Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Potty Training

For the first time in years, 
we had no plans for Easter or Passover
so with a 3-day weekend free, what to do? 
Well, I guess we'll potty train!


Unlike my baby registry, this time I made sure to get with the right source:
 Lucie's List Potty Training Gear

1. Potty Seat
We went with the Bjorn Potty Seat
with adjustable base and a hook to hang it. 
I also grabbed the Arm & Hammer seat at Target, 
as an extra for our upstairs bathroom. 
I know it sounds silly that there would be a quality differential in toilet seats, 
but the Bjorn is soooo much nicer than the Arm&Hammer. 
 The Bjorn fits better, smoother seat, and that little "hanging hook" is just clutch. 

3. Bags of M&Ms for incentive

 (He looks so OLD in underwear. It kills me! 
He also looks like a Bobblehead in the first photo.  Photography grade: F)


Again following the Bible Lucie's List
we blocked out a weekend our schedule. 

Day 1 would be naked except for underwear. 
Day 2-3 we'd introduce pants.

The idea was to load up Aaron on liquids, 
then take him to the potty every 15-20 minutes all day long. 

Accidents would be inevitable, but it would work, right?  
:: cackle ::


Friday, Adam had to go into the office so it was just Aaron and me. 
I pumped Aaron full of water and juice, 
and took him to the potty every 15-20 minutes. 
He had 2 accidents before 8:30am but accidents happen, right? 

As soon as he goes on the potty, it'll click RIGHT?

He NEVER peed on the potty. 

We spent HOURS on the potty. 

iPad, books, iPhone, etc. 
All sorts of entertainment. 
And M&Ms as a reward. 

But he would either not pee (as in, he didn't pee at all from 8:30am - 11:00am) 
or he would have an accident 5 minutes off the potty. 

Over nap, I realized one of the issues was the "pump him full of liquids." 
All the "potty training plans" assure that kids love juice and will drink it all day. 
Aaron had a cup of juice, then zero interest. 
And since he was full from the juice, so he didn't want any water.  
Hard to get him to pee if there's no liquid to pee out!

Post-nap, my LIFESAVER neighbor/BFF brought us Chick-fil-A Frosted Lemonade, 
which Aaron sucked down with great enthusiasm. 
Surely NOW he would go? 

Countless trips to the potty 
and 5 accidents later, 

I was so defeated. 
I wanted to cry. 
It was 6pm. 
11 hours of potty training and not a single pee on the potty

He started having accidents every 5 minutes 
(as the frosted lemonade made its way through his system) 
so back to the potty we went. 
All of sudden, he looks up with a big smile at us: 
"Pee pee!" 
You'd think Adam and I won the lottery. 
We gave him an M&M and he asked for: "Mo' choc-late?" 
"You have to go pee if you want more chocolate," I explained. 
He jumped back up on the potty, 
push out a little stream of pee, 
and look up at us with a big smile waiting for "more chocolate." 
This happened 10 times in a row. 
He basically ate 10 M&Ms for dinner and I didn't care. 
After sucking down an entire Frosted Lemonade, 
we had already failed nutritionally for the day, 
so what's 10 more M&Ms? 

Back in diapers for bed and I crashed
Potty training is exhausting. 

Day 2 

Back into underwear and back to the potty. 
He had one accident late morning but that was it. 
We even ventured out to Wegmans in underwear
(I mean, he was wearing pants, y'know, over the underwear)

We used the potty before leaving the house, 
and again 10 minutes later when we arrived at Wegmans, 
and then 30 minutes later leaving Wegmans, 
and once again at home. 
(Flashback to when I was pregnant and peeing every 20 minutes!)
I packed 2 pairs of pants, 2 pairs of underwear, 
and had an absorbent pad under him in the car seat. 

And we didn't have any accidents on the outing!

Day 3 

We got a little bolder and took Aaron to church. 
I should have gone back to the nursery at 45 minutes to take him to potty, 
but I thought maybe he'd last the hour. 
Nope.  One accident at church. 

We spent the day celebrating Easter in our own low-key way. 

I think he had one more accident over lunch, 
but then we good for the rest of the day. 



I knew daycare would be tricky. 
I sent Aaron in with 3 spare pants and 3 spare underwear. 

When I texted Adam the good news, 
he responded with: 
 "I don't believe it.  Seriously, I NEVER imagined he would go accident free!" 
Of course, Aaron then had an accident when we got home, 
but I take the blame since I opted to change out of my work clothes first rather than prioritizing potty.

Tuesday: 2 Accidents outside, including a massive poop 
This is mildly funny only because the poop was soooooo overdue. 
I read its normal for kids to kind of stop pooping during potty training, 
and well, it happened. 

But after those 2 accidents at daycare, he didn't have any at home!

As of right now, we average about 1-2 accidents a day. 
These accidents most often come from 
(a) our failure as parents to stay on top of his potty habits 
and (b) him being outside and not wanting to come in.
Every time he has an accident, 
he shouts: "Uh oh!  Uh oh!" 
And BOLTS for the bathroom. 
"Ah-ron pee! Ah-ron pee!" 
I've noticed that his "accidents" are getting lighter and lighter, 
so I think he starts to pee and then stops himself, 
which is fantastic.

He wears diapers for nap and nighttime, 
and I expect the latter to extend for many months. 
Hell, I wet the bed till I was like 7 or something, 
so I have low expectations for the overnight potty training. 

Lessons Learned 

1. When the experts say "pump the kid full of liquids," they REALLY MEAN IT. 
If we had found a drink for Aaron to chug earlier 
(I'm thinking milkshakes), 
I think we would have had success far earlier than we did. 

2. Day 1 really IS the worst.

3. Once "trained," we still have to be constantly on top of his potty habits. 
Being such a get-out-of-the-house-and-go family, 
I see this being a big adjustment for our weekend habits. 
Even just going to the park after daycare will require a potty break. 

And that's our status as of right now. 
I expect improvement, 
but I'm also prepared for regression. 
He has a sleepover this weekend for our Monthly Kid Swap, 
so that could be interesting to see how he does at someone else's house. 
Crossing fingers!


  1. Glad to hear that it mostly went well! My sis said that the biggest struggle with her son was not necessarily getting him to use the potty, but getting him to TELL them when he needed to potty. So I'll be interested to hear more about Aaron's potty-training adventures so I can take notes for when it's our turn!

    And I can't remember if you answered this in e-mail or not, but what made you decide to go ahead and do it now?

  2. Go Emily! I know so many parents who give up after a hard first day. I can tell he's totally ready by the fact that he runs to the bathroom when he starts to have an accident. We always tell parents at our school that a child is ready for potty training once he recognizes that he is wet and finds that feeling uncomfortable.