Friday, February 8, 2013

Potty Training a 18-24 Month Old

Yikes, sounds crazy right?

No we did it and I am so thankful!!

Here's why:
I was 10 weeks pregnant and I knew that I wanted to get boo boo into preschool in the spring before bubba came to give me some alone time with the new baby & boo boo some social time.
He was showing interest and I read a book called Potty Training Boot Camp that said there was a opportunity time frame between 18 months and 24 months that boys specifically do well at potty training if you do it seriously. If you wait they loose interest and then you have to wait till after 3 before they are ready again.

Ok so here are some tips on how to do it:
  1. Start on a Friday/ Long Weekend, set up the potty seat or potty chair in the bathroom, explain to them what it is and how to use it.. haha. (sounds easier said then done)
  2. Put up something fun to look at on the wall in front of the potty. We did the ABC's with animals of each letter so while we were "trying to go" we had something to look at and do. Also do make it important to wash hands afterwards but dont make it super fun either or let them dwell in the sink.. They will then start to associate going potty with playtime and then you really will spend far too much time in the bathroom. We sang the alphabet and then were done.
  3. Put on big boy/girl cotton undies or trainers. Pull ups feel just like diapers to them. They need to feel that wet feeling instantly to fully understand what is happening.
  4. Don't punish failure. When they have accidents (and they will) make them clean it up with a old towel. Remember every accident they have is a learning expirence. If you make a big deal about an accident it will trigger attention to them that could be confused as positive attention. This will cause more accidents and prolong the PT process. Instead, make a sad face, stay calm and clean it up and move on.. (The book says if they are having 5-6 or more accidents a day wait a week and try again, fresh start)
  5. Every success in the potty REWARD! HUGS, KISSES and CHEERS make every time a special event! Rememeber "what gets noticed, gets repeated" You can try sticker charts but in our expirence they just dont fully understand it at this age. BUT they do understand special potty treats.. (aka bribery)  This is entirely up to you, but for us it worked and didn't end up being a bad habit. Every successful potty we would also give him a "special potty treat" we started out with chips ohoy mini cookies but that got to be too many cookies in a day, we switched to m&ms then gummy snacks. (One for a pee, two for a poop) Once he started to understand that he liked getting them he would ask for one and we would say "special potty treats" are for boys who go potty on the potty chair. You have to go potty to get one. Then after a while we would stop giving the treats every time and only for poops on the potty. Then after he was successful going with no accidents in a day we stopped all together.
  6. Bring back the special potty treats/reward for regression, if he/she started to regress and having accidents again (more than 2 a day) we would bring back the "reward program" for a couple days to help him get excited about going on the potty again.
  7. Try to do it on a weekend when you have support (ie. another parent or grandparent to help) also doing it on a weekend where you dont have to go anywhere. This will help with staying in undies all day to get them used to the whole idea. IMO every time you put them back in diapers during the day it will just confuse them.
  8. Use diapers at night, at this age (unless they aren't wetting diapers at night) they are not capable of holding their bladder all night. Every child is different but until they have 3 nights of dry diapers then you will know they are ready to wear undies at night. (another messier way to PT at night is to just let them go to bed in trainers/ underwear, some say it works the same, they get tired of wetting the bed and figure out to either go to the potty during the night or hold it. But doing it this way is much more time consuming, messy and tiring)
  9. Put on the Underwear the minute they get up in the morning. We found that if he stayed in his diaper longer than an hour after getting up, he would forget he was wearing undies when we finally did put him in them, we would have more accidents
  10. Set a timer, The first couple days or so is the most important time to keep on schedule. We chose every 45 mins, set a timer on the oven, then when it went off we would ask if he had to go potty.. If he said yes we would go and try, if he said no we would ask again in 10 mins and he was usually always ready to go and try.. You can play it by ear but for us it was better to have a reminder system because it was easy to forget how much time it had been, and then he would get busy playing and have an accident. After three days we were ready to stop watching the clock but looking back it was nice to have. I guess there is an app you can download now that you can time and keep track on.
  11. Reward for communication, they are only truely potty trained when they can tell you that they have to go to the potty and then actually go. We always praised when he learned to come to us and tell us he had to go.. This is very important skill to learn. So make sure to tell them it is something they should do everytime they need to go. Once our son was consistantly not having accidents we switch why he got potty treats, and explained each time why, "You get one fruit snack for telling mommy you had to go potty, you are such a big boy! great job" Something like that. You could do stickers here too because they freaking love stickers at this age. Which is why I thought the sticker chart would work well but he never understood why we had to put stickers on the chart and in a certain box.. He wanted to wear the stickers. lol
  12. Going out, I am not going to lie, it was the scariest thing I had to do in a while.. haha I put a towel under his car seat and layed a cloth diaper shell under his butt haha. But it was unnessesary he did fine and then whenever we got to where we were going we made sure to hit the bathroom first and right before we would leave to get back in the car.. Basically just be prepared, you may not always beable to find a bathroom as soon as they need one, and if you have a girl, peeing on the sidewalk isnt as easy.. lol keep 3-4 pairs of clean undies in the car and 2 pairs of pants, just in case. If your child particularly doesnt like a certain pair of pants keep those in the car and they will be renamed the dreaded pee pants, they have to wear if they pee in their nice pants.. lol jk
  13. Dont let them drink Orange Juice during this learning stage, OJ is a diuretic and it will cause them to have more accidents. DS is 3 now and he still cant drink OJ 2 hours before bed or he will wet the bed.
  14. Tricks? hmmm cheerios in the toilet for aiming but then they have to be tall enough to stand up and pee, my mom used to turn on the faucet to help me pee in the potty, but I think that messed with me bc now anytime I hear running water I feel like I need to go.. hahaha

I think that is about all the tips I can think of.. I wish anyone who is ready to venture down this path the best of luck.

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