Saturday, January 25, 2014

Potty Training Lucy

Warning: the following post is all about potty training. Most sentences will contain the word "pee" or "poo". Skip this post if you don't want to read about these things! I'm recording my potty training experience with Lucy here as a way to help me with any subsequent children. I am so thankful that I recorded my experience with Tommy and Ben. I have a bad memory when it comes to past events, and so it was really helpful to be able to see exactly how it was with them. And hopefully this post will be helpful to others who are thinking about potty training, particularly "early".

When Lucy was around 15 months old, I picked up my copy of Diaper Free Before 3 to get some potty inspiration. I started to familiarize her with the toilet. When I had the time, she would spend some time at home naked or in underwear. Of course, she would pee (and sometimes poo) randomly and everywhere, but I think this helped her realize what her body was doing. She caught on very quickly, at least compared to the boys, who were both completely clueless about their bodily functions for most of their actual potty training. I was so excited about how quickly she caught on that I decided to tackle potty training after the holidays. The fact that she was only 18 months old made me wonder if I was crazy, but I was confident that she would be able to pick it up.

I used the same method I did with the boys: formerly called the "3-day method", now "oh crap. potty training". I stocked up on drinks, snacks, board books, paper towels, and clean-up wipes. I arranged with my mother-in-law to watch the boys all day so I could spend the day one-on-one with Lucy. The basic idea of this method is that you keep them naked and observe them carefully. When they start to pee, you tell them to stop (or hold it) and then put them on the toilet. Over and over and over.

Day One was Tuesday. This was really all about me trying to figure out Lucy's body: how often she pees, what her pee 'cue' is, which type of toilet she prefers, whether she likes me to sit with her or give her privacy. The whole day was twenty-minute cycles of her starting to pee, me calling out "stop!", then whisking her to the toilet as quickly as possible. I definitely saw improvement by the end of the day, which is all that is important.

Day Two was much the same, but with a bit more progress. She seemed to be able to hold her pee longer, catch herself when she started to pee on the floor, and she showed me that she prefers the big potty over a toddler potty seat, and that she needs privacy to do her business. So I would set her on the toilet and walk away just out of eyeshot. On this day I was brave enough to do a few errands. I put her in pants and went to Trader Joe's to pick up a few things. While we were there we tried out the bathroom). Then we came home and she went pee, then we went out to Peet's (and tried out their bathroom). She had no accidents all morning, but 

Day Three was the same routine, but we had even more progress. She had more success in the potty than accidents. We went to a playground and then the library, where she had an accident. By the end of this day, I felt she was doing well enough to start wearing pants (but no undies yet).

Day Four was great! We spent three hours at a playground in the morning. Lucy peed in the potty every time I took her (once in the toddler potty in the car, and twice in the public bathroom). We came home in the afternoon for a nap, and then went out again for another three hours in the evening. Lucy was accident-free all day!!

Day Five has been mostly like Day Four, with the exception of one accident. But she came and told me "Mom! Pee pee!" which is great! Later in the day she actually came to me to tell me she had to go. I put her on the potty and she went. 

The one worry I had about potty training early was that it might introduce conflict between us. Potty training brings out some personality issues that you may not have realized where there before, and I wasn't sure if she would take to it willingly. Since Lucy is adopted, our attachment is already fragile, and I didn't want anything to hurt the bond that we have built. But instead of this process hurting our relationship, it has brought us closer together. I got to spend tons of one-on-one time with Lucy, and really got to communicate with her in a way that is harder to do when there are other kids around and a household to run.

Lucy is not completely "potty trained" in the sense that she can go independently and tell me when she has to go beforehand. That will come in time. But we are DONE with diapers! And I am so proud of my tiny big girl! 

No more diaper butt!

1 comment:

  1. Yunita10:56 AM

    Amazing! Great job Mommy and Lucy!