We unintentionally started learning how to use the potty and I am super happy to report…Dane did great! We started because Dane got his first diaper rash from waking up a few mornings with a lovely #2 diaper. I wasn’t going to start teaching Dane how to use the potty for multiple reasons: we are moving, Travis is MIA… possibly KIA (busy season for youth ministry), I have two kids (Did I mention that?), and Dane loathes diaper changes and legit would not let me touch the diaper. So…WAS he ready? Oooof, what a loaded question, right Heath? Yes and no. He showed more interest last summer at 16 months. Diaper changes were a battle and the thought of literally adding something else to my plate would push me over the edge.
Well, we went over the edge…
Since I am basically on my death bed, I DID NOT read any potty learning/training books. No time for that. We do enjoy this Everyone Poops book ;). Instead of gaining knowledge through books, I reached out to my village. Do you have that one friend you text to ask a million kid questions? Hi, Heather. My bast frand, Heather, also has a blog and she wrote about their potty training experience. You can read about it [here]. I read it when she posted but texted her when it was our time …like what do I do? He’s naked anyway to air out that rash so we went for it.
I’ll try and keep it short. Key word: try. First, I purchased an over the potty seat and a step stool. Bathroom ready…check. We did naked bum for 3 days, I loaded him up with liquids, and I guess we did a combo potty learning/training because I did use a reward system. That’s the ABA therapist in me. I love token boards! And change is hard for Dane so visuals help. Another great tip from Heather… no underwear for a while. It gives a false sense of a diaper. So he’s freeeeeeeee, free…. Now, some babes can learn with underwear but I put underwear on Dane the first day and he peed in it. So every child is different. The no underwear worked for us. Eventually you can put underwear on once they are desensitized from the diaper feeling. I kept my language positive and avoided the “do you have to go question”. It was simply, “It’s time to go pee-pee”! It worked! He peed. He got it. He immediately got a treat. The first day he peed 18 times. EIGHTEEN. So I had to quickly change my reinforcement schedule and back off on the mini cookies I decided to use. Eye roll. Poor choice. We faded to 5 stickers and then a treat. There were a few times in the learning process where he said, “I have to go pee-pee” but actually did not. So I verbally praised his attempt to sit and try. Next up… ditch the diapers at nap and overnight. He’s waking up dry. Sometimes. Praise but I’m not ready to tackle that yet. Alright, that was not short…here’s the bullet point version:
- Get yo’ bathroom ready…potty chair and step stool.
- Naked bum for 3 days at home. Try no undies.
- Token/visual reinforcement chart. Reward every try/pee/poo and eventually fade to 5 stickers then a treat.
- If you have a boy, stock up on these multi-purpose wipes. That thing is a hose and it goes everywhere!
- Diapers for naps/overnight until they wake up dry.
Alright, mamas. Good luck. May the force be with you.