Monday, January 1, 2018

3 Day Potty Training Guide

   One of the most dreaded phrases in all of parenthood happens when your kid is 2-3. I'm talking about the granddaddy of them all. Potty Training. Now before you run screaming in the other direction, this is not your typical potty training Mom Blog post. I'm not going to tell you that everything was fine and dandy! My kid actually shit under my kitchen table, in my carpeted dining room.  I'm not going to pretend that I didn't have to bribe my kid with chocolate, and Hot Wheels. I'm not above bribery, and if you want your kid to pee in the potty you shouldn't be either. I will absolutely not leave out the stressful, shitty (LITERALLY SHITTY) mess that is potty training.
Let's Start from the beginning.
 I decided that I wanted to start potty training while pregnant, because I love to torture myself. Really I just wanted one less reason to give Target more money. Let's be real though, I just wanted to use that $26.99 elsewhere inside Target, like on the Magnolia line. (Side note- curse you Chip and Joanna Gaines. Please adopt me.....) Also my dear friend J really lit the fire under my ass, because of her successful training with her sweet baby girl. She was totally my rock and guidance for this whole journey. Even though potty training gave her shingles. You can read that story HERE.
 Potty Training is really like a years long process. We started at 18 months by getting a little toilet (because I was one of those Moms that was like "Oh!We will totally be potty trained before 2!) Let's all take a moment to laugh at that. Kids, especially boys typically potty train closer to 3. Boys are known to have a hard time, and are more likely to regress. Yay boy moms!  Getting the 'kid potty' that early was actually great because it got him used to the idea of sitting naked on a cold foreign object. I would sit his little butt on the potty before baths, and he'd laugh. The mini whiz palace sat in the downstairs bathroom for about a year, being used as a stool. Then at 2.5 I was really gung-ho about starting the true potty training journey. I checked out all the books my library had to offer. I looked at every other Mom blog post, and Pinterest article I could find. Let me save you sometime, so many of them suck. The best method I could find, which happened to be the one J used was the Potty Training in 3 Days. Now I'm going to warn you. There is a really good chance you are going to start, and stop this process like 5 times. I know I had made 5 separate attempts to do this, and I'd made it 5 hours and say "fuck it, we need to leave the house." When you finally decided it is truly time you have to push through. 3 Days at home is so worth not changing diapers anymore.
  Disclaimer: This is what worked for us, so please don't feel like you're a failure if it doesn't work for you. Like parenting, potty training is really a "make your own way" type ordeal. There is no one right way to do.  
 You can buy THIS book and read all about why this method works, or if you're lazy you can just skim this article for how I adapted it to our needs. The basic idea behind the 3 day potty training is this:
Day One: You let your kid run around totally naked, like a feral mountain child. Every few minutes you set them on the potty. This day includes a lot of liquids, and a few floor puddles of urine.
Day Two: Same as day 1, but with underwear on. So slightly less feral child.
Day Three: Leave the house. Boom, your little heathen is potty trained, and your hair is only slightly grey.
  I know that all of this sounds absolutely freaking nuts. The idea that your kid will learn to use the toilet in 3 days is crazy, but it absolutely worked for us. "Ripping the band aid off fast" if you will. Now, we made some adjustments to the plan. Be prepared for basically 3 days of staying indoors. Our 3 days went down like this...
 Day One: We woke up and said "Bye bye!" to his diaper. I let him throw it in the trash, which was exciting for him. Then I made a special breakfast where Tater got a special treat. We did orange juice (which we don't do often) in order to get him to drink a ton of liquids. Seriously you want your kid to understand the sensation of a full bladder, and when to pee. I explained that he can't pee or poop on the floor and that he has to go potty. We had 3 potty options, a toddler potty, a potty seat for the big toilet, and the regular toilet. I let him choose what he wanted. He HATES the potty seat (huge waste of 13 dollars.) So we started off on the big toilet, ironically using the little toilet as a step stool to get on the big potty. I sat him down on the toilet until he peed. Thankfully I had Halloween candy, so I taped them to the wall. Every pee he got some M&M's. This made it so that peeing was exciting. (Don't start with the sanctimonious "sugar is so bad" I know that. I know a child on sugar is not a good thing, but sometimes you have to do what works. Sex sells for adults, sugar sells for kids. It's basic science!)
 After the first pee you need to make sure that there are fluids within an arms reach. I set a timer for every 10 minutes. I made the dinging sound on the timer fun. I would get obnoxiously excited and sing a song about going potty. It's amazing what kids can get you to do... We would dance our way to the potty and try to go. If your kid goes to the bathroom be over the top excited! Cheering, clapping, saying "yay!!!!" in that really obnoxious Mom voice that we all establish when we enter labor and delivery. The more comfortable, and excited your kid is, the easy this gets. The timer could stress your little one out, so adapt as needed. All of parenthood is literally adapting as needed, why would potty training be different?
 Accidents are inevitable. So don't let that discourage you! When an accident happens make sure you explain that we have to use the potty. Do not make it a punishment. Keep this whole experience as positive as possible. Pooping is harder than peeing, so if you go the incentive route have something different for poops. We did Hot Wheels for poops, because my kids love language is race cars, and M&M's for peeing.
 We did not start potty training over night, so at bed time we went into a Pull Up, after one last potty.

Day Two: This is the day you start underwear. I suggest having AT LEAST 20 pairs of character underwear. Do a character your kids are familiar with. We chose Paw Patrol, and Thomas the train. Before you put the underwear on show your kiddo the character and explain that "Marshall doesn't like to be peed on, so we have to use the potty!"
 This is all basically the same as day one, except instead of the timer I simply asked if he had to potty every 10 minutes. Tater went a few hours in between pees, and that is okay! I texted J in a panic because he wasn't peeing. Thank god for her level headedness! Here is where day two gets a little tricky. Toddlers are a lot smarter than they get credit for. They are absolutely on to you by  day two, so a little defiance will happen. Tater looked at from across the room and peed his pants with the most evil look on his face. Don't react. When accidents happen, walk your toddler into the bathroom and again explain that they HAVE to pee in the potty. I even sit him on the potty even though he just peed. Stay calm, and DO NOT give up. You are too far in it now. Day two really makes you want to throw in the towel, but push through. Maybe have a nice bottle of wine in the fridge, or a Costco sheet cake for after bedtime.  I can't stress this enough DO NOT GIVE UP.

 Day Three: The make or break day. This is the day where you put your toddlers new skills to the test. This is where you leave the house. We chose to use the "leaving the house" as a reward. In the morning we said to "If you go potty on the potty all day, we will go to Cabela's and see the fish!" Tater loves Cabela's.  We did a normal day for breakfast and fluids, but I still made sure to ask if he needed to potty every few minutes. Before we left the house we used the bathroom. (Make sure you bring an extra set of clothes with you. Pants, underwear and socks. I also found a plastic bag helpful for any pee soaked clothes. ) Once you arrive at your destination book it to the bathroom, even if they say they don't have to go. Make them try. Stay at your destination for a while so they get used to going potty in a new place. Ask every few minutes if they have to go. Try to go before leaving too. Keep up the encouraging words, and actions. You've officially made it through potty training, even though the works not over. There are going to be accidents because after all, your kid is still learning.
 If by day 3 your kid still isn't getting it, that is okay. It could mean he/she isn't ready yet. Take a 10 day break and try again.
Things you need to know about potty training:
 1) You're going to be mentally exhausted. This was like the mind workout of the century. Keeping your cool is absolutely vital. It has to be something fun, or your kid won't do it.
2) Potty training doesn't mean you are done wiping butts. This is something that never occurred to me, and no one told me. You still have to wipe your kids butt for them, so keep dreaming.
3)Baking soda and vinegar do wonders for pee smells.
4) You will repeat yourself a lot.
  So what do you need for this big adventure? Besides wine, faith, and a good friend to kick you in the ass. Here is a list of websites and products I used for our potty training adventure.
Image result for potty training gif
 The Potty Chair-
The Potty Seat (that was a huge waste)-
Carpet Cleaner (Seriously this stuff will change your life)-

HELPFUL LINKS (besides this beautifully thought out blog post)

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