Welcome back to Thursday, as Jodi at The Noise of Boys and I take turns with our True Tales from the Pink & Blue Trenches series. We’ll pick a topic each week about trying to figure out just what is the difference in raising boys (hers) and raising girls (mine) and share our thoughts with you.
Today, Jodi tells the tale of how her oldest son ran the gauntlet that is potty training and came out the other side a winner, aided and abetted by Superdad and the power of the jelly bean! Check out her insights and tips and then share your thoughts in the comments.
Potty Training: Super Dad and the Power of the jelly bean
I wish I could take the credit, I really do. This is the true story of how we (well, in large part, dad) potty trained Hayden in about a week.
August 2012 – Hayden was 2 years and 4 months old. I had been reading on potty training and was convinced he was not showing the signs of readiness.
- Not wanting to be in soiled diaper
- Showing any interest in potty
- Telling us before he used diaper
He was staying dry throughout the night and during naps.
Honestly, in my mind, I heard boys might be around 3 years before they were able to successfully train and I wasn’t really ready to take on the challenge. We never really let him try or play on the potty.
I had all of the tools on hand. A floor potty, a toilet ring, stepstool and travel potty seat (which I highly recommend).
Family came to visit that August and they brought with them a friend from Russia, who adored Hayden but one day scoffed at me, “How old is he? Two? Why is he still wearing Pampers? You should take it off and teach him.”
Well that was it for thinking about toilet training. My hubby is admittedly….hmmm…. thrifty? We had a 3 month old and he was excited to get one child out of diapers. My niece potty trained at 19 months and this fueled his drive.
That very next weekend I bought 10 pairs of underwear, a bag of jelly beans and we took off the diapers. We watched like hawks. Every 1-2 hours we made him sit. The first time he “went” we cheered! We danced, and we gave him a jelly bean.
When we knew he needed to “go” but maybe didn’t want to sit, we let him watch The Muppets version, and on occasion the Queen version, of Bohemian Rhapsody on YouTube. The kid still loves that song! He was thrilled to watch daddy’s phone. And the jelly bean was a HUGE deal. He began bartering with us immediately. If he went “number two,” he wanted three jelly beans.
That first weekend, I cleaned up some accidents and I washed a lot of laundry. I was still waiting for confirmation that Hayden wasn’t ready so I could offer dad a big fat, “I TOLD YOU SO!”
I also knew from reading that some kids were scared of pooping, so I jokingly told Hayden the first time, it is gonna “go plop” in the potty. Sorry to share this, but it (plop) became his “word.”
“MOMMY, I got to go plop!” (Remember from a former Tales from the Pink & Blue Trenches, we are really really into bathroom speak around here, lol)
Side note: At his very next doctor appointment, we were asked about Hayden’s potty training progress. I told him he “tried” for a movement almost every time, I was worried he might strain or damage something. He laughed and said it was much better than holding “it” in for days.
For about two weeks, we used night-time pull-ups, but Hayden seemed really irritated by them, and his dad told me it was a waste of money because he was going potty first thing in the morning. So off those went, too.
I stopped all beverages after 6:30 initially (Bedtime is 8PM). We used the restroom prior to leaving the house, first thing in the AM and always prior to bed. The first few months, we did have an occasional accident outside the house, usually because he got distracted. We never ever scolded or yelled at him- we always explained… You need to tell mommy and daddy before you start to potty. And that was it. We had one bed wetting episode. But we never put a diaper back on him.
I would honestly say, after one week of watching him closely and with regularly timed trips, he gave us plenty of notice. He was a very unhappy camper in damp or wet underwear. For about a year, I did travel with a spare set of clothes for him, just in case. Each week he would excitedly pick out his desired flavor of jelly beans at the store.
The Mechanics of Potty Training
Now, I have heard Cheerios in the toilet work great to teach “aim,” but we never needed them. If he asked to play with toilet paper, I explained he could have one square to flush. We didn’t want to waste it. Toilet paper led to later discussions on recycling, which was nice. If you explain a reason to Hayden he usually complies better than if I just told him, “leave it alone.”
The subject of sitting vs. standing came up between me and my sister-in-law. She plans to teach her son in a toddler urinal, in a standing position. I am very interested to hear how this works for her. I would consider it when Henry is ready to train. I had read that you often start out training with boys in the sitting position, because (early in the process) toddlers can’t always express what urge they are feeling. I have a friend who recommends teaching your son to sit backwards on the potty first and later progress to a standing position.
Now even today as proud as I am of how quickly he learned potty training… Hayden still has trouble – or lack of interest – in pulling up his own pants! Which I can find frustrating, but am working on. He can sit or stand and he will tell us which he wants to do.
Over-time the jelly beans just phased out. Of course, I occasionally will buy some, just for a little treat! And I know that because I wrote this post, Henry will probably take a year to potty train! But I do hope you found some useful information!
Have you been through the potty training gauntlet yet? Any special tips or tricks? If you haven’t, are you dreading it? Share your thoughts with us in the comments, because potties rule the world!
Next Thursday, it’s my turn to outline for you the ups and downs of potty training at the Home on Deranged. And be sure to read more of Jodi’s hair-raising experiences at The Noise of Boys. You will be entertained and educated!