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Adventures in Potty Training (cont)

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Day two went much like day one. He would try to hold it, wasn’t sure exactly how to let it go on the potty, and then in the late morning, before his nap, we had our “a-ha” moment. He had done the stop and start wetting himself all morning, but he hadn’t done anything substantial, if you know what I mean. I could tell that he was holding it in and trying not to get wet, and it was getting hard to hold it in.

So, after the third pair of pants and underpants had to be put in the laundry, I sat him on the potty and said, “Oh, I forgot something. Stay there, I’ll be right back.” Gave him a huge smile and stood right outside the door. It worked. He let go. I walked backed in slowly with a smile and said, “Yes! That’s it buddy!” And he froze and stopped. I continued, “That’s right, let it go, that’s perfect!” So he let go again and I literally saw the click in his eye. He finally understood that while on the potty he could let it go all the way. And he did.

We’ve never had an accident since (knocks on wood). Not one. He hated being wet so much, and we got rid of all the diapers, so he knew he had to figure this out. And figure out he did.

Now, there has to be a distinct section here for number two. It’s a whole other adventure for these kids and it takes a little bit more attention. I’ve heard that kids think that it’s actually a “part of them” and it can be really scary to let it go. I don’t understand that, but I will say that I witnessed it. It’s a different territory and it needs different attention.

We haven’t had an accident in this area, and I think that’s mostly because of my son’s tidy nature, but I could be wrong about that…maybe that’s just the way it is. But the first time he realized he had to go, and that I wouldn’t give him a diaper to go in, there were tears, upset and genuine fear. I put him on my lap and smiled at him and said, “I know you’re about to do something new and that it feels a little bit weird, huh.” He whimpered and nodded. “And you know what? You can do this buddy. It’s new, it’s different and I’m going to be here with you, you’re going to be OK. I promise.”

It took about five minutes of coaxing, and he did it. He was talking to himself the entire time, “It’s OK, it’s OK, it’s OK” over and over again. Kind of broke my heart and made me proud at the same time. Proud he could talk to himself and sad that it was so scary for him. I kept smiling and nodding and giving him encouragement. He was so proud. He stared into the toilet in awe. There was evidence, he had done it. He got his special Disney sticker and he told everyone we saw for days.

I sighed with relief knowing that if he could do this once, we were on our way. And we have been. He’ll hold it in at times because it’s still a little scary. And a few days after this first time, it took me almost two hours to get him to go. So it took a while, but again, once they’ve done it one time, we know that they can do it. From there, it’s positive encouragement and ignoring the accidents.

I cannot believe that this much of my life has been spent on this topic, and I’m so grateful that we only have to do this once. I mean, could you imagine if we had to do this over and over again? HA HA. No thanks. Anyway, I hope this has been helpful if you’re about to embark on your first potty adventure.

Here’s the quick list of things I learned, I hope they help!

1 – Be patient with your little one. While we take for granted this process every day, it is very new to them, and they really have to learn what happens when they don’t pay attention to the signs, and what happens when they’re able to make it. Our kids do not have accidents to upset us, they don’t know how this works yet. A little one is doing the best he or she can, try and remember that when you see that little puddle.

2 – Remember that you only have to do this once.

3 – Keep a sense of humor when you can. For your own sense of sanity, try to find the humor in it all. It’s crazy that we have to learn how to do this! (Obviously, don’t ever let your child see you laugh! You don’t want them to think you’re laughing at them!)

4 – Do take the time to train for sleep as well as waking times all at once. Telling your child that there are no more diapers, and then putting on a diaper at night, can confuse them or make them feel there are times that going to the potty isn’t necessary.

5 – The night training can take up to two weeks. Be patient. Let them wet the bed. Protect the mattress, use towels under the flat sheet and be prepared to do a lot of laundry. Every mom I know that waited for the night/nap training had a child who would wet the bed longer. Rip off the band-aid and go for it.

6 – Don’t go back. Once you tell your child that the diapers are gone, stick to your guns. The regression would be horrific and you will regret it. Stick with the laundry, the accidents and the clean up and go for it.

Author: Sarah

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