After my last post about Kaitlynn's sad excuse of a potty chart, Kaitlynn really got into the sticker action and filled up the chart with over 20 stickers (each sticker represented a successful trip to the potty). So we went to the store and let her pick out a prize, and she chose yet another baby doll (surprise surprise!)
|Dirty Baby added a sticker to Kaitlynn's old potty chart.|
Then I got my rear in gear and downloaded an official Dora the Explorer potty chart from the Nick Jr. website. I hung it up and she definitely seemed more excited about earning Dora stickers by going potty. I'm not sure if it was the new chart or just the right timing, but Kaitlynn was showing many more signs of potty readiness. She would ask to go use the potty at home and school, she was keeping her diapers dry in between potty visits and overnight, and she began asking to wear her panties instead of diapers.
|Kaitlynn's new Dora potty chart.|
So before I really knew what was happening, I found myself in the throes of hard-core potty training. We started spending more time at home, and we experimented with princess pull-ups. We also began spending lots of time naked. For some reason, the nakedness seemed to help prevent accidents. Even though Kaitlynn was doing great with potty training, her stubborn nature was getting in the way of her success. Even when I knew she really needed to go potty, she would refuse unless it was HER idea. As long as I forced her to go, she would avoid accidents. What surprised me the most, though, is that she immediately began staying dry through her naps and overnight. She would actually have more success staying dry overnight than during the daytime.
|Dirty Baby is potty training, too.|
Kaitlynn also began potty training Dirty Baby. Good times.
|Dirty Baby went potty! Yay!|
After a few days of potty training (mostly naked) at home, it was time to see how she would do at school. I took her to school with 3 extra sets of clothes. (Her school day is only 5 hours but I like to be prepared, ha!) I warned her teachers about her stubbornness in using the potty, and I told them that I had to sometimes withhold privileges from her until she would use the potty. They asked me if she needed a pull-up for her nap but I said no.
|Before venturing out of the house, I packed multiple changes of clothes.|
I honestly didn't know what to expect when I picked Kaitlynn up from school that afternoon but I can tell you that I most certainly did NOT expect to see her in the same outfit. When I walked around the corner and saw her in the same outfit, my jaw dropped. Her teacher said that they had to coerce her into using the potty (they withheld her lunch until she went) but that once she got there, she did fine. She didn't have any accidents, even during her nap. I praised Kaitlynn over and over, and I kept telling her how proud I was!
The next day we had another successful day. We went to a birthday party at the home of one of her classmates. I was busy talking with the other mothers when all of a sudden, Kaitlynn was calling for me and saying she needed to go potty. And she told me again about an hour later while still at the party. I was floored! Not only was she staying dry, but now she was actually telling me when she had to go.
During all of this potty training, I have learned the hard way that potty training with girls is SO much different from boys. I'm still undecided which gender is more difficult to handle when using adult-sized toilets. To be honest, many of Kaitlynn's "accidents" have come from wetting her pants while actually sitting on the potty. Controlling the flow is much harder with girls than boys, so we have made a lot of messes trying to figure out the best way to position Kaitlynn on an adult potty. The best way is to unclothe her from the waist down to give her leverage across the bowl. Sometimes that isn't possible when wearing certain outfits or shoes, so I try to wad up extra toilet paper to block the flow from going where I don't want it to. And don't get me started on using public toilets. Let's just say we spend a LOT of time hand-washing after visiting public restrooms. It's always an adventure taking a 2-year-old to the potty!
After about a week of mostly successful potty training, we had a major setback. Kaitlynn had a VERY painful experience going #2 because she had been holding it in and got herself constipated. I sat with her while she was on the potty and she just screamed and cried. It made me cry, too, because I felt so bad for her. After that experience, Kaitlynn was SO scared to go #2 and refused to try. I immediately put her on Miralax (stool softener) but she continued holding it in. Finally after a few days, she began going #2 in her panties over and over. I tried bribes, comforting her, and even making her stay naked around the house. She responded by pooping on the living room rug like a dog. That was a low point in our house.
|There has been a lot of nakedness at our house lately.|
Jeff had a very stern talk with Kaitlynn and made her repeat over and over that "poop goes in the toilet." She reluctantly seemed to "get it" but was still too scared to try. We kept telling her that she could go poop in the potty when she was ready. Let me just say, that statement was KEY for both of my kids' potty training experiences. "Let me know when you're ready" -- giving them the control made all the difference for them but especially for Kaitlynn.
We hunkered down in the house, left Kaitlynn naked from the waist down, and watched her like a hawk for several days. Finally on the 3rd day, I noticed that Kaitlynn was trying to sneak away to a corner, presumably to do her business. I kept putting her on the potty and walking away saying I'd be right back. She cried and wanted down, and we did this routine over and over. After several times, she couldn't hold it any longer. I heard the most joyful noise as a waited outside the bathroom door -- a big plop! Yes, that's probably TMI but I've never been happier to hear that sound!
Kaitlynn exclaimed, "I did it!" and I ran in and began jumping for joy, praising her over and over. Then Connor joined us and we all just cheered and sang her praises for several minutes. I told Kaitlynn I was SO proud of her and then I gave her a handful of jellybeans to celebrate. She was definitely proud of herself and kept asking me if I was proud of her, to which I responded positively with praise and hugs. I was hoping that maybe this would put us over the hump.
|So proud of this big girl!|
Sure enough, from that day forward, Kaitlynn has been accident-free. She still needs some coaxing to go #2 when it's time, but she has been wearing her big girl panties for 2 weeks now. And ironically enough, Kaitlynn has completely lost interest in her new Dora potty chart.
We have resumed our busy schedule without any problems, although I'm always aware of the closest nearby restrooms while out in public. Even the nights are going great. If Kaitlynn needs to go potty overnight, she just cries out for me to get her out of her crib and take her to the potty and then goes right back to sleep. I am just SO proud of our big girl!!
And can I just say how happy we are to have reached this major milestone in our family?! No more diapers...EVER!!!