March 5, 2013

Potty Training: The Follow Up

Yesterday, I shared with you that Colton recently had his big "potty party" intended to kick off his potty training efforts.  I had read a book that suggested this potty party would result in having our little boy completely and totally potty trained in a day.  Well, guess what?!?  He wasn't!!!
In fairness, I guess it depends on your definition of "trained" as to whether you would consider our first day a complete success.  After Colton's first day of potty training, he was 100% successful with sitting on the potty when told to, peeing if he had to (even if only a dribble), and knowing what to do once he was done.  However, Colton was still missing the critical piece (at least in my mind) of actually telling us before he had to go potty.  Plus, he still had yet to poop on the potty.  So, I didn't consider that a potty training success quite yet.
But the good news is we did get there, and I kept track of the basics of each day to serve as a personal record and to assist any of you who may be going down this (frustrating) road sometime soon.  Instead of giving you the nitty gritty of each day, I've decided instead to just share the highlights with you.  For technicality sake, I've considered our Potty Party day as Day 1, so if, for example, I say Day 5, that's 4 days post party...

  • As soon as Colton woke up on Day 2, I had him sit on the potty and change into his big boy undies (he's wearing pull ups at night) immediately.  We still do that every day!
  • From that point on, I was having Colton sit on the potty every 45 minutes-hour to attempt to go potty.
  • Lesson learned: when potty training a little boy, make sure you teach him to push his penis into the potty to prevent a sprinkler effect (confession: I cracked up when it happened!)
  • I mentally kept a little diary of his timing and quickly realized (after a couple days of afternoon accidents) he needed to go less often in the morning (so we sat every hour) and more often in the afternoon (so we sat every 30-45).
  • I also learned (again after accidents) that if he hadn't gone for awhile (even though he was sitting on the potty) I should put him on more  frequently until he finally went!  Ie: in the mornings, I would usually put him on at 9, but he wouldn't actually go, so we'd try again at 10...still wouldn't go, so instead of waiting another whole hour, I would try at 10:45, and then maybe again at 11:15, etc until he finally went!
  • While we stayed in and focused solely on potty training on Day 1, every day after that we got out of the house and resumed a fairly normal routine (we did stay close to home or only go places with easily accessible bathrooms (ie: no malls!) for the first few days).
  • I generally took him to the bathroom as soon as we got somewhere new (no matter how long it had been since he had gone).  And the one time I didn't...he had an accident!
  • We cheered like crazy every time Colton went  potty...and even if he just sat on it at first.
  • They say not to "punish" a child for accidents, but in the first couple of days, Colton would have an accident and then was absolutely infuriating.  Finally, I made him sit in it for a little bit (a few minutes, y'all...before anyone gets all worked up), so he would feel how yucky it was!
  • We continued to use his stickers as rewar and also offered up M and M's (2 of them!) if he peed...yes, I took M and M's with me everywhere I went!
  • On Day 5, he started reliably telling me he had to go potty before going!
  • From that point on, I ditched the hourly routine while we were home to "test" him...luckily he  passed and we sailed on accident-free!
  • After Day 5, we resumed our normal outings...going anywhere and everywhere we normally would!
  • out and about...hanging out with friends in our big boy undies!
  • After Day 5, I still made sure to take him to the bathroom when we got somewhere new, especially if it was a big place (ie: basketball game, train show) or it had been awhile before he had gone last (that lesson was learned when I tried asking him before entering Mexican restaurant (after a trip to the Home Depot) if he had to go...he said no...and 10 minutes into it he had peed everywhere...super!)
  • Don't repeat my mistake...if newly potty trained child says he/she needs to go to the bathroom, take them immediately and do not listen if they say they don't have to anymore...they do!
  • About a week in, we found we really didn't need the rewards (excessive praise, stickers, or M and M's anymore).  Occasionally, Colton would ask for a sticker or "M" after peeing (and still does), and I would still give it to him, but he didn't need them like he seemed to at first.
  • Poops were much more challenging for Colton...he was terrified of them. On Day 5, I caught him in the act of going and quickly plopped him on the potty to finish his business. He cried the whole time (it was awful...), but eventually went. We made a HUGE deal about it...gave him a ring pop...and I was hopeful that we had crossed that hurdle.  WRONG...
  • For the next week or so, Colton continued to have poop accidents...and then when I started trying to stress the importance of going on the potty, he constipated himself (seriously!!!) by trying to hold it in.
  • Since he had been so excited about the wrapped presents during his potty party, I decided to go back to that approach...I bought 5 more presents, specifically reserved for poops in the potty, and enticed him that way.  
  • On Day 12, he pooped in the potty for the first time (at least with no tears!) still wasn't totally initiated by him...he had gone a little in his pull up after his nap, but then asked to do the rest in the potty.  Needless to say, I was stoked!
  • By Day 13, he was reliably telling us he had to go poop on the potty.
  • On Day 14, he even woke up at night (luckily it was just 9:30...) crying because he had to go poop and didn't want to go in his pull up.  He also wanted a present!
  • Colton has now been accident free for 5 days...I'm sure we're not totally in the clear, but all of us seem to have gotten a good hold on this potty training business!
So, what's the final verdict?  I credit our potty party with our potty training success.  Colton was showing absolutely zero interest before it, and was then potty trained in just a few tears (on either of our part), no stress...EASY!  The potty party made it fun for him, so he was relaxed with it and ready.  That being said I don't know if I would s
ay you can count on it training your child in a day.
Now that we've concluded the potty party is a critical step, though, you've got to get ready for your own.  Tomorrow I'll share with you all that needs to be done to pull one of these off!


  1. Great recap - I think I may have to bookmark this for future use. :)

    How old is Colton?

    1. shannon---colton will be three at the end of march. Honestly, I'll probably start the process with Levi much earlier!


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