I have a couple more weeks to be a stay at home mom with Peanut while I finish orientation duties for my new Urgent Care position. I feel so lucky to have this time with her, even though some days I feel like I spent 90% of my day trying to prevent head injuries for this rambunctious child, who feels the need to jump off of everything.
Peanut is adjusting well to our new home, and even said, “This is our house in Califona!” So, we’ve got an adjusted child, a short-term stay at home mom, and diapers that are the price of gold in this city. Let’s potty train!
Day 1: Peanut picks out big girl underwear. I notify her how much faster she can run in these and she is ready to try them on. Pink Princess potty is set-up in the bathroom (yes, we are in the princess phase – not sure where it came from, but more on that later). It was a bit of a rough start, but I expected that… no success in the potty today, but luckily we have wood floors.
Oh, wait, just when I thought we wouldn’t have a potty success, Peanut runs to me, in her super Peanut speed, and with a huge smile she excitedly gasps, “Mommy, Mommy!”
She’s going to tell me she went on the potty - I know it.
“I had brown poopies in Mommy’s room! On the floor!”
I followed the little poopy footprints into our bedroom. The “brown poopy” clean up was a bit much for this pregnant mama. Ok, that’s enough for today – we’re gonna need some bleach.
Day 2: Peanut won’t wear the big girl underwear. I am second-guessing everything. Did I try too soon? I don’t want to push her too much, because you know when toddlers figure out you really want them to do something, that’s the last thing they want to do. So, ok, day off - I want to check out the library with Peanut anyway. We’ll pick up some children’s potty books.
Day 3: Time to break out the reward system. Peanut and I make a potty chart together, and Peanut puts a sticker on the day for each potty success. We’ll celebrate at the end of the week if there are stickers on each day. I’m thinking of taking Peanut to the museum, to explore with the other big girls.
I’m not sure if it was the stickers, or just the extra praise that went into recognizing each potty accomplishment, but we are back on the potty track.
Day 4: Holy cabin fever. Peanut is bouncing off the wall wanting to go to the park and I would love some exercise so we’re not quite as consistent as I had planned with the potty today. I let her wear some pull-ups and out we went.
Day 5: We’re getting there. However, it didn’t take long for Peanut to figure out, “I want to go to potty” gets her out of her crib at nap and bedtime. And… my reward system is breaking down. Not only did Peanut convince me to get her out of bed tonight, after she sat on the potty for a minute, she asked, in the sweetest voice possible, “stickers for trying?” I could be a lot more stringent if this child wasn’t so darn cute. I had to enforce a new rule on the spot. No stickers at nighttime. Not sure if this rule will backfire…
Day 6: Complete success. While I’d like to take the credit here for “training” Peanut with my “expertise,” honestly, it was all her. Once she decided she was ready, Peanut did her own Potty training. Just a little encouragement, smiles, hugs, and minimizing accidents with, ”It’s ok, try again for the potty next time,” was all I really contributed.
She’s been dry all week – day and night. Peanut said to me after using the potty, “I make Mommy happy!” Yes, Peanut, you make Daddy and I so happy.
If I had just one tip to share on potty training, it would be: look for signs that your child is ready. If he or she is truly not ready, no amount of coercion is going to work, and it will only delay the process. Here are a few signs your child might be ready for the potty:
· Staying dry for 1-2 hours.
· Seeking privacy for bowel movements.
· Discomfort in a soiled diaper – asking to be changed.
· Imitating adult behavior.
· Verbal expressions of interest in the potty.