn't want to consider it official until she could successfully use public toilets without a problem. Just three days after I posted that, we attempted a trip to Savannah for the first time since she stopped regularly having accidents. Total success. I was completely shocked!

We went to the mall first, and I brought her little potty with us. Pretty much whenever we're going to be in the car for more than an hour, I bring it with us. If she needs to go when she gets out of the car, it's easier to open up the trunk than to run across the parking lot and try to find a bathroom before it's too late. She actually didn't need to go when we got to the mall, so we went in. After I ran a quick errand in the mall, she saw the carousel and desperately wanted to ride the horses. (Ding ding! Bribery!) So I told her if she went potty, she could ride one. Winner! We went into the public restroom, I plopped her up on the potty, and she went like it was no big deal. We let her ride the carousel (after running another errand too) and continued to praise her for her awesomeness.

After that, we went to dinner and I was a nervous wreck. My child, my sweet sweet child, can drink like it's nobody's business. She kept chugging juice and water, so as soon as we finished eating, I took her into the restaurant's bathroom. Success again. I offered her potty once more before we went home, though she didn't need it. When we got home, she came in the house and went again, with no accidents.

Up until that point, she hadn't been wearing anything on her bottom very often. We'd put her in dresses and leave her bum naked so the potty was easily accessible without restriction. After that day, we've started keeping undies on her as much as possible (she still hates clothes). She can wear shorts or pants, and not have accidents.

We've had no accidents in well over a week now. I don't stress too much about giving her tons of fluids, except after around 7:00 at night. We try to cut her off then, so she will sleep well. We always put her on the potty before bath, and again before bed just to double check.

She's extremely independent with it now. We got her a Bumbo Step Stool for the bathroom so she can get on the big potty by herself, and even wash her hands by herself. Though it's made my days quite a bit more interesting, I'm glad that she goes on her own. I'm so proud of how much she's learned in these past few weeks.

So, out potty training journey took almost exactly two weeks. We started August 18th and she used her first public potty on the 30th, a month after her second birthday. She continues to amaze me with her awareness and independence. I'm such a proud mama.