Thursday, October 1, 2015

Potty Training the Reluctant Three Year Old

Here is where we left off.

You know how they say, "Don't attempt to potty train until you know your child is ready,"... well that was my excuse. Woody was quickly approaching his third birthday and had shown no interest in the potty. I take that back- he despised the potty. Any time I asked him to sit on the potty, mentioned a pull-up/big boy underwear, or tried to read him a book about how big boys used the potty, I got this response.

Ugh. And honestly, I wasn't jumping at the bit either. For a few months, Gaines and Woody had been in the same size diaper, and it was easier just to change them at the same time rather than ask him every 15 minutes if he needed to go. So I fell back on my favorite phrase, "He is just not ready."


That he needed to be ready. His K3 class needed him to be somewhat potty trained by the start of school. I had also paid for him to take gymnastics in the fall that needed him be as well. I started to feel the pressure, so ready or not, here is what I did.

When he woke up, I immediately took off his diaper and sat him on the potty in front of the TV. He didn't mind sitting on it as long as the TV was on. (Hint! DVR all of you kid's favorite shows. Woody hates Doc McStuffins, and I couldn't take her popping up on the TV and ruining his concentration.) He sat there probably thirty minutes until I heard the most precious sound- urine hitting a plastic. He did it! And Brooks and I went BANANAS! We danced with him, praised him, made the biggest craziest deal possible. He put a sticker on his potty chart, and I am pretty sure I gave him thirty M&Ms. (Hint 2! Get some stickers and candy. If you don't believe in bribery, get over it. Your kid does.)

Now, what was a game changer? Go bottomless. Let your kid experience his/her free side and don't bother the first few days with underwear and pull-ups. So I let Woody go bottomless and left the potty in the family room which is hard floor. (Hint 3! Don't go near carpet or rugs. Yuck.) He stayed in there because it was marathon of every show he loved. I also pumped him full of juice. To my utter shock, he started on his own sitting on the potty and going. I made just as big deal every time. He even went #2. What!? I couldn't believe it. After 24 hours without an accident, we scrolled Amazon together to order a new puzzle to reward his success.

Now, the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The Good- Woody seriously potty trained himself in one day. I can count on one hand how many accidents he has had, which I will get to later. I still put a pull-up on for bedtime, but most mornings it is still dry. Before you hate me, remember I have the Bad and the Ugly to discuss. 

The Bad- Woody sometimes wake up in the middle of the night having to go. I honestly would just rather him go in his pull-up (which he sometimes does.) When he gets up at 3 am, he wants to use the potty and start his morning. Also, I am probably being a bad parent by using copious amount of TV, candy, toys, and juice to potty train my kid.

The Ugly- Public toilets are very ugly to Woody. I am no germaphobe, so I don't know why he won't use them. He will only use the plastic one at home and the one I keep in my car. At first, he was just scared of adult-size toliets, but now he won't use the little kid ones at church/ school. He holds it, which I feel can't be good. A few weeks ago he couldn't hold it anymore at school and had an accident, which really upset him. If we are out, and he has to go, he cries and shakes from the pain until I get him to one of his two preferred plastic potties. 

So I would love any advice on how to overcome the last hurdle. It will be super awkward if he has to bring in a plastic potty to a job interview one day.

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