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Potty training. Cold turkey.

by Brigitte There’s lots of ways around it, there’s a lot of different methods and tools– it can be fancy, but really it’s a human necessity and I don’t try to glamourize it with fancy potty’s or themed underpants or even absorbent pull-ups that look like jeans. I take it for what it is: the human need to eliminate. I’m not saying my way is the right way, the best way or the way that’s going to work for you – but hopefully it’ll give you a perspective and maybe even a method to try for yourselves.

I’m currently in the process of potty training triplets. My trio is 20 months old and 2 of them are just about fully potty trained. The first question I always get asked is “how did you know they were ready”.

You can go ahead and Google the signs of readiness, but I don’t really believe in them. My kiddos never held their bladder for more than 2 hours ( before being potty trained), they couldn’t sit still for 5 minutes and they certainly cannot pull their own pants and underpants down – but that didn’t discourage me, I just “knew” they were ready – I guess it was an intuitive mother thing, and maybe the fact that I was tired of changing diapers lol!

Before potty training and for their entire lives we’ve always been an “open door family” I don’t think I’ve ever closed the door while going to the washroom and the kiddos come in and out freely as I explain what’s going on and what you do – so they had been introduced to the concepts from early on.

When we decided it was time to train it was cold turkey. We used the same method that the Montessori school used for our oldest son (sometimes I joke that the tuition itself made up for the ease in potty training). Initially we wanted to just use the toilet (with a child size ring inside, not a fancy Dora one with handles and padding – just a plain $4.00 one from Walmart, this is peeing and pooping here folks not a birthday party) but because we have triplets this was almost impossible because they all wanted on the toilet at the same time, so we bought them each their own potty, again from Walmart for $12.00.

First things first. Get the diapers off. Gone Garbage forget about them ( except for naps) only underpants from here on in, no “well it’s just for a car ride” no “well we just have to go to the grocery store” get them off! Once you’re ready for that commitment for the first 3 days you bring the child to the potty every 15 minutes, you sit them down you say pee pee and you wait a minute or so – if they pee you say “yes, you went pee good job” and that’s it – if they don’t pee you say “OK, you don’t need to pee now, we’ll come back soon” – this takes commitment from you as a parent – you need 3 days at home, consistency is key. After the first 3 days increase the time to every 25 minutes for 2 days, and continue gradually increasing the time between potty breaks.

It will work. But you cannot go back. You cannot use pull-ups. Keep the diapers off for good ( except naps and nighttime when they are not conscious that they’re peeing…for now) Potty training I think is 80% adult commitment and 20% child readiness. You need to learn your child’s cues, you need to take the time to bring your child to the potty and you need to be consistent! It will work – and when it doesn’t you just need to say “oh dear, that pee-pee was supposed to go on the potty” sit them on the potty and say “Is there anymore pee” and finish off like that. During the first week I leave the potty somewhere visible and the babes naked so they can go and use it as they wish – and it works!

The hardest thing for me has just been preparing – keeping lots of back up clothing, change of underwear, pants - even shoes for any “on the go accidents” I’ve found that my wetbag from Spoiled Sugar has come in even more handy now than when I was doing cloth diapers!

What’s you’re biggest fear about potty training? Mine is bringing the trio into the bathroom while one pees and the others are touching everything in sight in the bathroom –ohhh that just makes my skin crawl! Whatever your obstacles are share it here – maybe we can come up with some awesome recommendations and help each other say bye bye to diapers!

Thanks for reading!

Brigitte is a stay at home mom to 20 month old triplets and a 5 year old boy and owner of www.spoiledsugar.ca

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