Friday, July 15, 2011

Potty-Training Success!

We are finally officially out of diapers! 

For a few weeks at least...

Yes, Roman is potty trained. At 2 1/2 years old, I think he's a little ahead- I hear most little boys potty train around 3. My girls were potty trained at 2. Kind of anyway. Xandri took a while to train and would be completely and regularly clean and dry and then something would cause her to regress and we'd have to start the whole process over. Naturally, I didn't want to deal with that again, so I put off training Roman for quite a while, even though Derek wanted me to try. 

I mean, I did try once. For like a day. I used the Babywise/Pottywise method, teaching his Monkey to use the potty and then emphasizing clean and dry. But he really honestly didn't seem interested and I wasn't up to the challenge of constantly being after him to go potty. I'm pretty sure it was simply because Pull-ups weren't different enough from diapers and they were too hard to check for dryness. So I put it off- because honestly I wasn't convinced he was ready and I knew that if his heart wasn't in it then I would be the only one being trained. 

Anyway, the potty chair had been out for a while. Over the next few months we prepped mentally more than anything. We bought a potty training book. We checked out some potty training books from the library. We talked about staying clean and dry. Periodically I'd ask him if he wanted to try. Sometimes he did, sometimes he didn't. We saw the thicker white cotton training pants at Target that I've always looked for but never seen-- and next to them big boy underwear with all the different cool characters. Spiderman, Superman, Cars... they were all forgotten once he saw Thomas the Train. 

We got home and I told him the deal: once he could keep the white trainers clean and dry, he'd get a pair of Thomas unders. Every day he stayed clean and dry after that, he'd get a new pair. We still let that idea simmer for a couple of weeks (yeah, I wasn't just procrastinating the dreaded chore... it was all completely intentional.....). Finally, one day at the grocery store I decided to bite the bullet and let him choose his potty treats. Salty goldfish and sugary cookies to induce thirst, 100% fruit juice to increase opportunities to practice and reward-- and to "offset" the candy... right?

So we were finally ready: treats, unders, mental prep. I decided to just get started. We got up that morning, changed the diaper and went for breakfast. After breakfast, we got to work. Monkey needed to learn to go potty on the toilet. So with both boy and Monkey in new white trainers, we checked to see if Monkey had stayed clean and dry. Sure enough, he did! So Roman got to give Monkey some goldfish... which he helped him eat. Monkey played for a while and then we checked him again- still clean and dry! Another 5 goldfish... let's try sitting on the potty now. After a few minutes on the potty, we checked and Monkey had peed in it! Wow! More goldfish! Now Roman's turn to try. He's clean and dry-- treats. He sits on the potty-- pees! Yay! Now he gets to choose his treat! Cookie and a juice box. We set the timer for thirty minutes, then checked again for dryness, rewarded and went to the potty, rewarded again. 

We repeated this process with varying degrees of success throughout the day. Sometimes he peed in the toilet, sometimes he didn't, sometimes he peed his pants. The next day he got a little better, now that he really figured out the treat deal. He'd go, ask for his treat and once he finished it, ask for another one. I told him he could have another when he peed in the potty next, so pretty soon he was running back to the potty right after finishing his treat. I think he learned to hold a bit back, silly boy. He stopped being interested in checking clean and dry after the first day, so I just stuck with rewards for going potty. We started using the sticker chart that came with the book we bought and I was surprised how excited he got with that. In fact, it helped him phaseout the treats. So by the time we ran out of treats (two or three days), he was pretty much 100% addicted to the stickers anyway. Every 10 stars (successful potty trips) he got a big bear sticker on his chart. Four lines of 10 stars and he was pretty well trained. 

He also got his first pair of underwear at the end of his first day. We had a few accidents even with that as a motivator over a few days. But after about 2 weeks, we're now pretty much accident-free and I couldn't be happier about it! He's still not nighttime- or naptime- trained, but I figure he'll grow into that. Until then, nighttime unders every night. I'm so happy to be diaper-free right now! At least for a month plus some, and then back to little baby-style diapers. I can definitely handle that. 

Look, Ma! No swim diaper!

Good job Roman!