Thursday, July 14, 2011

Potty training prodigy

So much of my day the last couple of weeks has been spent here:

Fun times, right? And NOT because I had a problem ;) but because this little wonderboy has been a potty-training genius!

Is there ANYTHING in the world cuter than a little boy in baby briefs?

I wanted to potty-train Tate during the summer months because I think it is easier to get them out of shorts and swimsuits (or run around in their birthday suits) than it is to get them out of jeans or other heavy clothes. This being said, I potty-trained Zoe in the dead of winter. :) So it's not fool-proof. But I was noticing that my "window" for training Tate was slowly opening and wanted to seize the moment. I was prepared for weeks-long accidents and staying close to home but I kid you not--Tate has been the easiest of all 4 to potty train and that's saying a lot because Zoe was pretty darn easy too.

For anyone who doesn't want more details on our potty training, feel free to end your reading now. :) For anyone else who may benefit from my fairly limited experience, I wanted to share a few things that worked for us...I read several other blog posts before I started training Tate that were helpful for me (it has been 3 1/2 years since I've potty trained anyone!) so wanted to pass along other helpful hints as well.

I do think it helps to have older siblings to watch and learn from. But that's not to say a first child won't be easy as well! My number 1 piece of advice would be to be ready when the child is ready. That may be months after you the parent are ready (hello, Max!) or months before you the parent are ready (hello, Zoe!). Zoe was DONE potty-training by the time she was 2...I was fully planning to wait until she was at least 2 to even start. Max on the other had...we gave it a shot (did not last long) when he was a little over 2, and he was right at his 3rd birthday (literally days before he could start preschool) before he even showed an interest. So I figured Tate is 2 1/2, let's see what happens.

We did start out on the little-boy potty, something I had actually never done with any of the other three, but Tate seemed to be really afraid of the regular toilet at first. So for 2 days we used the little potty but let me tell you, that got old really fast. So we tried having him sit on the "big potty" like his brothers and sister and they were the BEST cheerleaders ever. We had a huge celebration with each little accomplishment. And a lot of it was just cheering and hugs...although I am not above bribery. It works. For the first time we got a #1 on the "big potty" Tate got to pick out a toy at Target (fun little motorcycle) and for the first time we got a #2 on the big potty Tate got...get this...a skateboard. Big brother Charlie had just gotten one for his birthday and Tate was obsessed. It was perfect timing because boy oh boy did Tate want a skateboard. So he did the deed and look at this happy guy!

There's his little Cars-themed skateboard and helmet. And if you think it wouldn't last with such pathetic maneuvers, it did!! He now hasn't had an accident in over a week and is staying dry through naptime. I seriously take very little credit for this--Charlie was actually much the same way. It was like we said "OK, you have to go on the potty now," and Charlie (and Tate for that matter) said "OK, I will." And that was that. So...maybe this has helped someone a little, maybe not. But be encouraged, not filled with dread about potty-training. It can be a fun time to learn more about your child, spend uninterrupted time with them (lots and lots of uninterrupted time!) and is another reminder of how they develop and learn. And keep in mind, too, that EVERY child is unique, and you have to find what will trip their trigger. For mine--shameless bribery. :) That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Happy Friday, friends.

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