I emailed a fellow blogger I met through Our Mommyhood, who is a mother and a physician. I told her I'm having a hard time using my physiology background in parenting my potty training toddler. I asked if she knew of any research-based methods of potty training, and if she had any other advice for me.
She did. I really love my online network of friends/mothers/people who have been there/people who know more than me!
In addition, I read two books (they have the same information - in fact, I believe one plagiarizes the other - and I will be reviewing that issue in detail in an upcoming post).
So, armed with my views on attachment parenting and respecting individuality, a custom post from my personal blogger-pediatrician, and information I'd read twice by reading both books, I was ready for potty training, right?
What's that line about the best laid plans?
The first day of potty training was basically a cycle of (1) sitting on the potty trying to keep the kid sitting on her potty and entertained while nothing came out, (2) putting fresh training pants or Dora panties on said kid and (3) cleaning up a puddle 5-10 minutes later. After four hours of that futility, I beat my head against the wall, pulled my hair out, screamed, and put the kid down for a nap.
Not really. I did, however, simply give up and put the kid down for a nap.
We tried once more the next day, before I called the whole thing off. She was still leaking some urine into her training panties, and wasn't releasing urine on the potty. I concluded that she probably didn't have quite the muscle control needed for the venture at this point. While she is dry after some naps, and some naps she is just a little wet (a good sign) I wasn't sure that she was physically ready for the expectations of "hold-it-then-release-it" that potty training (and my hardwood floor) requires.
So I shelved it. Also? Diapers are easier. Way easier. Even though I wash and dry and fold mine, still WAAAAAY easier. I don't have that "plunking money down every week" thing to really motivate me to get my kid out of diapers. So we just cooled our jets for a little while.
I started thinking about it again about a week or so ago. At work we are talking schedules pretty nonstop because of the faculty hiring thing. When are people available for interviews, when does summer session end, when is the new person due to start, when do classes start? My kid starts back to daycare five-days-a-week (my checkbook just dry heaved) August 1st, and I had figured she'd be in training pants at that point. But it's now July and we've been doing just diapers all summer so far.
Yesterday at daycare I noticed her two bff's were wearing pink Pull-Ups (I keep forgetting that the rest of the country spends excess money on landfill fodder). We were leaving while they were still on the potties and I noticed my Wee One watching. At home, she announced "I go potty!" and off we went. Potty training has begun again.
So this morning when we woke up, I decided to try again. If she did the cycle of no peeing/accidents 5 minutes later again, we'd shelve it again. But lets just see where we are.
This morning she did great. She wore her Dora panties and her pajama top. I prompted her to sit on the potty pretty frequently. Nothing was happening at first, and she was getting mad at me for not giving her the Dora stickers, so I made up a rule that if her panties stayed dry, she could have a sticker. Two panties checks garnered her a sticker each, so when she did finally pee pee in the potty, she got two "Swiper" stickers, which she thought was just Teh Awesomesauce.
Dora panties on, and we play some more. She wants to go to the basement to play on her climbing thing and read books, and I suggest we potty first. More pee pee in the potty! More cheers and stickers! (Backpack, this time!).
Lunch, and then one more potty time before her nap. A little pee pee this time, but I totally went with it. This time she got a sticker out of her Potty Book (Fisher Price My Very Own Potty). No accidents all morning, 3 "pee pee potty"s was the scorecard.
I let her have a choice at naptime of a diaper or (waterproof) training pants, and she chose a diaper. Good thing, because all the fluids I'd been pumping into her to try to get successful pee pees came back out during naptime! We also kept a diaper on after the nap for the trip to the bank and to get allergy shots, because our allergist's office doesn't have a bathroom. It's down the hall, behind a locked door.
We stopped by the photography studio to see Nan and Miss Lori and tell them all about our pee pees. She pee peed on the potty there twice, but just a little, then had three accidents. I think the distraction of her favorite people, the ringing phone, and all the interesting things to play with didn't help. Also, being tired and the lateness of the day contributed.
Tomorrow we are going to the Science Center to watch the final shuttle launch. I'm trying to decide if I want to mess with training pants or just go with a diaper, since she'll be distracted by everything. This is the part of potty training that is still a bit of a gray area to me. Do you just throw the diapers out (well, in my case, stash them away in a drawer) and try going all potty full bore? (Taking tons of extra clothes to cover accidents?) Or do you do it a little at a time, with diapers while you're out and training pants/panties at home? What about daycare - we have waterproof cloth training pants but they won't hold a full pee, just some leaking/minor accidents. I'm not sure if daycare is willing to go with that if they have to change her clothes 5 times a day.
Last concern: one of the pairs of training pants she had on at the studio caused her to break out on her bottom, thighs, and across her stomach. I'm going to have to do process of elimination to figure out which pair, but it seems like she's allergic/sensitive to one or more of those pairs. I'm sure daycare won't want to go straight to panties without some of kind of waterproof layer. So I'm not sure really what to do there.
So I now have plenty of fodder for future posts, including reaming a certain potty book that is a complete copy of an earlier work, and recommendations for cloth training pants.
I also have poured a glass of wine :)