I am ecstatic to report – at 28 months, Sassafras is fully potty-trained, and she got it the first day!
Potty training is one of those anxiety-inducing things that I have dreaded since having a child. You can put it up there with sleep training and breastfeeding, although now having gone through the potty training process, I can say that (for us) it was much easier than I could have ever dreamed. I have heard and read so many stories about the difficulties in potty training, potty training regression, potty accidents, and resisting the potty, and somewhere in my mind I imagined not one, but all of these things happening in the process. It is no wonder I was not in any kind of rush to get her trained; but I knew one day I would have to bite the bullet and she would have to learn how to pee in a toilet.
About a month before potty training, I took some time to research on Hellobee to find what methods and accessories worked for our mamas in the Hive! Below are the accessories that were essential for us in our potty training process:
I have heard a lot from other moms about the 3-day potty training method, but I was too scared to go cold turkey with the diapers from Day 1. Before we began the potty training process, I decided in my mind what I would try and just see if it worked. As with anything else, I do not think there is a one-size-fits-all, no-fail approach to anything, so I modify methods as I go along and see what works for us. We decided that we would wait to nap-train and night-train once she was older and not so newly potty-trained, and our main goal was to get her day-trained.
I purposely chose a three-day weekend to train her since I would not have to take time off work, and I could get in an extra day of training with her. Here is what happened over the course of three days:
Wake up 6:45
Accident and potty 10:15
Accident and potty 10:20
Accident and potty 10:25
Successful potty 10:30
Lots of sitting on the potty with no pee
Nap and diaper
Successful potty 5:30
Successful potty 7:50
Bedtime and diaper
Wake up 7:00
Successful potty 10:30
Successful potty 11:30
Successful potty 12:25
Successful potty 6:45
Successful potty 8:25
Bedtime and diaper
Wake up 7:15
Successful potty at 8 am
Successful poop at 9:45
Successful potty 10:37
Successful potty 12:45
Nap and diaper (dry)
Successful potty 3:20
Successful potty 4:45
Successful potty 7:10
The first day was obviously the hardest day of training for both of us! Following the advice of other moms, I decided we would have her bare bottom the first day or two, so she would be able to feel the accidents more than if she was wearing anything. This worked amazingly! We quickly learned that she absolutely hated the feeling of accidents, and after first couple accidents, when she started to go, she would stop in the middle and we would run to the potty. By mid-morning, it seemed that she was beginning to understand the sensation of “having to go.”
While it was nice that she hated having accidents, this also created a mini-fear of having more accidents. She parked it on the potty for about 45 minutes, reluctant to travel to any other part of the house. I was slowly accepting my fate and thought we might be living in the bathroom for the next three days. Luckily I was able to lure her out with some lunch.
We received some encouraging messages from friends on Day 1, and decided to video call one of her best friends!
I put a diaper on her (and still do) for her nap, and by the first day’s end she was peeing on the potty! She loved the verbal praise and putting stickers on her potty chart (you can find many free, cute printable charts on Pinterest). We basically broke out into a dance party and high-fives every time she went in the potty. We also rewarded her with M&Ms for each successful potty trip. At bedtime we put a diaper on her again, and we made sure to tell her that diapers were only for sleep time now. I figured I still have about a hundred or so left, and instead of giving them all away I might as well put them to good use!
On Day 2, we put underwear on her, which she seemed to think was a huge treat! So much for buying the plain Gerber training pants; she only wanted to wear the thin cotton panties with prints! Go figure.
On Days 2 and 3, she continued to let me know when she needed to go potty and went through the two days without a single accident. On Day 3, we were brave enough to venture out to the park; a much needed break since we had been trapped in the house a full 48 hours!
Sleep: We will usually try to take Aliya to the potty before nap and bed times, but sometimes she won’t go, and will stay awake playing for another hour, and then has to go. Even though we put a diaper on her for naps and bedtime, now that she is trained she would rather be dry and hates the sensation of going in her diaper. We have noticed this has disrupted her ability to fall asleep just a little bit, and often we have to run upstairs when she yells, “I gotta go potty!” We have the froggy potty upstairs by her room and we use the WeePOD downstairs, so she uses both.
Daycare: Aliya only goes to school three days a week, so this may be why she was having so many accidents at school. I was surprised by how many accidents she was having (about 3 or 4 a day), and I figured either she was too embarrassed to tell her teacher she had to go, or too distracted. Her teacher began to catch her in the middle of accidents, and would remind her that pee and poo go in the potty. She progressively had fewer and fewer accidents, and after two weeks she had her first day with zero accidents at school! Let’s hope this continues!
Going Out: For long drives or trips out, I will usually put her in a Pull-Up for my own sanity. I was afraid to use Pull-Ups because I thought they would be a crutch and it would be too confusing for her, but she still tells me 100% of the time that she has to go, and her Pull-Up is almost always completely dry. If she was just going in her Pull-Ups all the time I might feel differently, but since she seems to get the whole process I do not have a problem using them for now.
All in all, I am so proud of my girl and have no regrets about waiting to train her. Diapers are super convenient – you can change a baby just about anywhere! Now when we are out, I immediately survey my surroundings and make sure I know where the nearest restroom is. And if you are anything like me (and constantly imagine the worst case scenarios), just remember that your child may very well surprise you, and potty training can be an exciting milestone rather than something to dread. I must say, not having to clean poop diapers anymore is fantastic.
Please share your potty training tips/experiences! I would love to hear them!