We've been working on the potty training thing with Charlie for about 6 weeks now, and thankfully we are having some good success. We are definitely still in the training mode, but that's ok. We'd love to have him pretty well trained by the time the baby comes in mid-October, but we'll see. I really haven't read any books or articles on potty training, John and I just kind of like to do what works best for us, so I have no idea if we are doing things the "right" way, but this is how we approach it (and I am documenting this for my own sake, not for anyone else's :)...
Our potty training method (we've used the same approach for both boys):
- At about 18 months we started taking the boys to the bathroom before their baths. No pressure, we just want them to give it a try. Sometimes they would go, other times they wouldn't. No big deal.
- After they turned 2 (and when we felt like we had time to devote to it) we started the actual potty training.
- We put Charlie in undies right off the bat (Henry too). And we pretty much took him to the bathroom every 10 minutes or so. Some people aren't into letting their boys stand up to pee, but we are fine with it. We pretty much just focus on pee and don't really worry about the big accidents.
- We keep Charlie in undies because it means that if he has an accident his undies will be wet, and he will be uncomfortable, which, in my opinion, is a good thing!
- We give m&m rewards for successes. Pee=2, Poop=5. Not sure how we settled on those numbers, but they seem to work for us, so whatever. Now that Charlie is becoming much more proficient he rarely gets 2 m&m rewards anymore. We are definitely still celebrating when he gets 5 though!
- This time around we have Henry to keep busy while we are working on all this training, so we struck a deal with him. If he genuinely encourages Charlie after his successes by saying kind words, giving hugs & high-5's, etc. We give him the same amount of m&m's as Charlie gets. I don't know if this is a good idea or not, but it's working for both boys. Charlie likes the extra kudos and attention from his brother, and Henry likes the m&m's :) Plus it has given us a good way to review one of our VBS verses: Encourage one another and build each other up! 1 Thessalonians 5:11. Win-win-win.
- After we have all of these little systems in place we just slog through each and every day and hope we make progress!
- Charlie is doing pretty well, so a few weeks ago we started taking him out in public in undies (i.e. church nursery, aerobics nursery, trips to grandparents, grocery store, etc.). We've had some accidents, but overall he's done pretty well.
- We still put him in diapers for naps and bedtimes (and long car trips :) I'm sure there are some kids who aren't into the diapers for sleeping and want something more "undies-like", but both of our boys seem to be fine with it, so we're sticking with that for now. I'm not really interested in spending a ton of money of potty training paraphernalia if I don't have to, so this is working for us for now.
- We do let Charlie watch videos while he sits on the toilet, although he has been taking advantage of that lately, so we're back to mostly just reading to him while he puts in his time :)
So, that's it, the Wiebe family approach to potty training. Not really all that novel, just lots of time and energy and effort mostly. Hopefully we'll have a fully trained 2-year old with us in the near future, but until then, we'll continue to laugh and smile at all the little trials along the way (For example, yesterday, when he climbed to the top of the swingset at Bible Study 5 MINUTES after I took him to the bathroom and pooped his pants. AWESOME! :)