Thursday, March 18, 2010

It Might Be Potty Time!

When I was pregnant with Blake, lots of people asked me if I was going to potty train Addie before he arrived. As much as I would have loved to only have one child in diapers at a time, I knew Addie wasn't ready. She wasn't showing me any signs and in addition to that...I honestly didn't want to invest a bunch of time just to have her regress when the baby was born. So I decided to put the whole potty thing on hold.

But, over the last few weeks, Addie has really been showing me some signs that she might be ready to start training. I copied the "potty training readiness checklist" from BabyCenter and I can check off almost all of them now.

Physical signs

Is coordinated enough to walk, and even run, steadily. You betcha!

Urinates a fair amount at one time. I think so.

Has regular, well-formed bowel movements at relatively predictable times. Almost the same time every day.

Has "dry" periods of at least three or four hours, which shows that his bladder muscles are developed enough to hold urine. I haven't paid too much attention to this, but I will have to start checking more often.

Behavioral signs

Can sit down quietly in one position for two to five minutes. Yes, especially if Elmo is on.

Can pull her pants up and down. Oh yes. She can pull them off completely :-)

Dislikes the feeling of wearing a wet or dirty diaper. She pulls them off and hands them to me now. Nice.

Shows interest in others' bathroom habits (wants to watch you go to the bathroom or wear underwear). Yes. This totally creeps Eric out though, so he locks the door when he goes Haha!

Gives a physical or verbal sign when she's having a bowel movement such as grunting, squatting, or telling you. Yes, but I will spare you the details :-)

Demonstrates a desire for independence. OH YES. She has to do everything by herself now.

Takes pride in her accomplishments. I hear "YAY" at least 30 times a day.

Isn't resistant to learning to use the toilet. She loves sitting on the potty and wiping herself, even though she hasn't actually gone. We still need to work on that :-)

Is in a generally cooperative stage, not a negative or contrary one. Weeeeeell...I wouldn't say fully cooperative, but definitely not a negative one.

Cognitive signs

Can follow simple instructions, such as "go get the toy." Very much so.

Understands the value of putting things where they belong. Yes...especially with bribery :-)

Has words for urine and stool. The standard Pee Pee and Poo Poo. She also likes to announce when she has tooted...even when we are in line at Target.

Understands the physical signals that mean she has to go and can tell you before it happens or even hold it until she has time to get to the potty. This is where we get held up a bit. She tells me after she has gone, not before. So this is where we will have the biggest challenge. We need to practice going on the potty, instead of going in a diaper and then wanting to sit on the potty afterward.

So as you can see, we answer "Yes" to almost every question on the readiness checklist. And she does understand what the potty is and what you do on the potty. She actually loves reading her Elmo potty book and talking about how Elmo goes.

And even though we haven't officially started the potty training process, I thought it might be fun to pick up some big girl underwear to see if they make her excited at all.

I ask her every day if she wants to wear big girl underwear like mama and she says "UH HUH!!!!" but then she runs to grab her pull-up. Sooooo....we need work on that and I need to get her to actually go potty IN the potty.

And that is where all of you come in. For those of you who have experience in this did you finally get your kiddo to go on the potty? Was it a long process for you? Do you have any "Dos and Don'ts" that I should be aware of? Have any of you read any good potty training books or articles? I know every child is different and I am in no hurry to train Addie. I just don't want to miss this window of opportunity. Thanks in advance for all your help!!


  1. My first little girl really loved elmo as well, there is a really good video called "Elmo Potty Time" that worked great for us! Good luck

  2. Incentives for going. Most kids like m&m's, stickers, etc. for every time they go in the potty. My kid wanted money. yea, i know how it sounds, but it worked! Find the sweet spot and bribe them. :)

  3. When my mom was potty training all of us she would bribe us with dum dum suckers. It worked really for us, except my little sister...she was very stubborn, so I think my mom did a different type of candy with her lol.

  4. When we went for it, we put him in undies and set the timer for 45 minutes. We would make a huge deal about going potty when the timer went off so he became used to going on a regular basis. But we used (and still use) pullups for naps and bedtime. We used stickers as rewards but never food. Pooping took a bit longer for him to figure out but now, we're fully trained. None of the videos or books worked for us. We just stuck by the timer and were very patient, even with the occasional accidents.
    Good luck!

  5. We started when little Miss M was 2 1/2 and it took almost a year until we were accident free and she didn't need a pullup at night. I made a big reward poster to hang in the kitchen and everytime she went we put a sticker on it. I told her that when it was full of stickers we would go to Diney World.

    She did great and was trained in a couple of months, but then the regression started. It always happened when there was change. New schedule, new teacher, trip. etc.

    Patience is key!

  6. how exciting! Wish I had some tips to share! I hear M&M's and stickers are great rewards! :)

  7. hi - found your blog accidentally and i'm looking to potty train my 3rd right now -- sounds like we're in the same stages. how old is addie? have a great weekend! good luck! toodles!

  8. Oh, boy! I am so anxious about potty training! Cooper is like Addie with most of those answers. I am not going to try until we get settled in a house, though. I guess it may be the opposite sex thing, because it totally creeps me out to have him in the bathroom with me. Billy on the other hand, could care less!

    Good luck and keep us posted on the progress. And tips for me, please! :)


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