Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Potty Training in Three Days

I tried to potty train Dessi at 7 months old using EC (Elimination Communication). After one month of mediocre success it shifted to staunch, back-arched refusal and we just let the whole idea go. Yet I wanted to start again asap because diapers suck.

(Does the above video play? I just downloaded it with my FLIP recorder, but it wasn't so simple.)

But was it really time? She's 26 months. We've had a potty at the ready for the last month, but most times when I offered it she would firmly say, "No. Diaper." Which I thought was pretty funny. She was interested in other people's involvement with it, to be sure. In fact, we were in the stall of a busy airport bathroom recently when she loudly cheered, "YAY!!! Mommy went poo poo in the potty!!!" (In fact, I had merely peed, but, whatever. Good stuff.)

Then we discovered a program called Potty Training in Three Days. The idea being, you just friggin do it. Clothes are removed, salty foods are ingested, therefore copious amounts of water are consumed, and the pee flows. Which means lots of practice opportunities. By the end of the weekend, the child has used the toilet so often that it's practically second nature.

I really didn't see this coming, but ... it worked. (!) The first two days we had about 12 hits and just two misses -- one on my lap while reading (bumMER -- on the rocking chair, too!), and another while watching Elmo; he is her special treat, and I guess she just couldn't pull herself away. But now ... three days, no accidents!

We stayed in all weekend, except for daily one-hour walks up to the lighthouse, during which she wore her big girl panties; we brought our potty along for each outing, and yes, she asked for it every 5 minutes, but it was okay, we had the time.

She still wears diapers at night, and I don't see us getting away from that for another year, truthfully, considering our (my) sleep requirements. But who cares?! There are no more diapers just piling up in our trash. It's almost pretty in there now.

The program doesn't recommend giving tangible rewards but instead proposes a wildly enthusiastic potty dance with every pee or poo. We (I) did that. Really, really enthusiastic -- shame, there's no video. But what really sold her on the potty was getting to choose a fabulous new sticker after each victory. (Thank you, Grandma Alison! Those beautiful stickers are all over the house now!!!!) Every time she looks at her wall, she's reminded of how fun it is to pee.

Yesterday she used the potty during a playdate at a friend's house. I wasn't there, so she had to ask someone else to help her. She did! I think that is the ultimate test and I feel pretty confident now that she will continue on this track. However, for school, at least this week, I've put a diaper on. There are 11 kids and two teachers, and it seems too early to start there; I don't want her to have accidents and then feel sad or start clamoring again for her diapers. (Not that there's anything wrong with accidents. I expected way more of them. Just, to be as gentle with her as possible through this process so that it remains fun. A blast, really!)


Christy said...

Wow!! I am impressed!! AS Eli approaches two, potty training has been in the back of my mind. Glad to hear your success story because for some reason I am terrified of starting!

Christy said...

And what are you doing with Dessi's hair? It looks so cute!

Danni and Tommy said...

Way to go Dessi!

Dessi is just the cutest! Please give her an extra high five and victory boogie for us!