The single most unanticipated activity for me as a young mom was coming in contact with actual body fluids. Until that season of my life, poop had never touched these hands and you had better believe, no one had ever peed on my feet.
Now? We seasoned parents toss around poop stories like veterans of war. You know you have one.
This past week, I toilet trained my very (VERY!) last toddler and I thought I would pass on a brilliant way to train that someone once passed on to me.
As a mom of seven, I like simple and quick. My endurance is busy with other things.
I said we potty trained in a week but that is not quite accurate. My little guy picked it up in 3 days. For the other five that I trained, I'm fairly certain they worked it out right there in the one week period too. But who am I kidding? The last time I did this was a few years ago and my memory has kindly bowed out and given way for daily survival.
But last week is fresh in my mind and so here is a very practical post from a practical mom.
WARNING: this method is intense. For a few days, it will take the majority of your day.
There, you have been warned.
Here are the 4 steps to Potty Training in a Week:
1. No Pull-Ups!
We don't use them. Pull-ups and diapers are so absorbent that our kids can't tell when they are peeing. This was very apparent on the first day of training when Little was completely surprised to be standing in his own puddle.
Put undies on those little buns or let them go nakey-nakes. They need to feel the wet.
2. Stay in a small, water-proof area!
We have spent whole mornings camped out in the bathroom with trucks. Thankfully our dining room is also waterproof. It is important to be able to see the Little at all times and be at arm's reach. At the first sight of wet, just toss them on the potty. Gently of course.
3. Eat, Drink, Repeat.
The key to this whole process is to give the Little oodles of practice. Salty snacks lead to lots of drinks which leads to lots of pee. The more you can get in them, the better. We play tea party and break out the juice. We use tiny cups and straws and anything that makes liquid look fun. Last week mine discovered that he loves "pop" and his mom discovered twisting the truth, yet again.
4. Reward Progress!
And by reward, we are basically talking bribe here. We have a cup full of candy handy for every solid effort. Or liquid. If they start to trickle on the floor but manage to stagger onto the potty for the last two drips... Yay! Candy! This is exciting and we want them to get psyched too.
In our family...
We have used little portable potties and regular toilets.
The trainee is somewhere in the Year Two range.
We have a lot of accidents those first few days.
We don't flip out when there is pee on the floor. We expect that. We ACT more than we TALK and we stay calm.
We usually emerge from this week with dry nap times and sometimes dry nighttimes.
We usually have a day of "Oh phooey. This is not working." But it always does. For all six of the kids that I have potty trained, this method has worked.
Is this intense? Pretty much.
But if you don't want months of potty training your Little, give this a try.
Tiny dry booties will thank you, as will your sanity!