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Potty Training Update

Posted Sep 14 2009 10:40pm

So Sammy is potty trained, I suppose.  She doesn’t wear diapers while she is awake.  But she gets confused if she wears clothes. 

We used the naked method recommended by Principled Parent and it worked really well, but when we found out that she could not go to Montessori in a dress sans underwear, we realized that we’d better start practicing wearing clothes.  Surprisingly, she’s doing better with #1 than with #2.  In fact, in the past 3 days, not one poop has gone in the potty.  They’ve all gone in her clothes or on the floor.  I’m not sure what’s up with that, since she originally was much more comfortable using the potty for #2.  Right now I’m just trying to be patient and hope that she figures it out on her own, but I don’t know – maybe I need to do something about it.

We did get a Piddle Pad (also recommended by PP ) for the car seat.  I wasn’t going to get one – I figured a towel would do – but when we were at WalMart buying school clothes for her, Sammy brought over a package and put it in the cart.  Lo and behold, it was a Piddle Pad, so we bought it!  Bright girl, that one.  Fortunately, she hasn’t had any accidents in the car yet, but I know it will happen the first time she dozes off in the car.

She did just fine at day care last week – not a single accident.  And there were no problems at Montessori today either, although it was just a 2 hour day.  What she is doing is letting out just enough urine so that she won’t leak or have an accident, but holding the rest.  I’m not sure why she is doing this, or what to do to help her realize that she can just let it all out at once.

She seems comfortable with all kinds of potties, but at home she prefers the little plastic buckets.  We got 2 of them from Ikea for a few bucks apiece.  potty Sammy actually uses the potty, wipes herself (if reminded), pours the pee into the big toilet, closes the lid, flushes, and washes her hands, all by herself.  She does need help using the soap, though.  We have one of those awful, huge pedestal sinks in the powder room and the soap is just too far away for her to reach. 

Anyway, I hope she doesn’t want to use the buckets for much longer.  It’s quite messy, and when she is using the potty 3-4 times an hour, I’m not inclined to mop up the floor or disinfect the potty every single time.  Do people actually do that?  I just mop up the worst of it with toilet paper and clean up at the end of the day.  And how in the world are you supposed to help a child wipe her butt, anyway?  There is no way you can get in there while she is standing up.  I have Sammy walk into the living room and lie down on a pad and raise her legs just like I did with diapers.  I was hoping that particular indignity was over for her, but I can’t figure out what else to do.

That reminds me – another purchase that was well worth it was Sammy’s own special Kandoo wipes and toddler soap.  She likes to have things that are just for her.

The new gear we have to haul around is our portable Potette potty, extra clothes, wipes, and towels.  The Potette can function as a stand alone potty like the bucket, except that it has a bag/liner that catches the product and can then be disposed of easily.  It can also be used as an attachment to put on top of toilet seats that are just too big.  Sammy doesn’t seem to like to use it that way.  If she uses a toilet, she prefers to just sit on it and hold herself up with her hands.  (We might not get any use out of those fancy toilet seats we bought a few months ago!)

Overall, the whole process hasn’t been all that bad.  I expected a lot more accidents than we’ve had.  One more piece of advice from PP that was particularly helpful was this:

I had to learn to trust my kid. When we first started potty training and we were in the outside world I would nervously ask him over and over if he had to go potty. Ben and I would make each other anxious and Charlie got upset by our bothering him. It also resulted in an accident out and about. From this we learned to relax and not push the issue. It’s OK to remind him after a significant amount of time has passed, but not be bothersome.

I do think that the parents’ attitude plays a huge role in how the process goes.  Too much anxiety is counterproductive.  A little trust goes a long way.  Being patient with accidents is critical.  Accidents will happen.  If you set your expectations it won’t bother you so much and you can keep the attitude of this being an exciting new thing your child can do.  Finally, taking the action of putting away the diapers, telling your child that they are not needed any more, and meaning it, is probably the most important part of the whole process.  That, and lots of Clorox wipes.

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