Monday, January 28, 2013

How We Approached Potty Training

"She's still in (long pause) diapers?"

The above is a question I will no longer have to hear!!! Amelia is now daytime potty-trained!  We are ecstatic and so proud of her!

Potty-training has long been a sore subject for us as we watched our peers with children born around the same time as Amelia potty-train.  We were just never there.  We felt judgement from people which slowly turned to embarrassment.  We've fought about it for about six months now and last week was the week.  I was off work and I decided we were just going to face it head on and DO IT.  So, we did!

Last Sunday morning when she woke up I got her diaper off and asked her to pick out a pair of underwear.  I was prepared with the arsenal of licensed 4T underwear I've been picking up on clearance for two years.  

She was hesitant and told me she did not want to wear underwear because it "has holes in it" which is the result of the one day a month ago she asked to wear underwear and she had an accident.  I told her there are no holes, we inspected the pair she selected and for the entire morning I sat her on the potty every half-hour.  She was not thrilled and told me, several times, "mom, this is not a great idea."  LOL.

I set up a rainbow reward system for her on the bathroom door:

Each day of the week was a different color and each time she used the potty she got a sticker (two for #2.)  It became clear to me quickly that she didn't grasp the concept of days so I coordinated our wall calendar with this rainbow:

Before bed each night we would cross off the day we just finished.  After the brown day she would get her big prize.  Something she has been asking for since before Christmas.  In addition to the stickers she also got a Starburst (or "potty candy" as she now calls them) after each success.

By day three I could tell she had some fear over #2 and I knew I'd have to persuade her to just do it.  I decided to go to the store and grab three of the blind bag baby ponies she loves (and we have far too many of...) and tape them to the bathroom door.  She noticed them right away and I told her she could have one each time she went #2.  Within two hours she had done it and overcome that fear!

Caramel Apple, Banana Bliss and Barber Groomsby - our newest "babies"
Our accident total is only at three.  Yes, three!  Two on day one and one on day three.  She went to school three days and had no accidents!  Amazing!  By day two I was finding her on the potty, reading, all by herself:

Friday (day six) Joe had a doctor appointment and I really struggled with what to do about that.  She is scared of "big potties" and I wasn't sure what she'd do when faced with only a "big potty."  When I asked her she said, "I'll get wet" as in she wouldn't use it.  I didn't want to backtrack though so we went in underwear.  I brought spare underwear and clothes and we didn't need them!  After the doctor we went to my parents because I had a feeling she was holding it because there were no "little potties" and they have the same chair that we have.  Yeah, she went as soon as we got there!

On the night of day seven we gave her her big prize:

Baby Butterscotch.  Normally this is not a toy I would get for her based on the price alone ($119.99) but when it went on a crazy price-cut before Christmas I talked to Jason and we decided to get it.  I got it for only $45.09 (after my discounts) and found out that two days later the crazy price-cut was caught and fixed!  They had accidentally marked it down to $49.99 instead of $99.99 company-wide - ha!  I thought something was fishy with that big of a price drop but I just figured they were trying to be competitive for the holidays or something!

Look at her - you can see how proud she is!

Even Joe loves Baby Butterscotch:

We will probably have more accidents down the road - especially as we venture out more.  We still have nighttime to tackle in underwear.  We still have the fear of "big potties" to overcome but I just don't care right now!  My girl wears underwear all day!  For now, that is enough for me :)


  1. Yay!!! So excited for her and you!! And, we're 6 months into being daytime trained and still haven't mastered nighttime but I know we will eventually! :)

    1. Thank you! I'm still shocked at well she did. All we needed was for her communication to catch up with her mind - I was certain she understood and just lacked the vocabulary!