Monday, August 3, 2015

Potty training...the grand adventure.

So I know it has been quite some time since I wrote an actual blog that wasn't just a couple min blurb about something random, or a weekly update on my family. I used to sit down hunk out my blogs and really try to produce great content that people would really want to read. But I have to say having two kids, and now running my own business obviously keeps me very busy!! But I felt like potty training Kyra was something I talked a lot about when we first started out, but man was the process so much longer than I expected.

All I can say is to hell with those ladies who tell you it's possible to do in 3 days. Maybe in some dreamland where you have nothing at all to do but spend your entire day locked in a bathroom, and you feel like torturing your child to do might be possible. But I even had lots of time, tried the take her to the potty every 20 mins method. You know what that accomplished? It made me stressed out and cranky, and frankly neither of us wanted anything to do with potty training! So we took a break from that. 

Then we tried having the kid naked 24/7 and if she starts peeing run her to the bathroom and make her finish on the potty. I think this may have made her realize that potty goes in the bathroom, and you get candy for peeing (even if it wasn't in the potty) but after a week or so I was exhausted with that too, and had used up about a million paper towels cleaning up pee messes....again we were totally over it and we gave up again. 

So as you can see it was torture for us both to try and fight something that it seemed she just wasn't ready for. Sure maybe you can train a kid at 18 months and it will only take 3 days....IF THEY ARE READY. I know that isn't what you want to hear, because in this day the quick and easy fix is always more appealing, but you have to know that your kid is ready. 

The day we figured out she was ready, she went into the potty while I was going sat on her potty chair and just did it. It was shocking...I should have known she was smart enough to understand what she needed to do, just didn't want to yet. From that point things were a bit smoother.

First we managed to get her mostly trained at home, but she still wore pull ups out and about, and at bedtime. We were so scared to trust her outside the house as bathrooms were hard to find and cost money in Germany. And what happens if she has an accident and we forgot a change of clothes. Eventually we did manage to just start braving the out of town adventures. It took probably a month for her to realize she had to tell us when she needed to go, rather than just going. There were some terrible messes and it was embarrassing but the only way she could learn was to wear real panties and know she made a mistake rather than keep a pull up on and have to keep buying them. Eventually we did a few bigger out of town trips and it was like a light switch went off. She just stopped having accidents, told us she needed to go and stayed dry all day. From then on we only ever put her in pull ups at sleeping time.

This last step of getting out of pull ups whe she was asleep was the longest and most nerve wracking part of the whole thing. But the only way it was gonna happen was if we tried. I don't know how many times we went from letting her wear panties back to pull-ups. But it ended when I first got her to stay dry during naps!! I made sure she went potty right before nap, and than as soon as she woke up!! It took probably 2 weeks of committing to never going back to pull ups, but we finally went accident free during naps!!

Finally we had to finish nights. I honestly felt like she was going to end up in pull-ups the rest of her life. We hated having to wash sheets everyday. And her room just kind of always smelt like pee. And it was just like the rest of the other steps, she needed to be ready on her own terms. For us it was a brand new house. We told her there wasn't going to be anymore baby panties in the new house so she had to get up when she needed to go pee. And that seemed to be all it took, since we moved here she hasn't worn a pull up once. She has had a couple accidents at night if she drinks too much before bed. But it has been probably 2-3 weeks since the last time, a statement that after a year and a half I thought we would never say. It's glorious, she doesn't even have to tell us she is going anymore, and we never have to ask her if she needs to go we know she will tell us when she needs to. 

Potty training for us took 1.5 years. Yes years to full get there. Keeping in mind we would give up for a month or two between attempts when it was obvious she wasn't ready.

So my tips would be:

1. Wait until they are ready!! 

2. Be patient.

3. Separate the process into a few separate steps, only moving to the next step once you have mastered the first.

4. Don't be discouraged when it takes a while, every kid is different, and no kid ever graduates high school wearing a diaper still!!

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