Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I like to Potty all the time, Potty all the time

Corwyn is making fabulous progress on the potty front. Many have asked how I did it so I thought I’d put it all in one place.

If you remember (or read back), Nathan pretty much potty trained himself. He decided he wanted to start and never looked back.

When Corwyn started showing the basic interest, I put him in a pull-up in the day and a diaper at night. I wanted the differentiation between day and night. Both end up in my bed overnight and until they are dry overnight.  This is what I did with Nathan. As with Nathan, I never called a pull-up a diaper, it was always a pull-up.  

After the incident I posted about a few weeks ago, I knew Corwyn was ready, although not really willing. Corwyn has very different motivations than Nathan does and that is a subject for another post. I’m not a big fan of using rewards, but I knew for this boy for this task, that was the route. 
I got some Wiggles stickers from the Internet (couldn’t find any local) and printed off a chart. I printed another for Nathan and got different stickers. Why does Nathan need a chart? Well, between the holidays and my caregiver being sick for more than a month, Nathan had slipped a bit. I knew he’d like the idea of the chart and would get it quickly.

To get a sticker they had to pee or poop in a potty or the toilet. I didn’t want stickers for anything negative (like not peeing in the bed at nap time etc). Once a row was complete, they would get a ‘present’. The presents are nothing big, and things I got on sale that I would have given them anyway, like a book or a puzzle. I got some small Wiggles suffies for Corwyn. I wrapped them to make it official.

Day 1: First step was getting Corwyn to take his diaper off from the night before.  Then I let him run around bottomless. It didn’t take too long before the chance appeared. He started to pee. I grabbed a potty and shoved it under the stream. Success! We celebrated (and ignored the part that started on the floor). He carried it proudly to the bathroom to be emptied. We celebrated more. Then he got a sticker and something clicked. Pee in a potty, get a Wiggles sticker. So within 5 minutes he managed to squeeze out another few drops. Another celebration and another sticker. He was hooked. So he wanted more pee to get more stickers, I have to point out that at this point, he was sort of crouched, sort of standing over the potty. And he tried, and tried and tried to get more pee out. A drop came out at the same time that some poop slid out the other side and plopped onto the floor. Again, ignore the fail part, celebrate the victory.

It was another day until he had the connection and actually sat on the potty to poop. But now he’ll do it every time and will happily tell me he’s had a ‘big, big poop’.

If he is clothed and told to, he will (usually) pee if Nathan does. Usually. If he is naked from the waist down, he will go on his own, whenever he needs to go. While I can appreciate the going on a schedule and learning to take off and put back on pants, right now his brain still needs retraining.  For his entire life up until now, he’s just peed where he is. The brain says have to pee, relax muscles. When he has nothing on his brain says have to pee, oh no, no pants, find potty, relax muscles. If he has underwear on, he just has the message have to pee, relax muscles. Eventually he’ll change to have to pee, find potty, relax muscles even when wearing underwear. But he needs more naked time to do it. I have  a great friend who is filling in for the month for my caregiver. He is wonderful and great but I think a bit uncomfortable with nekkid boys so he puts underwear on him when he comes over. He’s good about getting him to the potty on a schedule and that’s a good thing too. When their regular caregiver comes back tomorrow, he may get more nekkid time when I’m not there.

Like I said, I think the pee on a schedule method has merits too, but a kid isn’t fully potty trained until he can make the connection between having to pee and getting there himself to do it.

If I had to say a number, he’s about 75-80% there. It may be another week or two until we’re down to the odd accident. The picture below is a really good indication of how well he likes his 'presents'. Monkey and Dorothy he already had, Wags and Henry were from filling a row on his chart. 

Nathan really only needed the first day to get back into full blown toilet mode. He sometimes forgets to ask for a sticker now (which is good because his chart is full and stickers are just going on randomly now). He’s waking up dry again many mornings and once Corwyn is fully daytime trained, we’ll start night time for Nathan.

I’m happy to put the diapers behind us. It will be nice to get rid of the pull-ups at night too. In some ways it’s hard because it means their growing up. But in other ways, it’s so much nicer.

We've only had one battle for the toilet. In the picture below this was Nathan's reaction when Corwyn got there first. Nathan didn't have to actually go, but he was still put out.  

And to end on a nice note....


K J and the kids said...

I love the pictures....and any sweet sleep over with your friends picture is any mothers dream. Too cute.

melissa said...

Hooray for finding what works for your kid, when the time is right! I love the way you describe the difference between potty learning while wearing a diaper (or underwear) and potty learning with a naked bum. It makes perfect sense!