The Chocolate Lady

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Potty Training, Step 1

My background in behavioral psychology has allowed my the fun task of lecturing families on potty training. Teaching parents how to recognize the first signs of readiness, the details of rewarding the child, and even how to "schedule train" those children, that for medical reasons, might never be able to go on their own.

If there is one thing that I feel strongly about, it's DONT HURRY THE CHILD. With the exception of those with mental of physical handicaps, everyone ends up potty trained. There is no contest to be the first to go in the toilet. And, truth be told, and my lazy nature to blame, I would much rather my kids stay in diapers for a while, it's easier than the inevitable accidents that come when kids train too early. Im not fond of being at Target with a child who doesnt have the muscle strength to hold it, KWIM?

**Yes, Grandma J, we know you successfully had all of your children potty trained by the age of 1, and you dont like my approach, but anyways...**

Little One has been showing those early signs; becoming aware that she potties.

It started a week or two ago at the pool, when she feverishly started to pull off her little jeans in the midst of Poopers swim team workout. At first I thought she didnt like the pants, but after a few days of the same behavior, I realized that she is now aware of when her diaper is wet, and she doesnt like it!

The past week has been spent changing her constantly, because as soon as she pees, she starts trying to get her diaper off, no matter where we are...pants off, hands in diaper, pulling on diaper, anything she can do to get away from the wetness.

I have found her running around bare bottomed, with her damp diaper left somewhere else in the house. She has made her point, she only wants to be dry.

The real kicker, is when she poops (which I usually change as soon as I know she has gone....which, apparently isnt fast enough!) She has stuffed her hand in her diaper a couple of times now! ACK!! I am now developing paranoia over her getting poop all over herself or the house! Which is probably, in part, due to the troubles we had with Beauty when she went through this stage (much earlier than her sister).

From the age of 8 months, as soon as Beauty pooped, she would immediately start taking it out of her diaper! We even had to replace the carpet in her bedroom, brand new carpet in our brand new house, because after trying to spot clean by hand, and even renting the industrial cleaning machine from the supermarket, I could still smell the poop!

So, Im taking extra measures to keep Little One from going that route; putting her in jumpers and onesies so she cant get easy access into her diaper, running around smelling her bottom CONSTANTLY to make sure she hasnt pooped, and changing her incessantly to keep her from getting uncomfortable (which leads to the strip down.)

This is the first step in the many that will follow over the next year or two....or three, when she finally reaches that independent stage. In a nutshell, we are embarking into the journey of potty training, wish me luck!


The Running Girl said...

I'm so glad my kids are way past that stage. I don't miss it one bit. Good luck.


Anonymous said...

Oh, how exciting to have a "comrade in training." I was a slow learner for my own mother, not achieving potty training status until 17 months. Grandma J must have learned some tricks from the Chinese or something. Daughter #2 is much harder to train than her older sister, who so easily mastered the task in just a week or so. I think that the second one's feisty spirit (read contrary and defiant nature) combined with her complete lack of a desire to please her parents might have something to do with her resistance in this matter. Somehow the lure of treats and exciting new big girl panties and all the other bribes (and threats) don't seem to work. Could it be that the experts are right that every child learns on her own schedule???? Heaven help us, and our carpets too.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, meant to sign the above post.

Karen B.

Grandma J said...

No Chinese magic here!
We didn't have disposable diapers way back when my kids were toddlers. Those cloth diapers, coupled with plastic/rubber pants had to be the most uncomfortable thing in the world. Just a little bit of wetness was enough to cause a rash, and believe me, wearing a cloth diaper all night was enough for a one year old to figure out the toilet was a better option.