Potty Training | Week One

***This post should come with a warning label. There's a lot of poop talk. If you have little kids it will most likely not phase you at all, however if you don't have kids this post is probably going to really gross you out. No hard feelings if you just skip right over it.*** 

My intent with sharing our potty training journey is to hopefully help other parents who may feel like they're lost in the whole potty training world. And perhaps the method we followed will work for you too! I definitely don't think I have it all figured out... I mean Hank could literally be crapping his pants right this very minute... but I am definitely feeling less overwhelmed than I used to. I was SO overwhelmed and confused about how to start the process and constantly worried. I worried that by "pushing him" into something he wasn't ready for, I could possibly be traumatizing my child for life.

I'm not kidding you when I say that this has been a process a full year in the making. We have started and stopped one million times and every time we would get to the same spot: Henry would have the pee thing down and continue to crap in his pants. Diaper. No diaper. Big boy underwear. He didn't care. We tried everything, including saying, "We'll have to throw your special big boy underwear away of you go potty in them." Didn't care. He would poop in them and then go "Ok, I have to go throw them away now, Mom. Bye bye Buzz Lightyear undies." Not exactly the reaction we were going for.

 I know now that the reason we hit so many hiccups was because of me and my not knowing what the heck I was doing.

We went to JC Penny's over the weekend as a family, super dorky, right? Well, they are supposedly adding a Sephora to our local store and that is a big deal for this small town. We wanted to see how it was coming along. a.k.a. Mama wanted to know when it would be up and running. When browsing through the men's department, Henry went right over to the underwear section and asked us if he could buy some. He said he wanted to be a big boy and "pee and poop in the potty now." We both thought it was the cutest frickin' thing we had ever seen, and also hilarious because they were men's underwear. So we took him over to the little boys section and let him pick out his own big boy underwear- Paw Patrol ones of course. We got home that night and I thought, you know what, tomorrow is the day! If your kid is old enough to ask for undies and knows what it means when you wear them, then we needed to help him get to that point. Thus, we began potty training Hank. 

I decided I was just going to buy a book on my iPad and read through it that night as fast as I could and we would start the next morning. I don't really know why I hadn't just purchased a book a while ago? I mean, I had to buy one when he was a newborn on sleep training as well. On Becoming Babywise saved my life those first few weeks/months. By the way, no one warns you that you have to teach your baby how to sleep. Seriously. Who would have thought you have to teach your kid to sleep? Sleep. The thing all of us non-kids fight so hard to get more of. For some reason, that was a big surprise to me as a new mom. So it figures I'd need to buy a parenting book on potty training- there's no shame in my self-help game.

***For all of you interested, here is the potty training book I ended up reading, and it was a serious lifesaver***

Turns out, I was doing A LOT wrong.... like waiting until he told me he was ready? I don't know what crack I was smoking but the book enlightened me to the fact that that child just simply does not exist. And when I stopped to really think about it, it made perfect sense. A diaper is all he has ever known. It's like a security blanket. Not to mention, ever so convenient. Long story short... I was needing to be committed and consistent, as the book says.  And that I was certainly not. I was trying to not "push it," so when he wanted to go on the potty he would, and when he resisted I'd let him call the shots. Big. Mistake. All that did was send mixed messages that you only sometimes need to go on the toilet. Oops. I tried everything from sticker charts, candy, and even bribery. But the book talks about how that's not so much the direction you want to take, because why reward them for expected behavior? Not to mention, you are going to have to keep upping the ante to keep them interested and doing what you want them to do.

So basically we went cold-turkey-no-more-diapers and followed the simply explained steps in the book, and it's working! If your child is like mine then you will want to hide all the diapers because they'll go straight for that drawer and ask for one- another big red flag that they are overdue for training, says the book. So basically, hide them.  

Day one // 
We stared him out bare-bottomed, as instructed, which was adorable because he was fully clothed including the tube socks and shoes he insisted on wearing. Not a single accident. But he's smart and he was holding his poop until his naptime diaper. And that's exactly what happened. So that was a bummer, but he finished the day with no further accidents and wore a diaper to bed at night. 

Day two //
This day went the same as day one, he was naked except for a short time we played outside, which I brought his potty out there with us. I suspected a poo was a-brewin'. 
Nap time I decide to forgo the diaper and I layed a doggy potty pad down in his bed and told him "You know where your potty is if you need to use it."
Have you ever seen that Clorox bleach commercial? Where the kid comes running down the hallway going "Mommy, mommy! I went potty!!!" and he's carrying his little potty and splashing everything on the floor. #relatable
About twenty minutes into his nap he comes running out of his room going "Mama, I went poo poo!" And sure enough he did! Hallelujah! So I knew then that diapers were a no-go from here on out. Holding it in was just purely a behavior thing and not him needing further learning. The rest of the day went well and we diapered him for nighttime. 

Day three //
Day three was great except I got a little ahead of myself and decided he was ready for pants. Which ended up with him starting to go number 2 in them and me rushing him to the potty. Once we got there we had a big power struggle about him refusing to sit down and finish. So I knew we had moved a little too quickly with the pants. We proceeded the rest of day three as we did the day before and had the same Clorox commercial moment about a half an hour into his naptime. Diaper for bedtime this day too.

Day four //
I decided we would try again with pants, but commando, no undies. The morning went great, and as usual he had no pee pee accidents. He was going when prompted and sometimes on his own. And then the prenaptime/poop-time was arriving and I could tell he needed to go. He was resisting my encouragement to go sit on his potty, which I also knew meant he needed to go. But I had also learned that pressing the issue too hard would result in a power struggle that I would untimely end up loosing, so I chose to back off and just say, "Well you know we're your potty is when you're ready." I went to go put Jack down for his nap and Matt came home for lunch. I walked into the kitchen and Matt goes, "Ummm, I think Hen has a situation." Haha. He was standing there, doing a weird side-step dance and had completely crapped his pants.
...big sigh...
This left me feeling so frustrated and confused. He had been doing so well! And he knows exactly what he's supposed to do! I just hope that was such an uncomfortable feeling for him that he doesn't ever do that again. Who am I kidding, he'll probably do it again. I let him continue with pants but no undies the rest of the day. Thankfully no more accidents for the rest of the day. I put him to bed that night with no diaper and woke him to go pee twice before I went to bed that night. Both times he went and thankfully went right back to bed afterwards. I diapered him then too, and he woke with a dry diaper! Yay! 

***By the way, potty training a child when you have a younger child as well is quite the circus act. Jack likes to be front and center for all the action so I'm constantly trying to keep him from playing in the toilet or throwing his toy with laser speed and precision into said toilet. I swear that kid waits for the perfect moment. I'll be helping Hank pull up his pants or something, and then Jack pounces. I'll tell you though, he will be potty trained at a MUCH younger age than his big brother.***

I'm hoping that it all keeps going as smoothly as it's been (pun intended). The book really emphasizes to look for and celebrate progress and not perfection


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