I read everything on potty training. Everything. I wanted my son to be done with diapers. I had another one on the way and the cost of buying two sets of diapers frightened me. I mean a big box of diapers is anywhere from $25 to $35 bucks. I didn’t want to spend that much. My son is also a tall active boy so diaper changes were like a wrestling match. It was exhausting not to mention my pregnant stomach in the way didn’t help. I, like many parents also worried that he would be in diapers forever. Nothing seemed to be working. So what did I do? Well let’s start at the beginning.
When my son was two I bought a cute little potty chair. It was a frog one. He loved frogs at the time. I put it in the bathroom and had him sit on it right before bath time. So like clock work he would say “time to sit on the frog potty” right before his bath. He loved to sit on it. Nothing happened. But I wasn’t worried because he always remembered to sit on it. So I thought no big deal it’s only been a little while.
The my next step was having him sit on it once during the day and then at night before bath. He did it, no issues. Again he did this for a few weeks but still nothing happened. Surely he was going to start going sooner or later, right? About this time he was 2.5 years old. I was newly pregnant with my second child and I was determined to not have 2 kids in diapers at the time. I started searching the Internet for ways to potty train my son, answers on why he wasn’t trained yet. Have I failed?
Enter bribery. My son and I went to the store and I told him to pick out some candy and if he went in the potty he would get a few pieces here and there. So he picked out Reese’s pieces, lollipops and m&ms. We came home and I had him sit on the potty and nothing. After about 2 weeks of this I was eating more candy then I should have been. My stomach was getting bigger, from the pregnancy no the candy, and then he started to refuse to even sit on the potty. So we took a break. I didn’t move the chair out of the bathroom but I just stopped asking him and stopped making it a big deal. He would sometimes tell me he wanted to sit on it but he never went. My mom kept telling me “listen he won’t go to college in diapers” which I understood but I was ready for him to be going on the potty. He just wasn’t.
Next step was big boy underwear. I took him to the store and he picked out a lot of underwear. Paw patrol, Star Wars, construction vehicles and cars. He was so excited. He wanted to try that day. I said ok buddy let’s try. Guys let me tell you, I think I washed 10 pairs of underwear a day. I won’t get into details but yes we washed our carpets a lot. It got to the point that I had him wear under wear a few hours a day then would switch him to a pull up in the afternoon. That seemed to work. He would do really well using the potty in the morning but by afternoon he kept having accidents. So I just gradually increased his underwear time and lessened the time he was in a pull up. He had a few accidents but sometimes in the afternoon he would go in the potty even though he was wearing a pull up! Win Win!!!
During this time he was going to a parent day out program at our local church once a week. I was comfortable with them helping me by having him sit on the potty during the few hours he was there. But he still had to wear a pull up. So every day he would soak through under wear and once a week he would wear a pull up.
Now I was really getting worried. Oh and I had my second baby. There goes that hope of only buying a box of diapers for 1 child. His PDO teachers said that he couldn’t start preschool until he was potty trained and I really wanted him to go to make friends and he soooo loved it there. My husband and I talked to him and told him that we couldn’t enroll him in school in the fall unless he went. He got very upset. He wanted to go to school. About this time he turned 3. I would say he was about 70% trained but I was worried about him having accidents at school. Was he ready?
So we worked on it all summer. I even had the guts to take him to Target in big boy underwear under his clothes. I’m sure the people were thinking ” why does this mom keep asking her kid if he has to go to the bathroom?” It was nerve racking. Our day trips got longer and longer all summer. Finally September was here and it was his first day. I dropped him off at preschool and went back to the car and cried a little because hey it was his first day. I had my phone with me the whole 3 hours waiting for them to call me to tell me that he had an accident. The call never happened. I finally felt comfortable enough to to say he was potty trained.
Looking back I wish I didn’t worry so much about it. My mom was right he won’t go to college in diapers. Yes it was difficult to clean up after him many times but now it’s done. Hopefully my daughter will be a little easier. What really seems to work was the gradual wearing underwear and not wearing the pull up.
What worked for your child to get them trained?