Thursday, December 16, 2010

Adventures in Potty Training

Oliver's been in the early stages of potty training for about a week now. It's going very well. Initially, we were giving him cookies and treats while he sat on the potty. While it helped him develop a positive association with the potty (he almost never gets junk food on a normal day), I've come to realize that he's eating too many. Yesterday, for example, he ate four cookies. He was so full from the junk that he wouldn't eat dinner and wouldn't drink milk before bed. That's not good. So, we're moving on to youtube videos. He loves watching Raffi songs.

When it's time for him to go (I'll discuss that in a moment), I let him know that it's time to sit on the potty. I remove his diaper and sit him on the potty, and then I put on a youtube video for him. Usually, if he drinks some water, it helps him tinkle. Also, if I speak soothingly to him and play more relaxing videos (like "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star"), it seems to also help him go.

I have a rule in place for his early potty training. Oliver sits on the potty until one of these three things happen:
*He goes potty
*He raises his arms to come off the potty
*Ten minutes pass

I'd say that he uses the potty about half the time he's on it. There are some days when he goes right away, every time. There are other days where he sits on there, watches his videos, but doesn't go.

Oliver seems to want to pee every hour and a half or so. He doesn't pee when he sleeps, but he pees shortly after. So, when he wakes up, I spend about five minutes getting him in good spirits and then plop him on the potty. If his diaper is already warm (from his piddle), then I let him watch one video, tell him good job for sitting on the potty, and take him off. If it's not already warm, then I know he has to go! He usually goes quickly. I try to make the "psssssst" sound as he goes, but I often miss him going because he's so quiet. Once I see he's gone, I cheer for him, and then we go flush it down the big potty. An hour and a half later, we do it again.

This morning, Oliver piddled in his potty. I was so proud of him. An hour and a half later, I checked his diaper, and it was dry. I took him over to the potty and took off his diaper, and--wouldn't you know?--it was warm! He tinkled as I carried him over to the potty. Ha!

Going #2 in the potty hasn't gone well the last couple of days. I'm only on the phone about 10 minutes out of my day, and Oliver's managed to do his business while I was on the phone yesterday and the day before. I see his "poop face," but it's too difficult to get him undressed and on the potty while on the phone. It takes too long, and by the time I get his diaper off, he's already gone, and I streak it down his leg in my haste. Still, it's so easy to tell when he has to go, that I'm sure he and I will both get better at it as the weeks and months pass.

Although Oliver is not at an age where he can hold his piddle for long, he's doing so well with this early training that I feel (fairly) confident that he can be mostly potty trained at 18-20 months. If that goal needs to change as time passes, I'm fine with that. With the direction things are going now, though, I plan on letting him go sans diaper starting in May because he'll be a year and a half, and it'll be warmer. Until then, I'm going to keep working on teaching him what the potty is for and learning how to detect his sensations and such.

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