Well....it's official. For the first time in 4 1/2 years we will not be making runs to target to purchase diapers. Our first experience potty training Brooke was a breeze - such a breeze that I didn't even remember the details. We put big girl panties on her and she never looked back....I think it took her a day but she WANTED to use the big girl potty. Lily and Lauren sort of had a fear of the potty when I tested it out previously. I didn't feel a pressure to PT the girls, but after talking to several moms about their experience using the "3-day potty training" method, I knew we should try before they got any older. It was a quick decision but I knew if I didn't commit to start this now, I would keep putting it off. So Saturday (feb 16) Landon and I decided to start Sunday morning. This required not being able to leave the house for 3 (or more) days, constant supervision and LOTS of panties. If you decide to try this method, I would recommend starting on a day that your husband is home....and don't pick the same week you have a business meeting at your home, 260 cupcakes and two cakes to complete. We lived through the experience through many tears (mostly on my part) and looking back I'm thankful that we pushed through those very long days.
Here's what our three days looked like...
Sunday - We started off the morning explaining to Lily & Lauren that they will no longer wear diapers but would be wearing big girl panties. All the diapers were going in the trash (more for us so we couldn't turn back). They cried. They loved their diapers. We rolled up the rug in the living room and moved all the furniture out. This is where we camped out for almost three days. This is also where I cleaned up a lot of bodily fluids. Thank goodness Landon was home. He worked with them on the potty while I cleaned up the messes. Just a funny picture for you....just imagine this scenario in your head. Of course the twins do everything together. So Lily would start to potty on the floor...we would pick her up and take her to the potty to finish. As Landon is taking her to the bathroom, Lauren is running behind him slipping and sliding all over the place. In Pee. This happened several times and is now funny to me...but was not funny at the time. I started to feel crazy by the end of the day.
Monday - First day alone. Thankfully GiGi came to the rescue and took Brooke on Sunday and took her to school Tuesday morning. Please if you try this, get help with the other kids you are not training. All of your attention will be focused on the ones you are training. There was not much improvement, and I was alone, frustrated and tired. I called Landon that afternoon and told him I was going to quit and buy diapers. They weren't getting it. Thankfully I have a great support system - both Landon and my friend Melissa encouraged me to keep going....to be patient and they will get it. Landon came home, I went to Target to aimlessly walk around and clear my head. We put the girls to bed and I prayed Tuesday would be better.
Tuesday - The morning started out with dry pull-ups (I didn't take the plunge to have them wear panties at night)! We only had one accident that morning, and woke up from naps dry. There was an accident that afternoon and that was the last time I cleaned up the floor. From that point on, they came to me and told me they had to go potty. They woke up from naps/nighttime dry and went #2 in the potty. Epic. I had my serious doubts with this system, but it honestly worked!
Since last Tuesday we have had only one accident during nap time. I was nervous that we wouldn't be able to leave the house for a while because of the public restroom situation, but it hasn't been a problem. The girls tell me when they have to go and (cringe) use the public restrooms like champs. I'm sure there will be a few accidents along the way but they are doing FABULOUS with this big girl stuff.
Here are a few tips from our experience:
- Let them have the accidents. They will learn to associate that urge to go, with the toilet when you take them as soon as they start to "go". That's why you have to be constantly watching them...so you can catch it!
- Don't ask them if they have to go potty. Just remind them to keep their panties dry, and to let you know if they need to go potty. Be prepared to say that phrase 274 times a day.
- Buy lots of panties, and don't use big sisters. She will not like to share her panties.
- Find a reward that your kids love. For #1 we used m&m's. For #2/waking up dry we used disney princess tattoos. The girls really loved it.
- Keep the disinfectant spray and paper towels close by.
- Be patient - they can tell when you are frustrated. Try to stay positive and encouraging.
- Ask for help with your non potty training kids (at least during the day). Trust me on that one.
- Have a lot of activities/snacks/drinks on hand to get you through the day. You want them to have a lot of opportunities to "potty" so they can catch on quicker.
- Remember that it's okay if you don't clean/cook/shower/wear makeup/fix your hair for three days. It's only three days. No one will see you, unless you go to Target for a break...then it is inevitable that you will see someone you know.
- Also remember that although you will be saving $$$, you will also have to visit every public restroom for the next couple years. Invest in lots of hand sanitizer.
If any of you want to try this method, but need encouragement please don't hesitate to email or call me. I would love to help you along the way!