Potty training: the Final Frontier. Or something.

by Karen on June 18, 2013

This is the last post I will write about my child’s toilet habits. I promise. (Well, my first child anyway.)

Since I was only a few days into the potty training adventure when I wrote my step-by-step breakdown of our potty training boot camp adaptation, I wanted to share a quick update. I fully expected the whole thing to go completely off the rails a few days later and result in 6 months of training despite our early success.

That hasn’t happened. In fact, the opposite is true.

Last weekend marked three weeks since we stopped using diapers. And aside from night time and exactly one play date, we have been diaper and Pull-Up free ever since. It took about two weeks for him to finally (FINALLY) go #2 in the potty, and he hasn’t looked back. I honestly don’t remember the last time he had an accident (maybe a week ago?) Aside from some help cleaning up occasionally (ahem), he has been using the potty completely independently at home. About a week into the process, he started preferring the big toilet with a child seat over his Elmo potty. He’s able to climb on and off on his own with just a step stool, so I’m not even cleaning up a potty seat anymore. YAY YAY YAY.

This past weekend, we took our first diaper-free road trip to visit my husband’s family. I considered a Pull-Up for the 3-hour drive, but ultimately decided that I didn’t like the idea of setting that precedent. I didn’t want him to think it was okay to pee in his pants in his car seat. Instead, I put a dish towel under him, brought some changes of clothes, and stopped a few times to let him use the bathroom. He stayed completely dry on both the trip there and back.

I was also concerned that he’d be too distracted playing with his grandparents to remember to stop and go potty. Nope! He didn’t have a single accident.

The most surprising thing of all? He wakes up with a dry Pull-Up every single morning. We’re about halfway through the only box we’ve ever purchased, and I’m pretty sure we won’t need to buy another. I’m continuing to use them at night as an insurance policy, but when these are gone, I think I’ll try putting him to bed in underpants and hoping for the best. We do have a waterproof mattress cover as extra protection, so worst case scenario is lots of sheet washing. (This definitely varies kid-to-kid, though, and I advocate doctors’ advice not to rush or push night-time training. Some kids don’t master it until age 4 or 5, and that’s completely normal.)

I’m pretty sure we’re closing the book on the potty training chapter with this one. I cannot believe how easy it ended up being, and I’m relieved beyond words that it’s done and over with a full three months before his baby brother is due to arrive. I don’t think I could have gotten it done this quickly and painlessly while also nursing and caring for a newborn.

It hasn’t been sunshine and roses. Those two weeks before he finally pooped in the potty were rough. Public restrooms are a NIGHTMARE. I was so glad that he wasn’t afraid to use public toilets in the beginning, but now I wish he were afraid, because then he wouldn’t insist on running around the germ-infested room touching ev.er.y.thing. Sigh. But I’m not changing diapers anymore, so I’m willing to work on the rest.

I’m absolutely a believer in the straight-to-underpants approach, and the intensive 3-day potty training method. It worked like a charm for us, and Judah is only two-and-a-half. Only you can decide if this is the right approach for your toddler, but I would definitely say that if you’ve been struggling with months of on-again/off-again potty training success, this is worth trying!

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