(If you don’t like reading about pee and poop, you should stop reading right here.)
One week before Mark turned two, we decided that it was finally time for him to learn how to pee on the potty. We’d been pretty sure for a couple months that he was ready but a variety of things (primarily our trip to Alaska and Christmas holidays) kept us from starting until the Monday after Christmas.
The first day was amazing. By the end of the day, he was running into the bathroom when he needed to pee and although certainly not perfect, we were super optimistic. I had even composed the blog post exulting in his successes in my mind already. (Bad idea.)
The next four days were torture. He didn’t show any interest in peeing on the potty and basically it looked as if it was all going to be a big disaster. We had rolled up our rugs so cleanup was easy but it was still really disheartening. Ellie went from diapers to accident-free in six days. So this felt like FOREVER. As it turns out, we were “op-too-much-itstic” (in the words of Miss Penelope Lumley, the plucky governess from The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, a great series, particularly to be read aloud.)
Nik and I had nightly conferences, “Should we keep going? Should we put him back in diapers? Are we crazy? Is he too young? Everyone says boys are harder!” My mom encouraged me to stay the course, saying that she’s seem many kids take longer than others and that given time, he would figure it out. We finally decided to just stick it out for a few more days
So we kept up the kind words, non-angry responses to accidents, and on Saturday (six days after we started), Mark had his first real success! And after that, slowly but surely, we started to see him figure out how to listen to his body, how to get to the little potty in time. By the end of two weeks, hurrah! Mark had taught himself how to use the toilet!
It’s certainly been a longer process that with Ellie. For one thing, the pee flies around more erratically with a boy! So even when he does successfully get himself to the bathroom (basically 100% of the time) we still have more pee mopping-up to do. Other than that, almost entirely, he’s good during the daytime.
He still wears diapers at night (even though he doesn’t like to put them on) because he’s still nursing at night and I told him, “We’ll make a deal. You want no diapers? You get no nursing!” So far, he’s sticking with nursing! He does wake up dry one or two mornings out of the week so I think soon some night weaning is in his future and then it seems that no diapers at all will be in his future as well.
For a far more in-depth description of our potty-training process, see my post about Ellie and her potty-training. Basically, we used no stickers/candy/charts or any other incentives other than “yay! pee!” He just went bare on his bottom half for two weeks and eventually taught himself what to do.
silly kids! (and look – she wore the skirt! Of her own free will!)