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The great potty experiment

July 14, 2013

We tried out the potty today. And, by the end of the day, we decided to put the potty back in the closet and return to diapers for a while.

I decided a few months back that we should make a concerted effort to get J out of diapers this July. My reasons? We have a baby on the way (!) due in mid-December, and I wanted to get this transition done way in advance. I thought summer would be an easy time — fewer clothes to remove for each potty trip. And, it seemed like J should be ready — he’s 2.5, certainly understands what the potty is, why we use it, etc.

So, against the advice of many mom-friends who told me that I was insane, that I should just wait until he’s at least three, we held our “potty party” today. For the past week, I’ve been encouraging J to sit on the potty and giving him a sticker each time he tried. And then today we designated the “potty party” day. We told him how he’d get to wear undies and we’d try to sit on the potty, and we’d eat cupcakes when he had some success. We even got a few balloons. This morning, J woke up and was actually very excited. “Go downstairs! And wear undies,” he said. “And show Daddy how I go pee-pee in the potty.”  Great, I thought. Off to a good start. This might actually work.

Except it didn’t. At all.

We set a timer and had J sit on the potty every 15 minutes for about 10 minutes. And somehow, even with this frequency, he quickly wet his undies twice in an hour. And he cried really hard each time. He certainly knew this wasn’t the goal of the potty party day. We stayed very positive, and told him he’d get it soon enough. We tried again and again. Salty snacks, lots of drinks. No pee. We finally set up the iPad and let him sit and sit and sit. For almost an hour of Sesame Street on YouTube, then some play dough, even some warm water play to hopefully put him over the edge into pee-in-the-potty-success. Nothing for a long, long  time. Until he proclaimed that he was peeing. We looked in the potty. There were literally 10 drips of pee. We promptly busted out the cupcakes. Hooray! You’re peeing in the potty! And we encouraged him to do more, just in case that he’d stand up and wet everywhere again. But he, apparently, didn’t have to go, even after all the water.

We put him back in a diaper for his nap. He woke up and promptly pooped. Okay, so no poop today. But at least no poop accidents either.

We tried for the rest of the afternoon. He peed one more time. On the floor again. And he cried.

So, we’ve thrown in the towel for now. I can’t decide if he really doesn’t understand the feeling that he has to pee. Or if he’s actually afraid to pee on the potty. Either way, we were getting no where fast. And I don’t want it to be traumatic for him. We’ll put the potty away for a while until he asks me about it, or until he’s three.

So maybe we’ll be doing another potty party with a newborn baby in attendance. But maybe — hopefully — it will be much easier next time.

[Image above via npr.org — part of an article about how pediatricians and parents have no idea when it comes to potty training. Given what I just wrote, I’d tend to agree.]

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Bridget Currie permalink
    July 14, 2013 3:43 pm

    Congratulations on baby #2!! How exciting!! Potty training will happen when the time is right. 🙂 Don’t worry!

    • July 15, 2013 1:43 am

      Thanks! I’ll try not to worry — it’s against my nature. I’m sure I’ll be much more chill with our second child!

      • Bridget Currie permalink
        July 15, 2013 1:27 pm

        For sure! In my opinion, the second child is way easier!

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