Thursday, May 24, 2012

Adventures in pottying (...finally)!

Oh. My. Goodness. Y'all.

Oh, my goodness!

The Little Dude who, for the last year, has held up five fingers and told me he would start using the potty when he was "this many," who told everyone he knew that he would "never sit on the potty" as long as his "superstar diaper and planets diaper and Rudolph diaper" still fit him, even though his "plain old diapers" (the trusty FuzziBunz mediums we've used since he was six months old--his entire cloth-diapered life) were finally starting to get too tight... this is the kid who coolly announced yesterday afternoon that it was time for him to use the potty! Oh, you know. NBD. It's just time, Mom. Can't you tell?

I was nervous. I am nervous.

But with four successes and one small accident before the bedtime diaper yesterday, we were off to an excellent start!

Today we're heading to the store to buy... more underwear! For the duration of the errand, Little Dude will be wearing a FuzziBunz Trickle-Free Trainer. However, we are probably going to have to navigate the world of public restrooms... if not today, soon.

Here's how it's going today:
8:50 am - Little Dude is on the potty, trying to go before we embark on our underwear-retrieving errand. He's playing the Potty Time with Elmo app (.99) on our iPad.

Success!

9:30 am - We're at Target to pick out cool superhero underwear. Little Dude tried to sit on the toilet here, but he was afraid of the loud flushes and the hugeness of everything. Uh oh.

10:15 am - We're home! And our Trickle-Free Trainers are dry! LD tried pottying, but nothing happened. Time for a quick snack, and then we'll try to sit on the potty again.

10:55 am - Still no accidents! We're sitting again. I am seriously impressed with his momentum. Maybe there is something to be said for waiting until 3.5?

1:24 pm - I've lost track of the number of attempts, but we've still had no accidents. I've been wanting to test the capacity of the FuzziBunz trainers, but we haven't had to yet!


2:39 pm - Still no accidents, but not much going, either. I've noticed he's not keeping his beloved water bottle with him, and he's yet to do a #2 today... But I'm trying to focus on the positive. No accidents!

2:47 pm - He just ran to the potty! His underoos have the slightest, smallest little dot of wetness. He's sitting now! Aaaand... success!

Here's what I've learned about potty-training so far:

1) My diaper sprayer is key. Because of his age and height, we're using a potty ring on our regular toilet, but it still gets a little messy. The sprayer has been perfect for cleaning it off between uses. I can only imagine how much more useful it is if you and your child prefer a potty.

2) Waiting this long may not have been a bad thing. I've put myself on a guilt-trip for the past year, because all my friends had potty-trained two-year olds, and my Little Dude didn't even seem to be aware of when he was wet, much less when he was going to wet his diaper. But his track record so far suggests to me that waiting until he initiated this process was the right move for us, even if he initiated a little later than his buddies.

3) Natural fibers help. Last week, I pulled out some old prefolds and asked him to tell me when they felt wet. It didn't take long before he was well aware of the sensation of wetness! However, when I tried this a year ago, he still didn't pay enough attention to know when he was wet. Maturity has a lot to do with it.

4) Apps help, too. What can I say? Back in the late 1980s, I sat on my potty with a stack of books beside me. But my kid is a technology kid. Weeks ago, I promised him a few potty-related iPad apps if he'd start sitting on the potty. They've worked like a charm to get him to go sit. And, while real-life sticker charts don't seem to matter much to him, the virtual ones on the potty apps thrill him to no end.

5) Little Dude likes cool underoos just as much as he liked his cool diapers. This means I'm just letting him change them after every time he potties, even though they're staying dry. He talks eagerly about the next pair of underwear he's going to put on, and he organizes them into Marvel and DC comic heroes. Kind of strange? Yes. That's my Little Dude. And it's working to motivate him!

6) This is actually kind of bonding. We're at home for the most part, and I'm hanging out with him quite a bit while he sits on the toilet so that he'll be willing to sit for a while. I have to pay a lot of attention to his habits to see if I think he's holding anything. I dreaded this part, but it's been nice to be so in sync!

We'll see how it goes as we continue! So far, so good. What I really need is your advice for how to patiently and gently help him to deal with his fear of public restrooms so that we can get this show on the road full-time. What worked for your children? Please advise! This is new territory for this mama!