Saturday, April 25, 2009

Adventures in Potty Training

Happily, I can report that Liam is now potty trained. Hurray!

We spent all day yesterday and today filling him with liquid and then running him to the bathroom every ten minutes and by jove, I think he's got it. I know that there will be setbacks and trying moments (like being somewhere that has no bathroom - like our neighborhood park), but I think we're down to one official diaper-clad kid.

As with all parenting adventures, I've learned some lessons along the way:

1. Potty train when it's warm. When Sydney was two, we potty trained her in November and three days of running around half naked in our cold and drafty bungalow earned her a cough and cold.

2. If you use candy as a bribe/reward (yes, I'm a horrible mother who is known to occasionally use sugar to get her kids to do things), make sure you have a large supply before you start. Running out of mini M&M's halfway through the process of potty training is a tragedy on an epic scale to a two year old. Although, I did discover that chocolate chips will work as a bribe in a pinch.

3. Your super smart kid will take advantage of the pee=candy system. We give Liam a mini M&M every time he's successful and boy, did he figure it out early on. He went to the bathroom six times in ten minutes because he knew he'd get an M&M.

4. Potty chairs are useless. Putting a potty ring on a regular sized toilet is not only less messy, but more realistic seeing as public places don't have potty seats just sitting around. If you have lots of money lying around, you might look into replacing your regular sized toilet with a child sized toilet. Sydney's old preschool had them and she really liked them. (Although, in defense of the potty chair, I know some people who put them in the living room in front of the TV and let their kids sit on them all day while watching Barney or Dora or whatever. It worked for them, so I guess you never know.)

5. Plastic training pants are useless, too. Some people I know used them and loved them, but we found that they were just bulky under Sydney's clothes and just one more thing to try to pull off in a hurry.

6. Antibacterial wipes are your friend when out in public. You never know when a newly trained toddler will need to use the facilities and the conditions of those facilities may be less than desirable (think overused bathrooms of a fast food joint somewhere between here and New Orleans where the oldest person working there is at least ten years younger than you are and cleaning the bathrooms is the last thing on their list of things to do). I always carry a travel pack in my purse.

7. Pull-ups are good for two things: nap time and traveling in the car. Sydney's preschool didn't allow them and I completely understand why. You want your toddler to feel uncomfortable in wet pants and Pull-ups are too much like a diaper.

8. Temper tantrums are prime "accident" times. Not only do tantruming toddlers lose control of their emotions, they lose control of other things, like bladders. So watch out!

9. Your pediatrician doesn't know everything. Our pediatrician warned me that boys potty train later than girls and that speech-delayed children train even later. Liam turns two and half next month. Ha!

Anyway, I'm sure that Murphy's Law dictates that something will go horribly wrong and Liam will be back in diapers next week, but for now we're thrilled to be saving $40 a month on diapers and we are very proud of our little guy.

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