It’s time for me to share Jack’s potty training story! He was 2 years and 2 months when we decided it was time for underwear. I spent a lot of time preparing myself and him for our little adventure. I also had to get big sister prepped and involved because #1- it can be super helpful for little brothers/sisters to see their siblings use the potty and #2- I knew I would be spending a lot of time running around on potty duty and I didn’t want her to feel left out.
Supplies were gathered, kids were warned and, before I knew what was happening, it was potty training day. The plan: 100% underwear at home during the day, Pulls Ups for car rides and trips, diapers at nap and bedtime (exactly what we did for my daughter). Load up on apple juice and set a potty time timer for every 10-15 minutes. Simple enough, right?
My son woke up that morning and we walked around the house to see where all HIS potties (one in the kitchen, one in the living room and then the “big” potties in all the bathrooms) were. I told him simply that our pee and poop needs to start going in the potties. Then I let him pick out a clean pair of undies and away we went. This is how Jack felt about potty training-
His face stayed like that for days. LOL. Big sister on the other hand, she was THRILLED. I’ll talk more about her “job” in another post but she was a HUGE help and I’m very thankful for her. Here is the proudest she has ever been of her baby brother- he’s sporting undies!
About 3 seconds after that picture was taken he peed in his underwear. I took a deep breath knowing that this was my life for the next week or so. And that’s how my day went- he peed in his underwear every 5 seconds. I swore Layla didn’t have that many accidents in one day. I can’t remember how many times I had to change his clothes, let alone mine. I used half a bottle of carpet cleaner and Layla, who was SO excited for this milestone in the beginning, decided that he could go back to diapers so we “don’t have to worry about it anymore”. But my sweet boy was still smiling so I knew we couldn’t give up!
But maybe that smile was just an effect of the sugar high from all the suckers he was given so he’d sit STILL on the potty.
Day 1 accomplishments – Jack sat on the potty every 15 minutes for at least 1 second at a time. Towards the end of the day he was more comfortable sitting for longer periods. He had 10 million accidents and a couple small successes (basically I was able to get him on a potty mid pee and a few drops got in). Potty training sucks.
Something that people don’t warn you about is the sleep regression that takes place when you potty train. My daughter completely dropped her nap a few weeks after we potty trained (at barely 2). I was scared about Jack because he has NEVER been a good sleeper. He still wakes up 2-3 times a night and is a holy terror to put down for nap and bedtime (I will not sugar coat it…even Grandmas can’t tackle this job). Night one went a little something like this-
That’s Jack under his bed fighting sleep. Awesome. But he woke up refreshed and ready to tackle day 2-
The second day was a little harder than the first day. He had a few small successes but still lots of accidents. One difference between training Layla and training Jack- his accidents were much smaller. A lot of times I didn’t even know he’d had one until our potty timer went off and I got a good look at his underwear. It’s like he would just leak pee all day long.
Day 2 accomplishments – Accidents were not as big and he was figuring out that he could hold it. He was more comfortable spending longer periods of time on the potty.
Oh day 3…If you can make it past day 3 without giving up, you are golden. This is the day that makes you wonder why you even started potty training in the first place. You realize you have just spent 2 days cleaning up pee and washing load after load of laundry. You’ve asked the question “do you have to go potty?” at least 100,000 times and you regret buying a new couch a few years ago.
Your child is tired too. It’s a big change for everyone! I had to stop and take LOTS of deep breaths during day 3. Towards the end of the day I realized we had made better progress than I thought!
Day 3 accomplishments – Accidents were much farther apart and we had a lot more success on the potty! He didn’t mind sitting on the potty anymore and actually enjoyed having juice and snack while he hung out and waited for the magic to happen. He pooped in his diaper at nap but woke up and pointed to his dirty diaper when I walked in.
I woke up the next morning tired and discouraged and wishing there was someone I could pay to hypnotize this child into using the toilet. But we calmly started our day by setting the potty timer, drinking our apple juice and waiting for an accident to happen.
But no accidents happened that morning! Jack had a few successes and not a SINGLE accident before nap! I was so proud of him and, more importantly, he was proud of himself!
He had one small accident that evening but he was holding it until he knew it was time to use the potty!
Day 4 accomplishments – Only 1 accident! Holding it until it was time to sit on the potty!
I decided that we would use day 5 to work on having HIM tell us he needed to go potty. We put the potty timer up and watched his queues. For Jack this meant when he grabbed himself and grunted. I even trusted him on the furniture again!
We needed groceries the next morning and I didn’t put diapers on my list…it was an amazing feeling.
Day 5 accomplishments – No accidents and he was “telling” us when he needed to go!
Fast forward to 8 or 9 days out and Jack was a potty champion! He was letting us know when he had to go and was peeing AND pooping on the potty. He was also more comfortable going on the big boy potty so we were able to put all the smaller ones away.
We are now almost 2 months out and still have a bit of work to do. He is still in a diaper for nap/nighttime which won’t go away for awhile (and that’s OK!). There are three potty training goals Jack still needs to meet: #1- not peeing in the car, #2- not using his Pull Up like a diaper when we are out (we are getting there) and #3- saying the words “I have to go potty”.
I feel like #3 will never happen. Do you know how embarrassing it is to have to explain to a nursery worker at church that “if Jack grabs himself and growls, that means he has to potty”. When he grabs his front he has to pee, when he grabs his booty that means he has to poop. He will not use his words until AFTER he has gone…then he will run around and tell everyone “I went POTTY!!!”. He can obviously say the words and knows what they mean, but he has his own way of doing things.
One more goal that we are working on is wearing underwear with pants. He gets confused if we try to put pants on him at home and he has accidents. I don’t really get it but for now it’s easier to just let him run around in underwear and not worry about it. I’m not kidding when I say this was 1 of 3 pictures I could find when he was wearing underwear with pants in the last 2 months. Ha!
I’d say being overall potty trained in 4-5 days isn’t bad! And that’s not the only positive thing that happens when you potty train! Both of my kids started to become more independent and communicate more after they realized they could do big kid stuff. Now if we could just get this wild child to SLEEP….