Prepare for a looong post about pee and poop so feel free to skip:)
So, I think Marshall is potty trained? Which is funny because if you asked me 3 weeks ago if we had any plans to potty training him soon I'd have just laughed. I had planned on just kind of going with the flow and waiting until he showed some interest.Then all of a sudden after almost 9 months of having 2 kids in cloth diapers it started getting to me. I got tired of stuffing pockets, so we switched to prefolds and covers during the day and a disposable at night. In a way that was easier because as Miller got bigger I could use the same diapers on both of them, they're much easier to wash, and no stuffing!
But because they don't have a stay dry liner, they need to be changed pretty frequently. As in, I usually change them once an hour while they're awake. With our front load washer my wash routine is a short wash on cold with no soap (to give them a good rinse and make sure no stains set), a long wash on hot with soap and oxy clean (to make sure they get clean), then a long wash on hot with no soap (to get all of the soap out). Together they go through about 18 diapers a day. Its too many to wash every other day, so basically thanks to the wash routine I've been doing 3 loads of diapers a day. While working full time. And having a million other loads of laundry to do. Not so fun.
Anyways, a friend told me about the 3 Day Potty Training Method and I immediately knew it was right up our alley for a number of reasons. First of all if it actually only took three days that'd be amazing. Second I liked that it advocated no pullups or nighttime diapers, you just go to 100% underwear. This would work perfectly for how his school handles potty training. Third, I liked that the kid is only supposed to go potty in the bathroom... no potty chair in the living room, bedroom etc. Plus its just a really positive program. No scolding or punishing, just putting them in only underwear and instructing "tell me when you need to go potty" then praising like heck when they do it where they're supposed to.
My birthday this year happened to be on a Thursday of a weekend where the following Monday was a holiday so I was going to have a 5 day weekend. We also for once didn't have any plans so I decided this was going to be "the weekend." I vowed to give it 4 days, and if it didn't seem like it was working, we'd quit and I'd still have one day off of work left:)
I sent Miller to the babysitter's house so I could just focus 100% on Marshall. After Jerad and my sister (who was staying with us at the time) left for work Marshall and I gathered up all of his diapers, said goodbye, and "threw them away." Meaning that he put them in a clean trash bag and later I stored them for Miller to use. I put underwear on him and told him they were his new big boy pants, he wasn't going to use diapers anymore, and poop and pee needed to go in the potty. Then I showed him his new potty chairs and seats (one of each in a bathroom on each floor) and told him he needed to tell me when he went potty.
Then I offered him liquids like crazy (including juice which he NEVER
gets), and stayed glued to him all day which was so much more mentally
exhausting than I had anticipated. He had a TON of fun because all day
all we did was play!
We played with Floam:
And "walked on the logs" in his bedroom where I had removed his floorbed so that I didn't have to potty proof it:
And all that was just before his nap! Basically I'd play with and watch him and about every 30 minutes remind him to "tell me when you need to go potty." Then when he'd start to have an accident, I'd run him to the bathroom to try to get to the potty chair in time for him to finish there (which never actually happened on day 1). Then I'd remind him that his big boy pants needed to stay dry and to let me know when he needed to go potty.
I was nervous about nap time because usually he just plays in his room until he goes to sleep and I didn't want to take my eyes off of him for a minute, but he won't sleep if I'm in the room. I made up his bed in like 6 layers so incase he peed in it, I could just remove one blanket/sheet/plastic and have a clean set underneath all ready to go. Then I turned up the monitors really loud, and stayed close for his entire nap so that the second he woke up I could bring him to the bathroom. He stayed dry his entire nap!
I was wiped out by this point so I basically just sat outside his door, had some alcohol, and stared into space while he slept.
After the nap it was bean scooping:
Guitar playing and song-singing:
Word World watching:
And chair spinning.
We are not a stay in the house all day family so it was really hard to do that all day. Also I can not explain how mentally taxing it is to literally stare at your child all day and sound positive as they repeatedly pee on the floor. Luckily almost every accident happened on the tile so I didn't have to do much carpet cleaning.
By the end of day 1 he hadn't made it to the toilet or potty chair ONCE and had had accidents at
12:02 - (pee -this was frustrating because we'd literally JUST been in the bathroom after the poop accident)
It was pretty clear that he had no advance idea when he needed to pee. I'd read a lot of testimonials and I knew for a lot of kids it didn't click until day 3 so I wasn't too worried.
Day #2 I went into his room at 3:45am when I heard him tossing and turning on the monitor and asked him if he wanted to go sit on the toilet. He was pretty asleep and confused and played along but didn't pee. The second I heard him stirring on the baby monitor in the morning I went in as well and he was dry! He then proceeded to have an accident about 5 min later. This day was exponentially harder because while attempting to not take my eyes off of Marshall, I was also trying to entertain and supervise this little guy who is now mobile and getting into EVERYTHING:
This day was a little easier because it seemed like he was starting to "get" when he needed to pee. He peed in the toilet twice in a row around 9am so it felt like we were turning a corner! Then the rest of the day was all accidents but we still stayed positive and had fun. I also started bribing him with some gluten free cookies my sister had made and told him he got to have one whenever he made it in the toilet.
Word World and afternoon snack in my bed (with a towel just in case):
Picking up magnetic blocks with the crane:
I had set up the playpen so that I could throw Miller into it and he'd be safe and contained if I needed to run Marshall to the bathroom and ended up stuck in there for awhile. They came up with a game where Marshall would wheel it around the living room while Miller tried to stay on his feet or hands and knees. They both thought this was the most hilarious thing ever:
We didn't want to put him to bed until I knew his bladder was empty so he ended up going to bed at almost 8:30 which is about an hour later than normal.
By the end of day 2 he had made it to the toilet twice (hey, 200% improvement from the day before right?) and had had accidents/successes at:
9:15 made it in the potty!!!!
9:45 made it in the potty!!!!
Day 3 Jerad was home for part of the day which was nice because we were able to tag team. Marshall again stayed dry through the night then peed in the potty right after he woke up. He went on to make it to the bathroom 5 times! Which was great because after being in the house for three days we were all going crazy and the house was starting to look like a disaster zone so it was nice to feel like we were making some progress. By this time it seemed like he could tell when he needed to go, and could hold it long enough to get to the bathroom.
Playing drums and singing:
Partners in crime tearing up the house:
Like I said, by the end of day 3 he had made it to the toilet 5 times and had had accidents/successes at:
6:45 pee in potty!!!
8:00 (poop accident - but peed in potty!)
10:45 pee in potty!
12:00 poop in potty!
7:51 pee in potty!
Day 4 he once again woke up dry and peed in the toilet a few minutes later. He also slept in since he'd been going to bed later which was nice for us:) By noon he had only had one accident, and even told me he needed to go once. I emailed a friend who had used the same method for her two boys and asked her if I should keep going or just give up. Things were definitely so much better than they had been, he was staying dry through naps and at night, but he wasn't telling me when he needed to go. She encouraged me to give it one more day and to get brave and get out of the house.
I loaded him up and we went grocery shopping at Trader Joes which is about a 15 minute drive from our house. I packed a potty chair in the back of my car in case he needed it and reminded him to keep his big boy pants dry and tell me if he needed to go potty. We were gone about an hour and he stayed dry the whole time.
He ended up only having one accident all day!
7:27 pee in potty!
9:32 pee in potty!
11:15 told me he needed to go then pee in potty!
3:45 pee in potty!
7:45 pee in potty!
We decided to stick with it, and Day 5 he only had one accident as well even though he spent hours playing and working outside with Jerad, and we had company that afternoon and evening.
Day 6 (yesterday) we decided to send him to his Montessori school with no diapers. Their policy is no pullups or training pants during potty training, and request that the parents send 5 changes of underwear and clothes. If the child goes through all 5 they are placed back in a diaper and potty training is put on hold for awhile. They do all diaper changes standing up, and in the bathroom and with each change they ask the kids if they'd like to try sitting on the toilet which lays the groundwork for potty training. I was hoping he didn't have 5 accidents since it had only been 1 per day the last 2 days, but I wasn't too hopeful because he would be majorly distracted, would be wearing clothes instead of just underwear, and was going to be there for 8 hours.
When I picked him up they said that he'd only had one accident all day. It was really working!!! He stayed dry the rest of the day at home and woke up dry this morning as well. So now its noon on day 6 and as far as I know he hasn't had any accidents today (he's at school). I'm going to tentatively say he's potty trained. He isn't verbally telling us when he needs to go yet, but he'll act like he needs to and then when we ask he'll confirm it and go in the bathroom. He still needs some help with getting his clothes on and off, but that'll come with time.
I can't recommend this method enough. It was pretty much painless. Yes there were some accidents to clean up, but he had fun for most of the time and I'd SO MUCH rather have a few hard days than drag it out for months. Maybe I'll actually be able to catch up on laundry now!
This week we'll be back to our normally busy schedule of errands, appointments, parks, playdates, the Children's Museum, then Sunday we're spending the day at the waterpark so wish us luck!
Update: No accidents at school today! Or all day so far actually. Yeay Marshall!