Thursday, February 17, 2011

Potty Trained at 22 Months!

Several months back we decided we were going to try to potty train early since we had read the ideal window was anywhere from 18-24 months. We bought Madison a little stand alone potty, and she actually learned how to use it. She would go every once in awhile which impressed me for being only 14 months old. I got tired of cleaning up the little potty (diapers would be easier to clean!) so we bought her a little pink princess potty seat to go over real potties, and used the old one with a lid for her step stool. I figured she might as well get used to going on a big potty since she will have to go on one away from home. She continued to go every once in awhile, and eventually got to the point where she could tell us when she had to go poopoo (but not yet peepee-that came later).

So last week, I decided that it was time for me to actually try to train her, instead of waiting around on her to train herself (which probably would have never happened). I had read up on the 3-day potty training and decided to just adjust a few things for Madison, since each kid is different. So here is what I did and any advice I have:

-Skip the pull-ups. Save your money and either let the kid go naked or put on underwear. Madison looooved her pretty pink panties. (She would even point them out to Landon and brag about them!) They need to be able to feel it when they go. Pull-ups only absorb the wetness, and they'll just go in it like it was diaper. I have, however, heard of some new pull-ups that have a very cooling sensation when wet. Not sure if that would work or not, but we just decided to skip them altogether. Madison was very upset when she peed on herself-who wouldn't be? That's why she literally only had about 5 accidents before she was trained.

-Take your kid to the potty every so often. Depending on your kid, that could mean every 30 minutes or every 2 hours. Madison doesn't go very often, so I took her when she first woke up in the morning, before lunch and nap, after nap, in the evening, and right before bed. Make sure you take them to try to at least push before you get in the car too (that's where 2 of Madison's accidents were). Eventually they will learn to hold it though (but for only so long).

-Optional-use a reward. Madison loves M&M's, so the ONLY time she ever got M&M's was when she successfully used the potty. Make sure you give a lot of praise when they do go. We were very overdramatic in our "YAYS!" and "big girl!" talk. We made flushing a big deal, because she loved to flush the toilet and we would say "byebye peepee (or poopoo)" Make sure you praise them when they tell you ahead of time that they need to go too. Very important!

-At nighttime,it depends. I wasn't sure if Madison would stay dry all night. I read somewhere that around the average age of 18 months their muscles mature enough to where they only go during the waking hours. Madison was never dry at night until we started training during the day. We had her in diapers for the first few nights to see, and they were dry, so I went to training pants (slightly thicker panties from Target). Still dry, so panties were a go.

-Put them in easy access clothes. Make sure that they wear something they can easily take off or pull down by themselves. For example, a sleeper probably wouldn't be a good idea. Madison can take it off, but it takes her awhile. Pants/shorts/nightgown/dresses are good. I had to run upstairs once to change Landon and Madison was downstairs watching Mickey Mouse. Next thing I know, I hear her little feet running across the floor so I came downstairs and found her pants and panties on the living room floor, and her on the potty going. I'm glad she was able to undress herself, but I still have to help her wipe and put her panties back on right.

-Never make it into a battle. If your kid is fussy for some reason and just isn't feeling the whole potty thing, take them off and try again later. You don't want to make it a miserable experience for them or make them dread it and never want to try again. The potty should be something fun and exciting (not just for the parents!) Attitude is everything!

-Go out in public or to someone else's house. This changes it up a little, gets them out of their comfort zone at home. It took Madison a little bit longer to learn to go somewhere other than at home. Make sure they are doing well at home first.

-Remember there will still be accidents. Madison had an accident today for the first time in several days. She was completely in her own world and caught off guard. It takes awhile to learn how to do something so new when they are used to doing it the same way for around 2 years already. New habits can be hard to learn, old habits can be tough to break. Praise them when they do go, gently correct them when they have an occasional accident.

All this literally only took about 1 weekend. Madison does great by herself now, and is happy about going. And I am super happy that we are not buying anymore diapers for her!

Now for the pictures...
Loving the owls
Showing off
Here's what to do to pass time...sing songs, say your ABC's, count, dance...
 Make silly faces
Celebrate when you go,
and try not to get too bored

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