Friday, April 1, 2016

Potty Training a Boy {OUR EXPERIENCE}

Guys, I'm nervous if I actually write this and share it with the interwebs it's going to make everything not work. But, I'm here today to tell you, we've got a potty trained two year old boy (for the most part) and we did it in 3-4 days. Gasp! I know.

Now, I realize everyone's experience is different and there are many many methods of what may work for your family - but this worked for us so I want to share. Plus, I am so dang proud of my little guy that the mommy in me want's to give him a medal or something. But, that would be very weird to give my child a trophy and if I were to make it it would be a tiny golden toilet or something. So, I should probably just stick with my high fives and reassuring hugs.

So, here's how it worked for us. Bennett was on Spring Break last week and it came on the heels of some very bad news for this momma (still waiting to share with everyone - I will be having some surgeries in the coming weeks - so I will bring you up to speed as we know more - but again, if you've got a prayer to lend send on my way!) so I found myself in a fragile place mentally with nothing to do but wait for dreaded appointments and phone calls. And I realized I needed a distraction. Hubs and I had been talking about potty training Bennett since December but had continually found reasons why it wouldn't work. Mostly due to his new baby sister, my lack of patience, and just finding other things we made more important. But, we figured if I was going to be home and so was he (thanks Spring Break!) and I needed a distraction, this was as good of time as any to give it a go. (I'll give you my step by step breakdown at the end).

Last Wednesday we woke up, made an impromptu potty chart, utilized grandparent Easter candy, busted out the hand-me-down undies from our big cousin Brody and were on our way!
Don't laugh at my chart. Bennett loves stickers, so when I was thinking of ways to "incentivize" him, I thought a sticker chart would help him see how great he was doing vs just shoving candy down his throat (however, he is also receptive to candy - so I did both).  And literally we decided to start this at 10 in the morning, so Bennett was already more than awake for the day, so I had to whip it up quick. And his interpretation of it was well received! We would get to place a sticker on either side based on what happened. 
 HE also got to choose from one of two bowls of candy. He got one M&M if he peed in the potty and he got a candy bar (snack size) if he pooped in the potty.
 And because Bennett loves stickers, we had several options in the archives we pulled out and watching him meticulously choose his sticker each time was adorable.
The first day we set a timer and every 15 minutes an alarm on my phone would go off and we would try. We would hear the timer and yell "POTTY TIMER YAYYYY!".

<insert family only photos of Bennett on the potty here :) so I'm not scolded when he is older>

 And when we shared a success story, we chose a sticker and piece of candy.
 And were so proud of our chart!
 And just like that, we said goodbye to diapers and now we rock tiny man undies. Be still my heart. So big, so fast.

Here's the play by play of my method:

Items needed:
  • lots of undies and stretchy elastic pants
  • stickers + paper or poster for chart
  • small candies (m&m's or skittles, etc)
  • larger candies (snack size bars, suckers, etc)
  • potty seat + step stool
  • patience (hehe) + a good attitude
  • commitment to staying home for at least 3 days!
  • pull-ups (named SPECIAL nighttime undies) for nap and overnight
Play-By-Play
  • Day One
    • Expect a lot of accidents and look at the bright side - clean floors :)
    • set a timer and head to the potty every 15 minutes to try (regardless of fail or success)
    • if an accident happens - reiterate pee and poop belong ONLY in the potty
    • if there is a success - clap, cheer, dance + reward with piece of candy and a sticker! yayy!
    • pull-up at nap time and overnight
  • Day Two
    • repeat of day one - but set timer to 17-20 minutes
  • Day Three
    • repeat of day two - but try to focus more on HIM telling you when he has to go (with coaxing) vs you telling him
  • Day Four
    • hold your breath and plan an activity to leave the house
    • we left for FOUR hours and used three public restrooms and had ZERO accidents!! Yayyyyyy Bennett!
  • Day five and beyond
    • continue to ask him, but also let him tell you
    • don't get frustrated if there is an accident and be mindful of before you leave and when you arrive places (go potty before, during and after)
And then wake up on Day six, squeal do a happy dance - and send him to school to and pray he does as well there as he does at home! Week! (update: he had one accident at school, but went on the potty twice. He'll head back today and hope we have a better report!)

Good luck. It's a dirty job :)

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