Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Successful Potty Training!

"Emma" is the new Betsy Wetsy......She even comes with her own potty.  Definitely worth  the money.
It was easier for us to potty train over the summer, not only because it was warm enough to run around in undies, but also because the busy schedule during the school year meant too many hours trapped in carpool lines.  Plus, having the older siblings home meant I had a lot more helpers to help run Alleluia to the potty.

Tomorrow we're having a "Potty Party" to celebrate Alleluia's transition out of diapers.  Since this has mostly been about saving money, we'll keep the festivities simple, but maybe once the kids are in bed we'll toast each other over a brewski.

Phew!  You'd think after training five other children we'd know what we were doing?  Nah, it's always messy, frustrating, full of suspense and surprise, lots of trial and error.

This time around I noticed some things.  First, there are some great ideas out there.  Our neighbors, who recently moved away, had a son who was the same age and who was working on earning his Thomas the Tank Engine undies.  His mom, a Navy nurse, has a will of steel and is uncannily consistent.  Watching her I realized that you really can take a potty with you everywhere you go, and that really makes a difference.

Then one of the mommies at playgroup suggested this post, which was super helpful.

We also tried a "Potty Watch" this time around, which is just a simple timer (shaped like a toilet!) that can be worn on Junior's wrist.  Every 30, 60 or 90 minutes it will chime a little song to remind everyone it's time to sit on the potty again.  Alleluia took to this well.

This "Potty Time" reward chart had never been opened and came with a book from the awesome used bookstore in town.  Totally worth the $1.25.  Each time she sat on the potty she got to put a magnet on the chart, which tracks progress day by day.  It meant that the whole boring process of sitting on the potty became a lesson in the Days of the Week and understanding words like "yesterday," "today" and "tomorrow."

We've tried a lot of different treats, but the least irritating for me was the fruit snacks.   They didn't take long to eat, wasn't as much risk of choking as hard lollipops, and they weren't very messy.

Lots of time spent on the potty meant lots of reading time.

I also brought out these simple letter books I made years ago for the Montessori classroom.  If you don't have a binder you can just staple or use brads to put them together.  Choose three letters to present in each book and just try to think of some words that begin with each letter.  Something to do when sitting with Junior gets really dull.

These paper charts taped to her door were for potty "successes."  When she filled in the chart with stickers (that's 25), she got to go to the local toy store and pick out a simple toy or stickers.  Luckily she doesn't have expensive tastes--we usually spent just a buck or two.

Another idea for a treat--whatever candy you didn't already snarf from the kids' Valentine's Day parties.......

I kind of regretted the lollipop treats because they took so long for her to eat and because they pose a choking hazard.  But she loved them!  (and it helped use up those pesky candy leftovers from school parties.........)

1 comment:

  1. love it! I hate potty training...but ILOVE the results!