Sunday, February 9, 2014

Potty Training, Down and Dirty

I wanted to share my personal experience with potty training. If you know me at all, I am a perfectionist, by the book, scheduled, organized, blah blah blah. Type A at it's finest. With that said, I read books, follow them, and expect results.

2 weeks after Jude turned 2 we did Potty Training Boot Camp during my spring break (This was last April). He was showing the signs he was ready. We had done everything you're "supposed to do" like  have the potty seat in the bathroom for months before so they get comfortable and familiar with it, talk about it, let him watch us, yes, all of it. I had my prize baggy ready loaded with M&M mini's and gummy bears. We had a sticker chart. I had Gatorade and Sprite (drinks he'd never consumed) and new big boy undies. We were ready.

Pretty much, we let Jude go around with no underwear on for day 1. I fueled him with salty snacks and lots of liquids so he could have lots of chances to have success. We had a few accidents but a lot of success. Day 2 we put on underwear and the same, a few accidents, mostly success. By day 3, did better. Pee and Poop were going in the potty. We got 1 small treat for success and a dance and a BIG DEAL. If he had an accident, there was no consequence, we just talked about how it wasn't ok and we would try better next time. By the end of the week, we were taking Jude every 1.5 hours with success, though he still wasn't requesting it. We were happy with this and took him to school in big boy undies the following Monday.

He REFUSED to go at school. His wonderful teachers took him every hour where he would scream and cry. He would hold it until he had an accident 4 hours later. This happened all day Monday and Tuesday morning. Tuesday afternoon, he started having diarrhea. Tuesday night, he and I were both throwing up (and yes, I was 8 weeks preggo). He and I continued to have massive diarrhea and vomiting for the next 6 days, so needless to say, no one had the energy or ability to try potty training.

Once the virus was gone, Jude was terrified of going poop because it had hurt him so much while he was sick. He also wasn't doing it at school...Justin and I had no doubt we needed to just take a break until the summer when he was home with me again.

Fast forward until the end of June. Jude was 2 years 3.5 months. For 3 days I let him stay outside at my parents all day with no undies on and he got the feeling of peeing again. He was really proud of himself but he didn't want to go in the potty. No amount of rewards, praise, etc mattered to him. He only wanted to pee outside. Ok, no biggie, he's not peeing in a diaper. 2 weeks later while at the beach, with sugar free gum, new incentive from Mo Mo, he started peeing, by request, in the potty. That was it, no turning back. However, poop, another story. This child would scream, refuse, have a total melt down if you asked and/or told him to poop on the potty. He did do it a few times over the summer, but it was a battle.

I must say, Jude's natural BM time is early morning or mid day, times he wears a diaper or pull up b/c he's not ready to sleep without anything. So, having counted from July 2013 to February 2014, we only had 13 opportunities to even try to poop in the potty. The child always would wake up poopy. We practiced sitting on the potty multiple times, tried the BIGGEST rewards again, cut a hole in his diaper so he could sit on the potty with a diaper and let the poop fall through. Nope, refused. Would hold it til his tummy hurt and then go in his sleep. So finally, about a month ago, I asked him, "When do you think you should poop in the potty?" His response, "When I'm free (3)." I told him, "Ok. When you're 3, I'm throwing your diapers away." He said, "Ok Mommy, I'll be weady then." So, we've been talking about that and he seemed confident in that decision.

Last week however, he woke up early one morning crying because his bottom was burning. Apparently he had more acidic poop than normal and it had caused bad diaper rash. I told him that if he pooped in the potty, he wouldn't have to go through this any more. Last Wednesday afternoon, per request, he sat on the potty and pooped. Did it again Friday (no poop Thursday) and again on Saturday. That was it. Give him a little say, a little diaper rash, and he was ready to dang poop in the potty.

Why write about this you may ask...because there is no book that explains it all for all children. I have ready A LOT of blogs and apparently a lot of children have issues with #2. I would not have believed it had I not saw it with my own child. Since you can't force your child to have a bowel movement, we really can't control it. I'm a special education teacher people so I get behavior modification when it comes to things like this and no reward was worth it to Jude. And y'all, we offered BIG rewards. He really did have to get ready. So, yep, that's our story.

Good luck all you mothers potty training. :)

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