Toilet Training (Part 1): the 3 Day Method
“Peepee potty, peepee potty”! That’s the mantra in our house now. Peepee potty. It takes some new visitors by surprise. But, any potty training parent knows how freely the potty talk flies at this milestone in life - toilet training.
We opted for the down and dirty (literally!) 3 day method which should actually be called the “however many days it takes” method. For us it was 4 days intensive, buffered by a week or two on either side. I’ll explain.
In the week or two leading up to our potty training marathon, our daughter started whipping her diaper off and expressing an interest in all things bathroom related. Lots of investigation about what happens in the bathroom, which, to be honest, caught me a little by surprise.
I mean, how often do you have two little eyes trained on your privates when you go to the bathroom, then gleefully peering into the toilet after you finish and saying, “Mommy did it! Mommy did it!” with sheer enjoyment. Probably too much information, but this is a post about potty training.
So, yes, we let her watch. Well, I let her watch since I’m a girl and watching Daddy pee pee would be a tad weird and more than a little confusing.
Then we arranged to have a pee pee party with a good friend my daughter’s age that was also expressing interest in learning what the bathroom routine is all about. Plus, his mom and I felt like we’d need company to get through 3-4 days of NOT LEAVING THE HOUSE AT ALL FOR ANY REASON!
That’s the marathon part. The theory is that you let your child run around with no pants on so that they know exactly when they’ve messed themselves. No pull ups, no cloth diaper to ease them in to the wetness. Nope, just plain old pee streaming freely.
Of course the object of the experience is to sit them on the potty so they pee in the potty, but the lag time between feeling a sensation to pee, “communicating” that and actually peeing is nil in the beginning. Trust me. Nil. You’re supposed to feed them salty snacks (always a hit in our house) and lots of water so that they are actually peeing A LOT during this time. This is to “train” them about the sensation to pee and sitting down to pee.
I will say that the first day involved lots of clean up, lots of potty talk and little successful aim, so to speak. But, since there were two mothers and two children doing this, it was oddly funny and like a game most of the day, with the requisite fight over who got the blue potty and who got the white potty.
Then the second day…we switched houses. We had potties within reach of just about each room. It seemed like overkill at first but made the quick airlift to the potty much easier than running to the potty down the hall much easier. And cleaner.
On the third day the multiple potty situation took a turn for the worse and my daughter started expressing an interest in the potty that was in the kitchen if we were in the front room or the one in the dining room if we were in the kitchen. You can imagine.
And, above all, she LOVED the “big girl” potty that sits on top of the real toilet - you know the kind that makes the opening for your butt smaller for a baby’s butt. That day (and since, actually) Sophie was all about the big girl potty. It didn’t matter that she would be standing next to her very own potty, no, she wanted the big girl potty.
In tomorrow’s post I’ll go over the downside of the “big girl potty” and, believe me, there are some serious downsides to it.
photo credit: The Wu’s Photo Land