April 16, 2015

3 Day Potty Training

I wasn't sure how I would be feeling after the past 3 days of potty training. I wasn't sure if I would feel like I just went through major trama, or if I would be happy. I am thrilled to say that I am ecstatic and very much looking forward to to sharing all the details with you guys! Let me just say that I was really nervous going into it and really just felt like this would probably be the hardest milestone for us to conquer. Dollie has really spoiled us in the past. Wean from nursing at 14mo? Simple. Getting rid of her binky at 15mo? Her idea. Sleep training at 20mo in her own bed/room? (because we lived in a hotel up until that point) Cried for 10 min the first night and that was it. I guess I thought it can't all be that good so potty training is where she would get us. Boy was I wrong! 

When she was 20 mo (two mo. ago) we were still living in a hotel. At that time I thought it would be a good idea to give potty training a try for 2 reasons: 1. I was with her all day long every day, and 2. we were living in such a small space making it easy to keep track of her (vs. an entire house). My friend had given me a copy of a book called 3 Day Potty Training (you can find all the info here) and said she loved using it and that it worked. Didn't take much to sell me on it. I read through it and the author said she had potty trained all 5 of her kids at the age of 22 months within 3 days. She strongly recommended waiting until 22 mo. I decided after reading it that I would do exactly as she outlined- no questions asked, no excuses- because she said she had a proven system and that if I followed it exactly it would work. That meant waiting 2 more months for Dollie to be 22 mo. 

Although we were to wait another couple months, there were some little things I did to start preparing- some were my own idea, some recommended by the book. For one, I started to let Dollie see when I went potty in the toilet so that she was familiar with the process. About a month ago I ordered a potty chair that was recommended in the book (you can find it here on Amazon or here at Diapers.com- I got ours at diapers.com for $18 when they were having a sale) and let Dollie play around with it a little. Sometimes after her bath I would let her sit on it if she wanted to and tell her it was for her to go potty in. She actually ended up going potty in it a couple times without pressure from me, and I made a huge exciting deal about it. It was just fun, and random- nothing consistent. Also about a month ago I started making a conscious effort to pay attention to our diaper purchases. On the morning of day one you, or I guess I should say your child, is required to throw away any and all remaining diapers. I wasn't about to throw away a bunch of money, so I started buying smaller packages of diapers hoping we wouldn't have to throw a bunch away when day one came. About 2 weeks ago I did as the book recommended and started telling Dollie that is was really gross when she went poop in her diaper. I would say yucky, stinky, and we need to go poop in the toilet not in the diapers. Sometimes I would even show it to her, and then I would let her throw it in the trash. That was the only prep that I did that was actually recommended by the book. Also, the book strongly suggests you to stop any kind of potty training you may be doing at least 30 days prior to beginning the program so they are "deprogrammed" from any bad experiences, etc... Dollie never had any type of training prior, besides her willingly going potty on the chair a couple times. I just made sure to not make it a priority or something she had to do. That's really about it for prep prior to the official 3 day training. 

Dollie turned 22 mo this past Monday and I could have easily waited another week or two except that over the weekend she only had a small amount of diapers left and I knew I wanted to do the training during the week so I decided to do Mon-Wed. The weekend prior to Monday I went to get all my supplies: lots of liquids (juice, kool-aid, popsicles)- stuff to keep her drinking lots all day and keep it exciting. I also got her rewards (little treats), and high fiber foods (fruit, whole grains.) and extra panties. In total I had 24 pairs of panties- the book recommended 20-30. I wasn't taking any chances. Like I said, doing exactly as directed! No pull ups, no thicker padded panties, just straight up real panties. 

Day 1: 13 accidents
Monday morning came and I got up early before Dollie woke to make sure I was ready for the day. Dollie woke up at 7 am, we had breakfast and then I took off her last diaper and put on a new pair of panties and explained to her that they were big girl panties and to keep them dry. She threw away the remaining diapers we had which only ended up being two. No crutches you guys! And yes, we were doing both day and night time training at the same time. I then took her into the bathroom where I already had her potty chair set up and explained what we were doing. (Potty chair must remain in the bathroom-that's where we go potty. Then I waited. The book recommends that you NEVER ask them if they need to go potty. They need to learn to tell you without you having to ask.You simply tell them to let you know if they need to go potty in the toilet and to keep their panties dry...100 times a day you say this. I'm sure I said it 100 times that first day or at least really close to 100. Every time you check that they are dry make a big deal about it and praise like crazy. Praise praise praise all day long. The entire program is based on positive, kind, patient training; absolutely no negativity whatsoever. No saying "no no", or "bad girl"...etc. If accidents happen you simply remind them to keep their panties dry and to tell you when they need to go. Even if they have an accident 50 times that day. Back to Day 1: So there I was waiting...an hour passed and nothing. She had drank a cup of milk, and some juice. I knew it was coming. Then it happened and she started to pee on the couch. I scooped her up and ran into the toilet, she let the rest out. This next hour and a half proved to be the most stressful and frustrating for me out of the entire 72 hrs. I remember thinking I am so glad I won't have to do this again for another 2 years. We went through 7 pairs of panties in that hour and a half. I caught her in the accident each time, (book recommends to ALWAYS catch them in the act) but she wouldn't let any more out in the toilet. It was like she was just taking forever to let it all out and was doing it in spurts rather than all at once. At one point she did release a lot in the toilet so I was sure she was done for a while, but she wasn't. We just kept going back and forth over and over- potty in panties, rush to toilet, sit for a minute, nothing, new panties, potty in panties, rush to toilet, sit for a minute, nothing, new panties...The book recommends you to NEVER force them to stay on the toilet so when she wanted off I let her off. There is no reason for a power struggle. I just kept at it, not letting her see my frustration and she finally starting catching on. We went on to have plenty more accidents on that first day. She went through 13 pairs of panties (no wonder the author recommends 20-30), but also she went potty in the toilet 12 times. Out of those 12 times, I think nearly every one of them was half in her panties, half in the potty. Regardless, she was going in the potty and she was getting rewarded for even the smallest amount in the potty- as the book suggests. No poop that day. No surprise there...nerves and change I'm sure. 

Night 1: No accidents 
Dollie always wakes in the morning with a wet diaper (she drinks a lot of milk during the day-too much, we're working on this), so based off the books recs I made sure she went potty in the toilet 2 times before going to bed. She went to sleep at 8 pm. Then following the plan for kids who still wake up wet, as in Dollie's case, I woke her up one hour later at 9 pm to go potty. Yes, it was hard for me to do that. Go wake up my child after she was fast asleep and after one of the longest and most exhausting days ever? No thanks, but I did it anyway. All in, remember? She didn't go in the toilet, but went right back to sleep very easily. I heard her cry out at 12 am and, as the book says, went in and grabbed her and she went potty in the toilet, then right back to sleep. She cried out again at 3am and I grabbed her to go and nothing. She wasn't too happy about going to the toilet that time but still went right back to sleep. That was it for night one. No accidents in her bed.  

Day 2: 1 accident 
She woke up at 7 am calling for me so I rushed in and she had just barely started going in her panties but let the rest out in the toilet. For the next 8 hrs there were zero accidents. Same pair of undies and probably 10 potties in the toilet. I started to get a little lax I guess and wasn't keeping as close an eye on her and that's when she had an accident while she was playing in another room around 3 pm. Mostly my fault for not being right there. That was the only accident on day 2. Still no poop. I knew she was probably nervous but that she would have to go eventually. She isn't a very good eater...okay, she actually is a horrible eater so most of her day was spent drinking and not getting enough fiber. That all changed on day 3. 

Night 2: No accidents 
Same routine as night 1- two potties before bed. Wake 1 hr later, went potty in the toilet, no problem, then right back to sleep. Then nothing until 7 am. She did cry out once I think so I went in and asked her if she needed to go potty, but she was still asleep and I felt her panties and they were dry.

Day 3: Zero Accidents 
Cried out to me at 7 am and not one drop in her panties, let it all out in the toilet. All day same panties, no accidents. It ended up being 4 pm the 3rd day that she finally went poop. Bodie had brought home some apple juice the day before to help her out, and on this last day I basically let her chug it down. She also was not wanting any fruit or other fiber foods...or really any food for that matter, but did eat lots of popcorn! Both those things finally helped and she went. She was very scared and went to the toilet probably 10 times, but did not want to stay there. I knew poop must be coming because she went potty with no problems all day, but she now had a nervous look on her face. I think it was finally time and she couldn't hold it any longer so she went to the toilet and I stayed right there to help her and talk her through it. I felt like Bodie when he was talking me through labor, haha! But we worked through it together and she went in the toilet no problem- no accident. It was the most exciting thing ever. Seriously, you would have thought I won the lottery. I've never been so happy to see poop in all my life. She was rewarded with an extra cool toy that Bodie picked up for because we knew by the end of day 2 that going poop was going to be hard for her.

That's about how our 3 days went you guys! So simple! First day very stressful, and tiring, but second and third? I would daresay piece of cake. I still stayed right by her the second and third day, and kept telling her to tell me if she needed to go. But I didn't have to say it 100 times like the first day. I give most of the the success to the book and the proven system that it provides. I know there are many methods, ideas, and opinions on age, readiness, etc, but this worked for us really well. I'm sure some kids have an easier time than others- the author of the book said one of her kids got it in 1 hour, and one didn't get it until the end of the 3rd day. She said the same for thousands of her readers who have shared their stories with her. But she assures you that if you follow the plan exactly as outlined then they WILL be potty trained by the end of the 3rd day. 
(Random Q's from family, friends, and people on IG)

1. Did you have to stay home all 3 days? 
Yes. I made sure I had nothing going on for the entire 3 days. Did not leave the house (not even for a walk), did not take the garbage out, did not clean, cook, etc. We watched movies, played games, painted...all day, every day. I had Bodie grab some apple juice and stickers for Dollie on his way home from work on day two in hopes of helping her to poop (it worked). We had leftovers, simple meals, whatever for dinner. He knew I would not be cooking or doing anything but staying by Dollies side for 3 days. I did actually end up making dinner the 3rd night because I felt that Dollie was solid and it was no problem.

2. Isn't it okay to do pull ups at night or at least hold on to a couple diapers just in case? 
 According to the book, no. Not at all. Starting day one diapers are over. We threw them all away and did not even purchase pull-ups or anything like it. 

3. Why not just let her run around naked? 
Book said only panties and a tee shirt for 3 days so that's what we did- both day and night. Dollie needed to feel the pee in her panties.

4. Did you wake her during the night to go? 
As mentioned above, I did wake her 1 hour after she went to sleep only because she was still waking up with a wet diaper when we started. If your kid is waking up dry then you don't need to wake them. I now have cut Dollie off from liquids at 5pm so that she hasn't had any for 2-3 hours before bed- as book suggests. That first hour is the only time I purposely woke her up. It is hard, and I haven't wanted to go in and do it, but I do it anyway and she usually goes potty and always right back to sleep with no issues. The other times I take her to the potty during the night is if I hear her cry out and I go in and ask her if she needs to go potty, and then take her if she does. Otherwise, she stays in bed all night without me bothering her. I don't plan on waking her an hour after bed for a long time, just until I feel good about stopping.

5. What rewards did you give her? 
I made the mistake of only getting her treats- just wasn't thinking when I was at the store. Since I needed to reward her every time she went potty, I obviously wasn't going to give her sugar first thing at 7am and right before bed, so she went without the first day in the morning and before bed. But luckily rewards didn't seem like a huge deal to her. She was more excited when I praised her and then she would just go back to playing or watching her movie. On day two I did get some stickers and she loved them. 

6. How did nap time work?
I just took her to go potty right before nap, and right after nap-both of which she did, no problem. 

The book talks a little bit about life after the 3 days (regression, traveling, public restrooms) but not a whole lot. I am kind of nervous for when we leave the house for the first time, but I will be prepared to deal with accidents which I know are inevitable. I am a little anxious to see what happens in public restrooms. I think I will start letting her try out our toilet to get her use to it. If any of you have tips for public restrooms/traveling let me know! I will say that the book talks about keeping a travel potty chair in the car so we are planning on that for sure! I am not about to sit here and act like I know all there is to know about potty training...this is my first kid! The only credit I am taking in Dollie's success is the fact that I was 100% committed to following everything the book said. Okay, I guess I will also take credit for being positive and patient and not letting Dollie see my frustration. Dollie is my most fav person in the whole world. She definitely went easy on me. I kind of can't believe I am going on day 4 of no diaper changing...it's glorious! Now I get about 2.5 mo off before baby boy arrives and I am back at it. Dollie and I worked pretty freaking good as a team. I know she will have accidents, both day and night, but I think it's safe to say Dollie is officially potty trained! Glad that's over with! Oh and let's just talk about no blow dryer, no flat iron, no make-up, and comfy clothes for the past three days...HEAVEN! Today I am back to grind. This house needs cleaned, laundry needs to be done, and I should probably put on some make-up before Bodie gets home later. 

If you guys have any questions just let me know! Some of you have reached out telling me how stressful potty training has been for you and your little...I hope our experience gives you some hope, motivation, relief...whatever it is that you need to help! In case you didn't notice, I linked the website for the book and all info about the program in the 2nd paragraph. Just in case you need again, the website is www.3daypottytraining.com.

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  1. Yeah Dollie! and of course mom!!! This is wonderful. I wish this is how things could go with all kids but once you have more kiddos things get a little more complicated. Valencia was the easiest to train and I am sure because she was my first. With Viana I now have the three other bigger kids and staying home for three days is just not possible. You have to get very creative. Going out away from home and a potty nearby was always the hardest. Just the other day I was at Hobby Lobby and saw a mom with her daughter on the potty in the back of her van. Genius! This takes care of the always making sure you are within minutes of a potty and emergency on the road times. Hope the rest of the training goes great for you. You're pretty awesome!

  2. Maybe they did not take to it right away or just didn't want to do it when you had planned.Travel Potty Seat