Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Advertures in Potty Training

Disclaimer...I'm sure you all don't care about Delaney's bathroom habits, but I wanted to record this for future reference for myself.  I threw in the pictures to keep you entertained while I ramble on.

Well, we did it.  We have officially started the potty training process.  Last Saturday morning, Delaney said "Good-bye" to her diapers and opened three fun new sets of "Big Girl Pants".  Of course, she had no idea of what any of this meant, but we went with it.  I broke out my old running watch that has a nice little timer feature, and we went to work.  The words, "Delaney, do you need to go potty?" have become my new catch phrase.  I probably have asked her this 1,000 times in the last 4 days.  I'm sure she's just as tired of hearing it as I am of asking it.  She almost always replies, "No, Mommy!"  So, whenever we are nearing the 20-30 minute mark, I make her go sit and try.  She inevitably has to go every time.  Seriously, this girl is like a never ending fountain!  We made 25 successful trips to the Big Girl Potty yesterday alone...25, translation 50 M&Ms.

Yes, I am following a reward system.  After taking a poll of the best Moms I know and reading a lot on the subject online, I decided rewards were the way to go.  Positive reinforcement+the least amount of negativity (meaning, not screaming at her for an accident)=SUCCESS!  I know my kid loves her sweets, so I thought M&Ms would be a good choice...simple, low-mess, cheap, etc.  (The hardest part is keeping Craig out of the bowl!)  Anyway for every successful #1, she gets two M&Ms.  They are the Valentine's variety, so they are all pink and very girly!  She also gets one Elmo sticker to put on her board.  I bought this Elmo Potty coloring book for $2 at Target last week, and it came with this little poster tracking system, so I figured we'd give that a whirl too.  It also gives us something to talk about while she's "trying".  Most of the time I am reminder her of the rewards, she is not asking for them.

Successful #2 trips trigger a full on fiesta at our house.  There is singing, dancing, and lots of rewards!  She gets a small Sesame Street little toy figurine, 6 Smarties candies, One big punching balloon (6-pack out of the $1 section at Target), and a big Sesame Street sticker.  She is having lots of fun with all her new stuff.  Of course, Izzy HATES all the balloons, but the rest of us like them.  Delaney is understanding that she gets rewards for successes and nothing for the failures, but I don't think we are the point where she is just going for the candy...YET!  When we get there, we will stop the excessive rewards!

Generally speaking, we have had very few accidents since we began the process.  Four times each of the first three days, and then absolutely NONE yesterday!   Yesterday, she even started telling me when she needed to go BEFORE she was going.  PROGRESS!!!  We've been taking it one step at a time, so now we are working on the logistics.  Next up, pulling down her own pants.  I already know that as soon as she figures this out, it will backfire and we'll have a streaker running down the street!  Unfortunately, it's a risk we will have to take as sooner or later she has to be able to do this process on her own.  My little girl is growing up!
So, I initially though that I was wasting my time.  Holly is closed this week, and Delaney had some signs of readiness, so I thought we'd give it a try.  I didn't have high hopes or expectations.  We showed no improvement from Day 1-Day 3, and she showed really no interest in the process.  She didn't get mad when she had the accidents in her new pants.  She didn't care when I told her "we don't go potty in our pants".  She showed no inkling of understanding what we were trying to do!  She immediately recognized when she had an accident and told us, but she wasn't completely upset about it like I thought she might be.  She has also requested her "Dora pants" a few times, which I didn't think was a good sign!

Delaney is not ready for sleepy time potty training!  She just isn't!  She's too young, she sleeps too hard, she doesn't have enough control etc.  The first day I tried nap time with just "Big Girl Pants" and towels, and that was an epic fail.  We have been using Pull-ups for naps and overnight since, and so far it is working fine.  There is no regression between the two.  I'm completely fine with this system for a while.  She isn't even 2 yet, so I feel like there is no reason to push our luck.  She has even been waking up drier (not completely dry, but not soaked like normal) in the morning, so maybe we are making progress there too!  

So, we aren't there yet, but we have made some huge strides in the last few days.  We have 4 more days at home until life returns to normal, and Delaney goes back to Holly's.  I hope by then we are making less trips to the bathroom every day, and Delaney is able to handle more of the process for herself so she doesn't completely monopolize Holly's time.  I expected far more stress with this, so I am pleasantly surprised thus far.  The process of this is absolutely exhausting, but the thought of never having to buy diapers again (for Delaney at least) is amazing!  I'm so proud of my little, BIG girl!

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