Potty Training Day 1
Yesterday was “P Day.”“P” stands for pee-pee, poop, and PANTIES. I’m sure you know where this is going.
On the recommendation of a friend I downloaded Lora Jensen’s book, “3 Day Potty Training”. It took about 20 minutes to get through the whole book. Gotta love that!
A few interesting things about Lora’s method:
- She makes a case for not asking a child if they need to go potty, instead saying “Tell me when you need to go potty, ok?” It’s subtle, but I like her point that it helps the child learn when they need to go potty instead of becoming dependent on caregivers to tell them when to go.
- She considers using training pants or vinyl covered panties “crutches,” saying “You shouldn’t be going anywhere during the three days of training and after the three days, there won’t be a need.”
- She discourages letting children sit on the potty for long periods of time, saying “Let them see if they need to go, and if nothing, take them down. Your action of picking the child up and running them to the bathroom to do business helps the whole thing to ‘click’ with the child.”
If nothing else, her book helped me shift from overwhelmed to confident and excited. She provides a clear strategy and lists items that will be needed and tasks that should be done ahead of time. Check. Check. Aaaand check!
This morning my daughter went pee in her potty right after waking up and received her much anticipated first pair of panties. We don’t use external reward systems in our parenting, but we decided to make an exception just this once and had lots of goodies ready. Totally unnecessary. My daughter wore those panties like they were Cinderella’s ball gown.
Early morning was super easy. Loving her new panties (and the action of pulling them up and down) she went pee in the potty a zillion times. I got over confident.
10:24 a.m — First Accident
Poop! I wasn’t even in the room like I was supposed to be. Lora insists that we keep the child in our sight the entire time, but my daughter was doing so well I forgot it was my job to ensure her success. So when Gigi yelled accident and she started crying I ran her to the potty, chastising myself the whole way. It broke my heart so see her so upset, but I sat her on the potty and cheered because she “finished” on the potty. I’m surprised I didn’t give myself a hernia gyrating and cheering like a madwoman, but it would have been worth it even if I had. The sight of mommy’s funny dance had her wanting to try again a couple minutes later!
10:30 am – First Rebound
Goes pee in the potty 3 times! Just getting her mojo back, I think.
Not a Play By Play
I doubt you want a play-by-play, so here’s the short version: my daughter had an accident during naptime even though she emptied her bladder a zillion times before we laid down. Also, I got her a little too preoccupied playing in the backyard and she had a BM but she came running to me and tried to make it to the potty. My heart has never before swelled with pride over poop, but it did today. We had a lot of fun outside though.
As day 1 wrapped she began encouraging me in the restroom. I guess after almost twelve hours of discussing and celebrating every potty success she felt it was fair game ; – ) Overall, my sweet girl had a fantastic day. She received quality time, love and support. She was celebrated and so were her successes. I really enjoyed it too, although it was pretty exhausting. I’m heading to bed early in hopes that I’ll be coherent enough to recognize her “need to go” signs tomorrow. Guess that probably depends on how many times I have to change the sheets tonight.
7:24 am: It’s Day 2 and I want to quit. I’m exhausted. In her book, 3 Day Potty Training, Lora Jensen stresses the importance of letting everything else go for this short period of time. Did I listen to her? No. Yesterday I still made three meals from scratch, cleaned the house for a showing, did exercises to prevent my diastasis (abdominal separation) from getting worse, and blogged. I consider this blog an opportunity to review the day and make adjustments so I’ll continue doing it, but I’m done with trying to be superwoman.
My precious girl slept great last night. She had an accident and slept right through it. I tossed and turned, obsessed with helping her get to the potty before she went pee in the bed. Laying in bed awake isn’t part of the program, but after a day obsessed with checking on the status of her bladder I found it almost impossible to “turn off” when I needed to. I finally woke her up at 4:30 am and took her to the potty. The trip was successful, but we never got fully back to sleep after that.
Daniel preserved the integrity of this operation by opting to work from home today. The hour he usually commutes home from work is allocated as a break for me. Bless that man. I need some time to recover from my poor choices, and this is my one free pass. If you are going to attempt this, set EVERYTHING else aside and take care of yourself and your child. There is just no other way.
7:36 am After a sip of Gigi’s coffee I have recommitted. I will do this.
9:21 am Went pee on the floor while engrossed in water coloring.
2:26 pm Dry panties after a 2.5 hour nap! Success feels good!
One of the most surprising things about the last two days is how intensely she is soaking in my undivided attention. I had imagined some frustration on her part, but all she seems to notice is that for now we are glued at the hip. Go figure, she likes it.
There is a real world out there, and in that world I need to finish our taxes and locate some maternity clothes I accidentally put in storage. But this experience has reinforced something it has taken me awhile to figure out. Time together does not always equate quality time. Our relationship thrives when I intentionally make her my sole focus on a regular basis. Right now, that means the zoo every Friday morning. The time we spend there enjoying each other makes the other six days of the week a thousand times easier.
I started this day feeling completely defeated. Caffeine got me so far, but what really saved me were the helpful tips ya’ll shared in my comment section. The advice was so good I plan on using every single piece of it to get to the finish line. Thank you and keep the encouragement/help/opinions coming!!!
Great news!!! My girl is completely potty trained!
Ha ha. I am NOT serious. April Fools!
On to the real post:
Remember how I said I was done being superwoman? Scratch that. Since I am pregnant AND selling our house AND potty training, I was planning to ask my mom for help with making some meals this week. She, um, started packing and made up this crazy story about having planned a trip to my sisters long in advance. Like I am going to buy that! (Love you, Gigi)
So, no help on the meal front and I don’t want to let my groceries go bad. Have I mentioned yet that Daddypotamus is sick? Yeah, that too. So it is me vs. potty training/keep house clean so it will sell/make meals. Bring it on!! Just kidding, I am so scared I am about to pee my pants (but I won’t because that would be a very bad example!)
Last night I tried to do some prep ahead of time to keep things simple, if you call simple grinding wheat in your front yard at 10 pm because it’s too loud to do in the house. The upside of making mayonnaise and starting the pizza and tortilla dough is that I got to see a beautiful full moon.
Nice view for grinding wheat, don’t you think? Now, jumping right in . . .
I sent this question to Lora Jensen about her book, 3 Day Potty Training, a few days ago:
How do they transition into sensing when they need to urinate while they’re asleep so that they wake up and go to the restroom? Not sure if this would affect anything but we do co-sleep with her.
Julie Jensen responded (her daughter, maybe?). Here’s what she had to say:
Co-sleeping shouldn’t have a large effect on the training, however, you just have to put up with accidents in your bed. If she does have accidents during the nights, the best way to teach her how to wake prior to when she would release is to pin point when the accidents are happening. Once you have an idea of when they occur, then you should begin taking her to the potty just prior to those times, before the accident takes place. If you do this consistently to where she has multiple dry nights, then she is going to learn to wake herself and go potty before releasing in her bed. It could take a few nights to get your times accurate enough, but once you do, it will be smooth sailing from there.
Last night, my girl stayed dry from 7pm – 4am. Nine hours! I checked her at 4am and she was dry. I asked her to tell me if she needs to go potty she was so out she didn’t even respond. Five minutes later she started moving around and was sopping wet. So now we’ve pin pointed “accident hour.”
Today we prepped for night time training by laying in bed and pretending to be asleep. Then I would say “Sweet girl, wake up. Tell me if you need to go potty, ok?” She loves this game, and I hope it helps because so far she has simply ignored me every time I try to wake her.
Move move move!
She was dry for 2 hrs at naptime until I dawdled in bed for 30 seconds after she woke up. Sheesh, no margin here!
When will it “click”?
It’s obvious: there is no going back now. Unfortunately, I don’t think my daughter has connected the urge to potty with the need to tell me and hurry to the restroom. We have been mostly accident free because I constantly say “Tell mommy if you need to go potty, ok?” She has yet to volunteer that she needs to go potty at any other time than immediately after I say that to her.
As part of our Day 1 ceremony we packed away all of her cloth diapers and put the changing table in the garage. Lora says the purpose is to communicate the end of the diapering stage to the child, but I think it is really for the parent. My daughter has made a lot of progress in the last 3 days, but I don’t feel very confident going back to life as normal, especially to run errands and such. In some ways I’d love to go back to diapers because it is predictable, but I won’t. So I have a few questions for you moms who have already blazed this trail.
- How did it “click” for your child?
- How did you handle going potty away from home? I don’t go many places but I am considering taking a little potty chair everywhere with me because public toilets are gross!
Thank you in advance.
It has been exactly one month since my sweet girl put on her first pair of big girl panties. Lora Jensens 3 Day Potty Training method helped us make a lot of progress, but things have not worked out quite as expected.
Let’s review some of the principles I shared on Day 1’s post:
She makes a case for not asking a child if they need to go potty, instead saying “Tell me when you need to go potty, ok?” It’s subtle, but I like her point that it helps the child learn when they need to go potty instead of becoming dependent on caregivers to tell them when to go.
After the thousandth time I said “Tell me if you need to go potty, okay?” She began completely ignoring me. If I don’t remind/cajole/make her go my ears are regaled with the sound of splashing urine on the tile kitchen floor.
She considers using training pants or vinyl covered panties “crutches,” saying “You shouldn’t be going anywhere during the three days of training and after the three days, there won’t be a need.”
After two solid weeks of washing our bed sheets I cried “Uncle!” on this one. She still wears regular panties during the day but I called Kristi over at Hip Green Baby to talk nighttime pants. To my surprise, she offered me five pairs of barely-used trainers that her sister-in-law was getting rid of for free! Gotta say, that is one of the perks of supporting local businesses. They care and stuff.
Thank you Kristi! This pregnant momma is finally getting some rest!
She discourages letting children sit on the potty for long periods of time, saying “Let them see if they need to go, and if nothing, take them down. Your action of picking the child up and running them to the bathroom to do business helps the whole thing to ‘click’ with the child.”
We’ve actually abided by this recommendation, but judging by the number of BM accidents we’ve had I’m not sure we should be.
Oh, and remember when I said this?
We don’t use external reward systems in our parenting, but we decided to make an exception just this once and had lots of goodies ready. Totally unnecessary. She wore those panties like they were Cinderella’s ball gown.
Turns out when it comes to getting my child to go potty or eat her veggies I am a reward mama after all. “Yes you can have some pineapple after you potty” is now a common phrase in this house.
Fruit works wonders with this girl.
All-in-all, I would say my little girl is trainedish. She is more aware of her body and tells me immediately if there is an accident. Lora Jensen’s method gave me a strategy to get started with and we’ve made adjustments from there. So although I didn’t get the results Lora says are typical I’m still glad I bought her ebook. I think (at least I hope) we’ll have this thing down pat before Babypotamus is born.