Guess what!? Caleb is using the potty. Every day! Whoo hoo. It’s been over a week now and he’s had only a few accidents. Some times he’s had accidents because he didn’t recognize his need to go or when I was on the phone or because he couldn’t get his undies off in time. He said “go pee pee” but I didn’t hear him (Ty did) and then he peed right next to me. If he says “go sit on potty” he basically needs to be on the potty ASAP.
I have to admit, Caleb is only what I’d consider 70% potty trained. He still wears a diaper at nap and bed, though soon we will try to squash those…but we’re letting it go slow. He’s almost ready for nap/bed as he wakes in a diaper and says “oh no, I peed bed”. Was it easy potty training a 27 month old boy? Sure. But that’s not the real truth. Here’s the exact start of another post I was writing two days before we potty trained him:
Caleb is not potty training well. He’s fighting me every time I take him to the potty. I’ve read all the tips and tricks, so trust me, I know my options. He can, and does go poop on the potty and he will pee on the potty…but he has to be in the mood. He has to want to sit on the potty. No chocolate or stickers or chocolate milk or music or anything will make him sit on the potty when he doesn’t want to. In fact, he looked at me and said “Diaper!”. I told him big kids pee in the potty and he ran off and said “Diaper!”. What a nightmare. My fuse is shorter than it should be and I know I need to keep trying but I’m beat. Uncle. I feel defeated.
I was really defeated. I was tired and just wanted him to get it. To be fair, it was the last week of holiday break and I was tired and ready for him to go back to school. We’ve never forced Caleb to use the potty or the toilet and while he met so many of the readiness signs, he just wasn’t meeting MY expectations. That’s the truth. I wanted him to get it. I wanted him to want to use the potty. I realized it wasn’t about my expectations anymore. That night, by some weird coincidence, one of our friends posted on FB that she was doing Potty Training Bootcamp with her son (who is just a week older than Caleb). Her son was doing so well. Seeing her willingness to work with her son and not have really high expectations changed my view.
The next day Caleb peed in the potty. ALL DAY LONG. Did we change any of our technique? Nope. Honestly, I think he could tell I wasn’t as stressed out so he felt better.
Potties we use:
We don’t have one potty in our house. Something I learned from the Montessori way is that it is important to have potties that are easy to access all over your house. Each potty needs its own wipes, undies, and other items so that you don’t have to run around when the time comes.
- We bought the Baby Bjorn potty. This one is amazing. The reviews are great because it is the best. This potty is in our downstairs bathroom.
- We also bought the Baby Bjorn Toilet Trainer. I wanted the next step because I thought if Caleb didn’t like the chair, he would like the seat. I was right. In fact, he likes this seat more than the chair. We put this seat in Caleb’s bathroom upstairs.
- We also have a toilet seat in our downstairs with the built in potty seat. Caleb hasn’t used that one yet but it’ll be great for when he is older. (The potty seat part comes out so when you are done, it looks like a regular seat).
- We use this tall IKEA stool so Caleb has something to put his legs on. It’s really important you have something, whether it be the floor or a stool, for your kid to push on. You can’t poop easily with your legs dangling in air so your kid needs something to push down on.
We’re eventually going to need a new potty chair for Caleb’s room so he can pee at night (our friends did this with their daughter and it solved all of her nighttime potty issues)
I think having two separate potties has actually helped Caleb. He uses the big seat upstairs (the Baby Bjorn trainer) and the potty chair downstairs. After the first day, Caleb was saying “I go sit on potty”. I was really concerned he wouldn’t recognize the need to go, but he did. How did I know he would? When he was wearing he diaper he would say “I go poo poo” as he would poop. That’s a big sign of readiness right there. We still ask him if he needs to use the potty if he hasn’t used the potty in about 45 minutes. Sometimes his response is “yeah” and we run, other times he just says “no”.
Here’s what we did:
First, it’s important you know we introduced Caleb to the potty chair once he was about 15 months old. It was in our living room and we sat him on it but that was about it. We wanted him to get use to it. Second, we let Caleb watch us use the bathroom anytime he wants. From very very early on, Caleb would watch me use the bathroom so he knew what happened in there. He watches Ty use the bathroom and can see we do it differently (in fact one day he walked up to his potty to pee. It was a disaster, but at least he tried). I think it is critical to show your child early on how the body works and there are no better teachers than parents. Third, I read about the Montessori way of potty training. From there, I really followed their route.
- Some people recommend setting a timer every 10 minutes or so you can place them on the potty. Caleb wont sit on the potty unless he has to go so every 10 minutes wasn’t working for us. The first day, I put Caleb on the potty every 30-45 minutes. That’s it. (Because we had tried potty training before, he definitely knew what the potty was for and had used it in the past)
- When he pees/poops we praise him with a “good job!” or “I’m proud of you!” and he usually gets about 3 M&M’s or stickers, sometimes nothing. It’s up to him. (I taped paper to the wall by his potty so he could put stickers there if he wanted).
- When Caleb has to poop he wants to be alone. He use to hide when he pooped in a diaper so it isn’t shocking he wants privacy in the bathroom. He will usually say “daddy/mommy dinner” (which I think means “go make dinner”) when he wants to be alone. Sometimes he says “mommy leave” or “close door”. We do. We just walk out and close the door and then check on him. Every time he does this he poops. He stands up and puts the poop in the toilet then says “one more time” and sits back down to poop more or pee. I think it is good for his self-confidence that we let him be in there alone. We trust him to poop and he likes that he can tell us to leave and we do.
- Caleb really likes putting his pee and poop from the potty chair into the toilet and flushing. Flushing seems to be the biggest reward for most kids. Sometimes we have been to slow and he’s poured the pee in the potty so quickly that it splashes all over the floor.
- We then wipe his bottom with wipes and put his undies on. When he is at home he only wears a shirt and undies or pants (or is naked). Caleb hates having the undies around his ankles so we have to take them off completely and put them back on.
- WE DID NOT USE PULL-UPS. AT ALL. I read about avoiding these all together early on and I am glad we did. Caleb quickly learned the feeling of a wet diaper was gross. In fact, the first night Tyler put a diaper on him before bed, Caleb peed and said “Oh no, I peed out!” He didn’t like the way it felt. I think skipping any pull-ups made him respond to that feeling early.
The bad news?
Caleb went to school and refused to sit on the potty there. Too much transition with going back to school and potty training? I’m not sure but he screamed when I tried to set him on the potty there and screamed when his teachers did too. So now he wears a diaper at school. I was so nervous everything we had progressed to was done for after that first day back to school but he came home, his diaper and pants came off, and he used the potty all afternoon. Phew. This routine has worked for the past week.
We haven’t ventured out of the house diaper free and probably won’t for some time. We also haven’t tried any toilets outside of our house, besides the one at school. I assume all of those things will come in time. We’re being patient with school and public places. We’re just happy our little guy is using the potty and likes using it! Success! Gosh, it feels good to have this part almost done!
Caleb is doing so well, right!? Don’t feel like you need to potty train your child this early because we did. Here’s why: Caleb still doesn’t sleep through the night. Maybe your kid does! I am envious of that. In fact, I’ll be posting about our hell transition to a toddler bed. Because since then, we are bed sharing again! We literally have a roommate every single night. Baby steps, right?…