March 10, 2013

Potty Training...A Start

Justin and I just finished a 3-Day Potty training marathon. Oh my gosh...what an exhausting 72 hours!   As I type this, Justin is sound asleep in a recliner across the room from me, the boys are out upstairs in their beds, and once this is published, I'm heading for a hot bath!!

The boys are 2 1/2, and for the last few months or so, Jack has been giving us all sorts of signs that he was aware of what was going on in his diaper.  I was so not ready to potty train them yet--I was planning on putting it off until summer. But on Tuesday while I was cooking dinner, Jack came up to me and asked 3 times in a row if he could go to the bathroom. I felt guilty (that I wasn't ready to put him on the potty) and told him to just potty in his diaper. Bad Mommy =(  After talking to a few moms at my MOPS group on Wednesday, I was determined that he was giving me the message loud and clear, and I needed to get myself in gear! =)

These are cool new hats, Mom!!
So I stocked up on big boy undies, a pack of pull-ups (seemingly super controversial to use in the 3-Day Potty training circle), lots of clorox wipes, paper towels, big toilet toddler seats, and treats/prizes/stickers for rewards. At first I thought I'd follow one book I read about potty training slowly, and the boys had a little preview hour without diapers on Thursday morning (only an hour). In that hour, neither pee peed on the potty, and we had quite a few wet undies. Mommy was tired and the diapers went back on. Justin wanted us to try getting it done quickly, so we both read the three-day training e-book (this website), and were geared up and ready to start Friday morning.  I was really anxious about potty training (maybe partly because it's yet another thing that makes them grown up?!), but I was most nervous about starting it, with two at the same time, by myself.

W's first sit...
J's first sit

Day One: I was on my own most of the day on Friday, and oh my gosh... I was ready to quit. Justin arrived home to help out (we decided that it was all about Steiner man-to-man potty defense with trying to do two at once!), and by the time we put the boys to be the end of the day, we had 29 accidents/wet undies (Jack 15, Will 14), absolutely nothing on the potty, and two very frustrated and tired parents. The only upside was that it seemed like by afternoon was running towards the bathroom after he wet his pants--at least getting that pee pee should be in the bathroom.  We put them to bed in pull-ups, just because we were too tired to deal with any more messes--we just all need a good night sleep.

Sticker charts--these weren't ask big of hits as the M&Ms =)

Day Two: Saturday was mostly like Friday... much to my dismay.  The highlight was having Justin here with me.  We are a good team, and it was definitely much easier with us both on duty! Jack, the one that I thought was most ready for potty training, had a total of 22 accidents alone on Saturday! He was still running towards the potty (already wet), and had one time after nap where he had 9 accidents in a 20 minute time span.  We were sure that this wasn't working for us, and were discussing at what point we were supposed to just stop. Will only had a total of 3 accidents all day (he seems to hold it for 1-2 hours at a time, and goes in his pull-up during nap). He did not at all seem to even notice when he wet his pants, and would just keep playing even though he was dripping onto the floor. =( So by dinner time, with only 3 (literally) drips in the toilet from Jack, we were almost done.  But in the hour before bedtime, something started clicking for Jack, and he would look at us, say, "Come on Mommy/Daddy!" and run for the bathroom, DRY!  A few minutes before bed, he did it... he ran in, sat, and went pee pee for about 45 seconds straight!  Oh my gosh we were so proud!! Cheering, clapping and dancing!  Jack was so proud of himself and boy, we were too!!!  So we put them down to bed, all exhausted, but super happy with the turn in our potty training!


Day Three: Sunday started out on a high note... Jack got up and first thing went pee pee on the potty! Will did not, and by 9:15, he had wet his pants once and pooped in his pants. =(  Still no hint of wanting to go to the potty. Jack had a few more wet diapers by lunch, but was mostly still running for the potty. By lunch, Will had had 5 accidents, Jack 3. Poor Jacky hasn't had a number 2 since Thursday, so by early afternoon, he seemed to be getting a little miserable. They woke up from their nap (with pull-ups on) dry (Jack) and wet/poopy (Will). After a few hours of both of them screaming every time we put them on the potty, we were all getting a little edgy and short on patience. By 5:30 with no change in Will's attempts for the potty (he would even tell me he wasn't wet, at the exact moment he was wetting his undies!), we decided that he just wasn't ready for this yet, and put a diaper back on him. He seemed perfectly happy and had a fun and carefree rest of the evening! Jack had a streak of #2 messes in his pants, without ever going on the potty again. So after changing his undies about 8 times in an hour (and using up the last clean ones we had), we decided it was over for the night and put a diaper on him.  He just was miserable, needed to go to the bathroom, and we were done.


So... were we successful?  Yes and no. The 3-Day didn't fully work for us, and I was pretty sad and frustrated to end our 72 hours of hard work by putting diapers on them. But looking at it now, I'm encouraged that Jack seems to be on a roll with the day time pee pee potty training. It was a good jumpstart for Jack, and he now has the concept. It will be continued hard work (and I think Justin is happy to get to go back to work tomorrow! ;-), but I think he's on his way.  Since they are still in cribs, I'm not ready to do night time training yet. Once he gets days down really well, I'll attempt it, or possibly just wait until they are in their big boys beds and can get to the potty themselves.  Will is just not ready yet, and I'm okay with that. Many other twin moms that I've talked to say that their boys potty trained at separate times, and in the end, it is just fine.  That encourages me, and I know that when Will is ready, it will happen for him too. Maybe if we had gone in 100% with no diapers/pull-ups and tried to train day and night all at the same time (the recommendation of the 3-Day Plan), we might have done it... but in the end, it has to work for all of us.  And honestly, I just wasn't ready to do it all yet.  My boys are still little, and they will grow up fast enough. I don't ever want to push them in things that they are truly not ready for yet. This is one area that I've heard, and now experienced, that they just have to be ready.  I'd rather change diapers than wipe up accidents on floors/carpets any day! Ha!  But at some point, they will be big boys and not need me for any of this anymore!

No matter if they are potty trained yet or not, you have to admit that they look pretty cute in their big-boy undies!!  I'm just so proud of the boys they are growing up to be!! Way to go, Will & Jack!!  You are our amazing BIG BOYS!!


Anonymous said...

Take your time. When they are ready, it will go much more smoothly. We tried hard to get L to try at 2 1/2 but she would not do it until she was almost 3. It's ok! When she was ready, it went much better! Good job for trying!!!

Natali said...

Obviously, this is only our personal experience, and we just have one kiddo, but with Keegan, we didn't have any big potty training effort/days/event/push we just told him when he went potty in the bathroom, we would give him an M&M and a sticker, and when he did all of his potties in the bathroom, he could wear big kid underwear (and we bought a pack to keep on hand). This was around 2 years and 2 months. We didn't push hard, we just occasionally asked "Do you need to go potty? Want to sit on the potty?" If something happened, we celebrated like crazy! If not, we just put the pull up back on and said, "Good try. Maybe next time!" At 2 years, 3 months he literally said, "Diapers are for babies. I go on the potty now." And I kid you not, he did. We had a few night time accidents, but those eventually cleared. Maybe try not pushing it, but continuing to offer the rewards and celebrations.

Also, no judgment whatsoever here, just curious - 22 accidents? Were they drinking a ton of liquid for the 72 hour plan? Or do they really go that often? I can't imagine going through that many diapers in a day!

No matter what, this phase will pass and before you know it, you'll be buying the next size up in super hero chonies! lol *tear*

Alyson Steiner said...

Thanks Natali for the encouragement and tips on what worked for you! I think that is going to be our plan too...remind and reward. And yes, lots of liquids made for lots of accidents. I don't think they really go that often (I definitely don't change that many diapers!), but with the pants on, he was going just a little bit a lot of times-he didn't like the wetness and would stop. When he would actually pee pee on the potty, he would go a lot, then not have many accidents. I think it is just about learning the control. :-)

Michelle Harmon said...

I think you rock! I can't imagine doing it with two. One just about killed me!!!!