So this post has been on my to-do list for quite some time but somehow all the time something came up and I have basically been a bit of a mess these past days so now is finally the time to give you an update on how it has been going so far for us. As preparation, I read quite some posts of other fellow bloggers and I also read the book Potty Train in a Weekend because you know, I like things to go fast and efficiently so if we could do this in just a weekend, I am in. (The book was ok, very straightforward I would say and most info is also mentioned in blog posts) Here´s how it went for us and what we did.
First 3 -4 days
We started on a weekend, during which we were both home and had almost no plans. I would definitely recommend this as well because potty training is intense so it´s great to be able to switch tasks for a little bit and during those first days one always has to keep an eye on the trainer so then the other one could prepare lunch or run an errand or whatever. We had the little guy completely naked so we could see if he started peeing and get him asap to the potty. We prepared two potties around the house with towels underneath, loads of toys and cleaning stuff for the floor.
The approach we took was:
- The moment he woke up on Saturday morning would be the moment the diaper was gone. So, we would only put a diaper for nap- and bedtime and for when we went to the pool. So when he woke up, we told him it was time to get the diaper off and to pee on the potty. We sat him on the potty but obviously, nothing happened. We had breakfast and after that put him on the potty every 20min or if we saw he started wobbling around on his legs or started peeing.
- Although I downloaded some reward charts where you could put stickers etc everytime he went to the potty, in the end, we didn´t use them because I figured we never really use a reward approach for anything so why would we for this? We decided to go for excessive praising and going crazy happy (applauding, high-fives, hugs, kisses) when he had a small success. This was a perfect decision because he loved it and it made him feel so proud!
- With every accident, we told him (seriously but not mad) the peepee had to go in the potty, not on the floor. He started imitating that quite quickly by saying it shouldn´t go on the floor and was yukky on the floor. I guess we were somewhat lucky that he´s sometimes a bit of a picky person that doesn´t want to get dirty (e.g. he gets insane when he walks barefoot and gets some crumbs under his feet and he hates the sand from the beach that sticks between his toes) so it seemed a bit that he didn´t want to pee himself or the floor. So although we were prepared for the worst (cleaning the floor 24/7), that didn´t really happen. As soon as he started peeing a few drops, he got stressed and held it until we put him on the potty. This already happened on the first day so that was quite a surprise.
- The praising was a big success so after one success on the potty and all of us going crazy he was obviously eager to achieve that again. Also, when he peed in the potty, he helped us bring the potty to the big toilet, empty it there and flush it, all while screaming excitingly “bye peepee, byeeeee!”.
- The first day he already peed and pooped on the potty so I guess that was quite a big win.
- We basically kept this approach for the first 3-4 days, where after two days he already indicated himself when he had to go “peepee” so we were less focused on the putting him every 20min but more on looking at his clues and if he indicated he had to go. Apart from that, we made sure to always put him on the potty right after he woke up, both in the morning and after a nap, and before he went to bed.
Back to normal: going outside
After those first 3-4 days at home, it was back to normal life. I had work, C had to go on a trip for work so the little guy had to go to daycare one day and to his grandparents after that (because the daycare is closed in August here). I was quite confident that we kinda nailed this potty training thing, after all, we had very few accidents at home and he asked very clearly when he had to go. (Yep, way too confident I was) Because obviously, outside of our home, he was way less potty trained than at home. Hence, there were plenty of accidents at the grandparents for some weeks (guess I am lucky we didn´t have much cleaning to do with potty training, and never really bad cleaning, they´ve had it all!). Also at home, he had quite some fallbacks after those days with his grandparents. Yeah, this doing it all in just 3 days is a myth y´all!
This post is very long already so I will save the second part of this update for a next post, so stay tuned for how we are now 2,5weeks in the potty training adventure.