Monday, May 2, 2011

Potty Party! The day of ...

Have you been perched on the edge of your chair awaiting the rest of the details? Right. Didn't think so.

Nevertheless ...

We had our supplies:
- installed potty seat in all bathrooms
- portable potty in the room with us (just in case)
- small rewards (stickers / band aids) for dry undies
- bigger rewards for potty success (toys / food / small candy)
- lots of undies
- beverages and salty snacks
- activities to keep busy!

We had been talking up big girl undies for several days and were committed to undies from that point forward whenever she was awake. I explained that diapers were for sleeping and I know that it will be awhile before she is dry overnight - her diapers are still soaked in the morning, and almost always wet after nap.

(And, to be fair, this was our experience. Our girl had been successfully using the potty at daycare for almost 2 weeks, so this wasn't a huge new experience to her. We probably had an easier time of things than some others ...)

We started our day, bright and early, with both Mom and Dad on deck - no sleeping in this time! I took her diaper off, put her undies on and we went downstairs for breakfast. No PJs or clothes to get in the way, which was her choice.

We started breakfast, but I set a kitchen timer for 10 minutes and explained that we would try to go peepee on the potty when the bell went off. We tried mid-breakfast, with no success, but she got a reward for dry undies. We tried again in 10 minutes and again in 10 minutes and I can't remember when she first had success, but she continued to get rewards for dry undies and then we spaced the timer out to 15 minutes. Meanwhile, I was pushing beverages and whatever she wanted to eat to help her have success.

We continued this way ALL day - timer every 15 minutes, she had to try when it went off, and we had quite a few successes with only 1 accident when she was playing and didn't tell us she needed to go. It is hard to know how long to have your child sit on the potty to "try" - Ellen won't sit there for any length of time if she doesn't feel she has to go. No use forcing her and enduring the battle.

This is an exhausting undertaking because you are constantly "on" - trying to catch them in the act. I try not to let Ells watch much TV regularly, but there are days she watches more than I would like. I didn't want her to watch much, if any, TV at the potty party because she can zone out. We played lots of Play-doh and read books and colored and played on the new iPad (hooray!) which is another good reward.

She got a diaper for nap, and slept well after an attention-packed morning. I am just choosing to continue using diapers rather than Pull Ups, mostly because they are less expensive and we have tons. I just made the distinction that diapers are only for sleeping. Also, Ellen is still in a crib. My bestie (the behavior analyst) commented that she didn't know of any kids who potty trained while still in a crib!?! Ellen hasn't shown ANY signs of getting out of her crib, so I'm leaving her there. Since she is wearing diapers in bed it isn't a big deal, and when she transitions to a big bed she will probably be closer to wearing undies at nap/bed and we can deal with that then.

After nap, she went straight from crib to potty and then right back in undies. We continued our routine for the afternoon with lots of success. She maybe told us once or twice all day that she needed to go, which I thought was really good.

We had a family dinner and ended it with chocolate cake with sprinkles and we congratulated her TONS on having such a great day of pottying! It helped that both sets of grandparents stopped by, too, to get in on the high fives.

On Sunday, we continued with a similar routine, but a little more relaxed and no pushing of fluids. We used the timer some in the morning, then just switched to asking her about every 15-20 minutes if she needed to go. We had an accident or two when she said she didn't need to go, but I think it is a learning experience to wet your pants and see that you don't like it! Of course, no reprimanding for accidents - just better luck next time! She still got rewards for potty success, but she also had to (attempt) wipe, flush and wash her hands to get a reward. She got a reward for dry undies if she asked, but she mostly forgot about it.

After three full days at home, I felt very good about her overall success with peeing on the potty. She was telling us more when she needed to go, though still requires quite a bit of prompting a week+ later. I have also found that sometimes she won't take the time to try to go unless I "threaten" her. Not a mean threat, of course, but if I know she hasn't peed in an hour or more and she wants to color with chalk or play Play doh, I'll tell her we can't do it until she peepees. Miracle of miracles, she almost always does! I won't claim that this is good parenting, but she is so anxious to play that she often won't sit long enough on the potty to give it a fair shot. And, I always try my hardest to get her to pee before we leave the house, and then we find the bathroom and try again when we get to our destination. We haven't attempted a Target run or grocery run yet, but the plan will be the same. Guess I better find all those bathrooms!

Also, after three full days at home, no poop success. More on that later ... I know you can't wait.

No comments: