Potty Training 101 - The No Method, Method.
I can’t believe I’m writing a potty training blog, already! I remember starting Milkstains & Meltdowns with an infant on my boob writing about nursing, postpartum, sleep struggles and blowouts. It seems as if I blinked and she was potty trained. Yup, full on potty trained in two days. Full on meaning she only needs a diaper at night and no accidents.
I did not anticipate it being this easy because we tried to potty train her at 23 months, and it went right over her head. She definitely understood the concept. She had been showing a ton of interest in everyone else’s bathroom experience so we thought she was ready. It went well for a day. She peed on the potty a few times but, when she pooped on her potty it was the end of our potty training days for the next few months. “YUCK MOMMY YUUUUUCK”. Full blown meltdown because she was absolutely disgusted. Until this week.
It started out a typical day: groceries, tantrums, snacks, more tantrums, more snacks, messes and snuggles... The main reason for the meltdowns? We were clashing was because she would not keep her diaper on. Every time I turned around she was pant-less. She even tried to get out of her clothes at Costco… She has never tried to get naked in public! A few days earlier I made a decision that essentially kick started our potty training No-Method-Method. I bought really cheap diapers. It was a quick purchase because we were running late and out of diapers. They didn’t have her typical Huggies Diaper Pants so I bought the generic brand and thought “for a couple days she could deal with this discount brand”
Turns out, she couldn’t “deal” with it and wanted them off.
On Sunday night she came up to me and told me she was going to poop, I said “do you want to go on the big girl toilet?” - YESSSSS. And she ran to the bathroom. She pooped on the toilet and was SO proud of herself. That was a change from the last attempt. I didn’t think too much of it because I didn’t think potty training was in the near future but, the next day when her diapers were being found all over the house and she refused to put them back on I decided to let her run around naked. I put her potty in her play area and told her to use the potty to pee. To my surprise, she did! And continued to do so. She had two accidents the first day, the second day was a mid-accident as in she started to pee and midway realized she needed to run to her potty. By the second day we were at gymnastics and did some errands only to come home completely dry. So, after two days of potty training she stopped wearing diapers, except for at night.
What really helped was when she had accidents I just gently reminded her to go to the potty right away by singing a Daniel Tiger song “If you have to go potty, STOP, and go right away” then I would get her to finish her pee on the potty and do a big celebration no matter how little the pee, or the attempt. I would congratulate her, do the potty dance and give her “Potty Treats”. I got a great deal on Valentine’s Day Smarties and loaded up! Every time she successfully went on the potty she got a very small box of Smarties. If nothing else, that was her incentive to keep trying. There were no accidents by day 3. By day 4 she was longer yelling at me “PEE” until after, when she needed to wash her hands. She has the getting undressed and dressed down to a tee and has even come around to pooping on the potty. My favorite part? Other than no longer changing diapers is definitely the proud look on her face every time she goes to the potty. Before becoming a mom I would have never expected my heart to burst at the sight of pee but, here we are in a full choreographed Potty Dance with tears in my eyes cheering her on and I wouldn’t change a thing.
Our only set back was on Day 5. We were at a friends for a playdate. With all the excitement of a new place, a new friend and new toys, her new skill stayed home. For the first little while, at least. She peed in her pants twice while at her friends house but, I learned my lesson right away: always show her where the potty is before letting her get busy playing. Thankfully I always bring extra clothes.
Now on day 14, I am confident enough to say: Jaxzen was potty trained in 2 days! Not a single accident since Day 5. We have been in the car for a long period of time, ran errands, visited some friends, even went to gymnastics DIAPER FREE without any accidents. I am extremely grateful for this seamless transition. I’ll have a follow-up blog on phasing out nighttime diapers because for the most part she wakes up dry but, I don’t want to change her bedding in the middle of the night if she does have an accident so I’m not chancing it. For right now, I am going to call this one a Mom Win. However, can I really take credit for something she was obviously ready for? Yeah, I can and I will. I’d say we both nailed potty training!
Good luck! Stay latched for updates.