Today began what Chris and I have called potty training "boot camp" for both Colin and Kailey. We have been going at the potty training thing for a long time now with lots of ups and downs but we have really felt like we haven't been making real progress when it comes to Colin. In addition, Kailey was pretty much potty trained (during the day) because of her teachers at school, but once summer came, her stubbornness came out and she would not continue for Chris and I. To be honest, we were much more laid back with her because we were trying to focus on making strides with Colin. While I do understand that things with Colin are certainly going to take longer and will get accomplished when he is ready, I didn't think that Chris and I were really pushing him the way we could to really take the next step. Don't get me wrong, we have been trying, but I have felt like something was missing. After talking with different people and doing some of my own research, we decided to try the 3 Day Potty Training method that can be found here. I really understand the idea behind it and thought that we might see successes if we really devoted time to it.
I also felt that if we tried to do Colin and Kailey at the same time, they might motivate each other to make progress. Going into this, I honestly felt that Kailey would be easier, but I'm not so sure about that after today.
Here is our synopsis of day 1 of the 3 Day Potty Training method:
We followed the instructions and had the kids "throw away" all of the diapers that were still found around the house. We filled the diaper basket in the bathroom with both of their new underwear. I set up a large calendar that I decided to use as a rewards chart on the wall outside of the bathroom. We did use another bathroom in the house as well, but we would just take Colin (he's the one that chose that one more often) to the chart when he was done.
Each time they were successful in peeing (there was no poop today on the potty, just Kailey's underwear), they got to pick a sticker and put it in Sunday's box by their picture on the calendar. They really enjoyed doing this. In fact, it was hard to calm the other one that DIDN'T go at that time that they couldn't put a sticker on unless they went potty.
Once we were all set up, they each picked out their own pair of underwear and we explained that they were now a "big boy" and a "big girl" and that it was time to start going on the potty. You are instructed to tell them as many times as you can in a day to "tell you when they have to go potty" and "when you have to go pee-pees or poopies, you go in the potty". You tell them over and over again even when it seems like they aren't listening anymore.
The method explains that you ONLY put them on the potty when you recognize their "signs" in having to go or when you see them going in their underwear. At those times, you scoop them up and run them to the bathroom so that they can hopefully finish on the potty or at least recognize that they had an accident and that it's "yucky" and you put them on the potty. There is no negativity involved, so you never scold them for having an accident. You explain about going on the potty and you remind them to tell you when they have to go. They both were all smiles the first time and then after that Colin was screaming/crying when I would scoop him up and take him (recognizing that he was going or was about to go). He did not want to sit on the potty at all and would basically throw himself off of it when I put him on.
Kailey started having many accidents, even if we just took her off the potty after already having one. She would start the "dance", I would run her to the bathroom and then she would say "no mommy, no potty, i want to get down". I'd get her back in the family room and then she would start to go again. I reread the manual several times and it basically says that you want them to have accidents, even if it seems like they never fully finish and just keep going in their underwear several minutes later. You are just supposed to stay by their side all day long and recognize when they are having one and take them to the potty.
When it was time for Kailey to take a nap, I took her potty before I put her in bed and when she woke up (dry), I immediately put her back on and she only went a bit (then later had an accident). While Kailey was sleeping, I occupied Colin with the ipad so I could sit and watch him the whole time.
He got sick of me following him around all day so he would try to move away from me to a different couch. I'd just follow him over...
It is written many times in the manual that you must stay with them all day long so that you recognize their signs or the start of an accident so that they can be taken to the bathroom immediately. In potty training 2 at a time it says that it can be done but may be more challenging. While I would rather do both at the same time, it definitely is a challenge because when you are alone, you run one to the bathroom and leave the other alone (the ONE time Colin had a true accident today it was when I was with Kailey in the bathroom).
I found the day easier when they were contained (like when they were eating) or sitting with me on the couch watching movies/a show. Despite being told many times during the day, they both (Colin more than Kailey) would respond or finish the statement (when you have to go potty, tell mommy or we go pee-pees and poopies in the potty).
I found that I was really stressed (especially when Colin started the day off crying) because I felt like I was going to miss the signs or accidents. Kailey's were much more obvious and easier to spot (she would either lift her leg or you would hear it dripping on the floor (or had a pained look on her face). Colin on the other hand doesn't drink a lot in a day to begin with so he only went a handful of times through the day. Twice I recognized that he was grabbing down there and we made it in time and several other times I noticed a small wet spot and we would make it in time to finish on the potty.
Regardless of how many times they had accidents or we made it, neither of them told me once. This had me all worked up at the end of the day so I reread the manual again and she said that most times, it takes until the end of day 3 for them to start to tell you. I keep telling people that Colin couldn't really communicate going to the potty which is why it was taking him so long, but he has all of the right words and knows what to say when I ask. So I think he CAN definitely communicate it some way, we just have to figure out what that way is these days.
It's been a really hard first day (I have been following my kids around all day long and doing exactly what they want all day long) but I am glad I started. I am just really, really, nervous about what the next 2 days will be like.
I can only hope for success!
This is what my family room looks like after day 1 (that's Colin's chair taken apart in the corner because he peed on it).
P.S. I am attempting the night time training too and it suggests putting them on an hour after they go to bed. I just tried a little bit ago and they were both half asleep and did not go. I'm not sure what the night will bring, but you are supposed to put them on about an hour before they wake up.