Friday, September 25, 2009

Potty Training: The Reality

After returning from New Zealand, I started thinking about potty training. (Well, technically, I started thinking about it again, because I thought Cate was showing signs of being ready about six months ago.) I decided with Cate's interest in the potty and the upcoming arrival of Ben, it was a good time to try again. So far so good ...

We started at the beginning of September, and for the first time, Cate started waking up with dry diapers after most of her naps and some overnights. Good sign! So she spent some time in Pull-Ups, getting used to visiting the potty frequently, but free of any pressure to perform.

She caught on quickly. And she knows to be proud of herself (OK, so, maybe my excitement rubbed off on her!) and raises her arms and says, "I did it!" Sometimes we go to the bathroom together (oh, the joys of being girls ...) and she'll say, "Mommy did it!"

[I had a bowl of M&Ms ready as incentive, but they weren't really necessary. Sometimes she'd ask, and I'd give her two M&Ms if she went, but most of the time she went and then left the bathroom to get back to whatever she was doing.]

I was surprised with how well she went when we were out ... Murray State's football stadium, Kroger, Wal-Mart, friends' houses, Lowe's and church. There were a couple days were she was more stubborn about going ... anywhere, even at home.

After a couple weeks of Pull-Ups, I decided to put more emphasis on panties. She wore them around the house and then if we went out, I'd put a Pull-Up on top, mostly for my sake. Then after a few days of that, we went to panties all of the time, except during naptime and bedtime. And that's where we are now.

She has started telling me when she needs to go, but I still take her consistently throughout the day, although not as frequently as I was a few weeks ago. We still need to encourage her more about pooping on the potty. Right now it's more about noticing when she's going to go and leading her into the bathroom.

After listening to other friends' tales of potty training their kids, I'm thankful for Cate's cooperation. The whole process seems to be moving along in the right direction. (Having a toddler in panties and a baby in diapers seems like a much better combination than two in diapers!) In my limited experience, waiting until the child is ready seems to be the biggest factor in deciding when to start. I'm glad Cate and I have figured this out together. Here's to hoping for success to finish out the training process!

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