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April 6, 2011

Adventures in Potty Training: Getting Ready

Potty training is something we all look forward to...well kind of. For me it was one less child in diapers, not that I don't LOVE my cloth diapers but seriously when your child screams and kicks like a wild hyena its something you look forward to. But here is the thing...where in the world do you start?

I have had my share of experience with potty training. Not that I'm bragging about it because trust me when I say that my child was nothing like the other children I have trained. I worked as an early preschool teacher which was with ages 2 1/2 to 3 years old. It was my job to teach the children their ABC's, 1 2 3's etc...yeah not really, we called my class the Potty Training Class. Stick me in a room with ZERO experience in potty training with EIGHT 2 1/2 year olds by myself and see what happens. Potty Training happens.

I was probably way more excited when I got the first kid potty trained than the kids parents were. But seriously having to change 8 diapers every 2 hours gets really old, really fast and really stinks....literally PHEW! So that is where I learned about potty training. It is a total trial and error. Every child is completely different. Parents methods are completely different, some parents don't even seem to care that your potty training their child. (Note to self and other parents: If you have a child at a day care center check in with the teachers at the end of the day to see how things are going, feel free to ask what works for them, share what works for you, let them know how you do it so they can do it the same way.)
(okay, so hes not ready yet (only 19 months old) but what does it hurt to get him introduced to the idea? )

Anyways, it was getting close to the time of me wanting to start potty training my E-man. How did I know/why did I think he was ready? Here are some signs I went by:
-curiosity: He was interested in the bathroom. Checking out the potty, watching Mommy and Daddy, looking and seeing how things work.
-"Mommy, I'm pooping": Okay, Yes my 2 year old said this to me as he sat crouched down in his special corner doing his job. Enough said.
-Practice: I happened to go to Ikea when E was about a year and a half old. They had cute little potty's for only $5.00. I couldn't pass that up, so into my cart went a cute little green potty. I knew my sweet little son wouldn't be potty training anytime to soon but what would it hurt to have a little potty around? (see above picture of the potty)
-Grabbing: I started to notice my son grabbing himself when ever he peed. He would also tell me when he had gone potty in his diaper and I knew he wanted to be changed.
-Fighting: Remember the beginning of this post when I said my son screamed and kicked like a hyena? He HATED his diaper being changed and it was bad. I was tired of dealing with it.

We let our son sit on the little potty before taking baths and he liked to. If he said no we didn't force it. He was still pretty young so I wasn't to worried at that point. After he turned to I started taking in signs and cues that he was getting ready. I finally said at two and a half I was going to try potty training. We would see how it went and go from there. The day finally came when my little E-man turned 2 1/2 years old. Welcome to the world of potty training!

What we had on hand:
-1 pack of pull ups ( I got these free and had no intention of using them).
-15-20 pairs of underwear
-6 pairs of plastic pants (most lined with a cotton)
-1 little green potty
-Gummi Worms
-Gummi Bears
-Thomas the Tank Engine Wagons

Seems like a funny list right? Its what I had and what we found to be successful. ( My experiences will, I guarantee, be different from yours). The undies and plastic pants are pretty self explanatory along with the little green potty. The Gummi Worms are for when E actually GOES pee in the potty, even a little dribble (only 1 worn). Gummi Bears are for when he tried to go pee but had no success (he only got 1). Last the Thomas the Tank Engine Wagons, those are for the big kahuna, that's right little E-man you go POOP on that potty and you can have a brand new wagon for your train! Bribery? Sure some people would call it that, I considered it more of a reward for doing good.

What did you do to prepare your little ones for potty training? Next week I will share our first weeks experience of potty training!


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