Monday, August 24, 2009

Potty Training Success!

So I am making and breaking records this year with my blog posting. I typically only post when major events happen in my / our lives. This being my 3rd post of the year means that we have now had 3 major events in our lives to date.

1. Isabella born 1-13-09
2. Frank Hall passes 4-19-09
3. Anna becomes free from the bonds of the diaper! 8-23-09

Yup that’s right Anna is no longer bound by diaper, she is officially a big girl who uses the potty! Christie and I spent the last 3 days in an intensive effort to potty train 22 month old Anna.

A few months back Christie came across a link to an online book titles 3 Day Potty Training. We began to do research at that point to see if the product was what it said it was. We found that the system while similar to some popular methods advertized for free, it had some aspects to it that made Christie and I believe it was worth the money.

After spending 3 days using the method I can assure you that it is worth every cent. My sister who has her bachelor’s in early childhood development read the book (we were allowed to send her a copy of the PDF because she closely assisted us with training Anna today). Her take on the method was that it made a lot of sense and it did not surprise her that the system worked as advertised.

The basic gist of the method is to switch to big girl panties / big boy underwear and never turn back. The system teaches you how to turn accidents into positive learning experiences. By the end of the book the author has taught you how to potty train your toddler by being patient, consistent, loving and wholly devoted to just that task for 3 days.

Saturday morning we got up and changed Anna’s diaper (giving her the last clean diaper she would ever have.). We then got ready for the day, took showers – ate breakfast and began the day late but totally relaxed and ready for the task.

At around 10:00 A.M. or so we got down on Anna’s level, looked her in the ye and told her, “you are going to wear big girl panties now and go potty on the toilet! Anna, you are such a big girl now!”. From there we took off her diaper, put her in panties and never looked back.

We began pumping her with liquids (ok – not pumping, but we had a sippy cup ready and waiting at all times – the more liquid going in – the more opportunities to sit on the potty!). We also began asking her to remember to tell us if she needed to go to the potty, we did so a million times over, to the point where she began to ignore us, but that was the point. We wanted this to be so ingrained in her head that telling us became habit. We also kept asking her if she was dry, each time she answered us we would praise her for being a big girl.

It was not perfect form the start but we had no illusion that it would be. We expected and wanted there to be accidents. The accidents were not a bad thing but a chance to teach Anna how to respond to what her little body was telling her. By 11:30 A.M. we had gone through about 8 pairs of panties, one of daddy’s shirts and mommy’s ankle (Christie rolled her ankle sweeping Anna off to the potty one time – she is fine but it hurt for a while).

Slowly but surely we began to have some success, times where we caught Anna in the act of starting to pee, swept her off to the potty, got down on her level and lovingly teased her about how she made yuck in her panties and how we wanted to do that in the toilet. The more we did this the more Anna began to connect the dots and realize that she needed to let us know when she had to go. Of course there was a reward of 2 M7M’s for going Number 1 in the toilet and 4 M&M’s for going Number 2 in the toilet.

By the end of day 1 we had gone down for a nap and woke up dry, made it into the potty quite a few times and made it in the potty just before bed. This was quite a successful day if you ask me.

Day 2 began with a wet bed in the morning; we did not make it through the night. This was to be expected and we treated this the same as we did with wet panties and it went over just as well. Anna has some resistance to the potty first thing in the morning. We knew not to push her but she began to pee on the potty while sitting on it and crying, when she got the loads of praise everything changed. It was like she remembered form yesterday that going on the potty was a good thing to be rewarded for and from that point we never looked back.

For all of day 2 we went through a total of 5 or 6 pairs of panties, compared to the 15 or so on day 1. She never really verbally let us know she had to go to the potty until the end of day 2, but the body signals were there. I think this success was a combination of Anna connecting the dots and Christie and I being calm and consistent with our methodology. Basically Anna started to learn what to expect and what was expected of her and we began to learn how to read Anna better.

SUCCESS!!! Day 2 ended with Anna verbally telling us she needed to go to the potty and going both Number 1 and Number 2!!! This was a huge milestone for Anna and for us too! We were so proud of her that we made speaker phone calls to all grandparents to be sure they knew how big of a girl Anna was!

Day 3 (Today) was just more of the same success. She began the day with a clean bed in the morning (she got up once in the middle of the night and told us she needed to go to the potty and we got her to the potty first thing in the morning when we got up – she went both times!). Anna came into her own, letting us know when she needed to go to the potty. He continued to go Number 1 a lot and she had another Number 2 – continued Number 2 success if a very encouraging thing for mommy and daddy! We went through 2 pairs of panties today, but neither of them were Anna’s fault, she let us know, we just did not get her there in time.

Day 3 ended with a trip to the restaurant for a dinner out; after 3 days cooped up in the house focusing on potty training we all needed to get out! This was a success once again; she went to the potty 3 different times while we were there! His was just another sign to us that she gets it now and the method worked as it had said it would.

That brings us to now, Anna sleeping soundly in her bed, in big girl panties, another milestone reached! Tomorrow Christie and I head back to work and Aunt Sheila begins her normal schedule with Anna. I am sure some minor setbacks are in order, but again we expect it and are prepared to deal with them.

To anyone who has a toddler to potty train, I cannot say enough how awesome of a method this is! You can get the book at

Another more standard update form Christie will come again soon!

Love Gary, Christie Anna & Izzy

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