Time after time we tried. Something would “get in the way”…. 1 week went well and then the dreaded tummy bug wrecked havoc in the house and derailed everything. 3 days back on coarse and then a family trip to visit the in-laws threw everybody off track. You know what I’m talking about. The 2 words that may as well be profanity to a toddler parent… Potty training.
I know, it was easy for some of you and one twin trained the other. That’s amazing! I am jealous! Please!! Tell me how that happened?!?! It has not gone that easy is this household… We’re the boys not ready or was I making excuses?
When the boys were 2, I introduced their new potty and decided to discuss the potty at leisure before bath time and hope they would magically decide to one day use it and wipe their own tushy’s and never pee their pants and everything would be a toddler fairytale! Ha! It’s fun to dream momma! So at 2, our youngest twin used the potty first and was so proud. Every night before bath they would go pee pee on the potty and we had many conversations about what does and does NOT go into the toilet (after some toys got put in the potty and an expensive plumber got called to the scene). “Only the pee pee and the poo poo go in the potty, no toys!”
Since then, (they are now 3 1/2, we have had many attempts to go full potty mode which are usually derailed by a nasty tummy bug or a week long family car trip. I usually decide to put them back in diapers until everyone’s healthy or the vacation is over and then try again to go full on ” big boy undies mode”.
So at 3 1/2 (which was right before Christmas), I decided that it was time. I needed to do it while I knew we would have a few weeks at home and hopefully everyone would stay healthy. I cold turkey’d it and so far, so good. It’s been about 3 weeks. Yes, they wear night time diapers to bed and yes there have been a few accidents by one of them (the other has had NO accidents). But I think that’s totally amazing for two little boys! For 1 to have no accidents and the other to have very few.
We settled on doing the reward system (find what works for you and stick with it- reward system, sticker chart, m&m bowl, etc…. ) I stocked up on little 50cent and $1 isle prizes at Target, if they keep their undies dry for the day or have a big milestone like poo poo in the potty then they get to pick a prize. Then you can make the prizes harder and harder to get once they’ve mastered the business! The first day every time they peed they could pick a prize, the next two days if they pooped they got a prize or at the end of the day if their undies were dry they could pick a prize, and then for about they could get a prize at the end of the day if they had no accidents and so on…
The 3 day method seemed to work great for one of my twins but not at all for my other, so that’s why I implemented the reward system. (It’s amazing what some kids will do for a prize egg! My sons will practically poop on command for one of those things!)
I’m pretty sure potty training is actually – training the parents how to train the child… 😉
So good luck to all of you out there in the trenches! Listen to your instincts and do not let other people persuade you into thinking you have to force your children to potty train at a certain age. You will know when your child is ready. Our boys, our twins, we’re not ready at the same time. One of them has been pottying a lot longer than his brother but did not fully make the cold turkey transition until his twin did. (Anytime I tried to transition them separately they said things like “what about bubba”, “if bubbas not a big boy, I don’t wanna be big” or “I’m sad bc I’m not a big boy like bubba”). All of a sudden they were BOTH ready and even though one still has the occasional accident, he doesn’t feel left out. His brother cheers him on (literally stands in the bathroom and jumps up and down and cheers him on, on the potty. Twins literally clap and jump and CHEER when each other poops!!) and what better motivation could that be?!?! No one does that for me! Well.. Actually, having kids now, we all know whatever we do for them they do for us, so yes, they have cheered for me while I’m on the toilet… (I obviously need some privacy people!)
Listen to your self, you know what’s best for them and do not let anyone tell you that you are ahead or behind, all children go at their own pace! Enjoy the pace. I deff think I made some excuses to procrastinate the enevitable but I also think I was trying to keep up with everyone else. First and foremost your parental instincts should come first to you every time. If something is telling you your child isn’t ready to potty train or eat solid foods or do a certain activity, more than likely you are right. You can always run it past your pediatrician but most likely if you give it a couple more days or another week your timing will feel better.
The look on their faces when they accomplish this huge task is priceless. In a blink your little people will be grown, enjoy all of the daily poo! 😉