Thursday, January 5, 2012

Post Grad Project: Potty Time

I've been wondering how I might fill my extra time since school is over, and have decided to dedicate myself to getting Aiden potty trained. It's particularly difficult because he spends different days at different places with different people, so there is no way to ensure that everyone will be sticking to my plan or that they will even agree with it enough to try, but he is officially 36 months now so no more excuses.

I mentioned the other day that he just got a whole bunch of new big boy underwear, looks like we will be putting them to use a lot sooner. His teacher at school had recommended just letting him try underwear for a day because diapers enable kids to feel comfortable not using the potty -- I was just super nervous at the idea of sending Aiden to school full well knowing he would have an accident -- who knows how horribly wrong that could go and negatively affect him, but she has a point.

I was also getting advice from a fellow mommy with a boy about Aiden's age who reinforced for me that, yes this is hard and it takes a lot of time and it's really tiring. But she also told me that she quit diapers cold turkey too. This isn't thrilling for someone who has an overly sensitive gag reflex, but I have already been pooped on, peed on, barfed on, etc. how much worse can this be??

I decided that I don't want to start on a school day, but I also want to be able to give it a nice long stretch of my full attention. When I mentioned it to Randalicious, I told him I would start on a day that he didn't have to do all the work but as we got to talking we decided there really isn't a way to make this work unless we start on like Thursday (since Aiden only has school on Monday and Wednesday), so unfortunately, Papa is going to have to handle the first few messes. Luckily, I took advantage of that buy one get one sale on the big boy underwear, so as long as I can keep on top of the laundry we will be okay.

Another new tactic which I have up my sleeve is the Elmo's Potty Time movie. Since Aiden is so focused on movies and tv and being a little "monkey-see, monkey-do" I figured this is worth a shot. Plus the movie talks about how it's okay to have accidents, the fact that everyone goes potty, and of all the reading I have been doing, that positive reinforcement factor seems to be the biggest piece. That's right, there will be no more frustrated, "Did you poop? Why didn't you tell me?" conversations -- from now on, all accidents have to be stress free.

Of course the positive reinforcement has already been playing a big role - Aiden gets a treat every time he uses the potty but from now on I'm going to keep those treats visible and near the potty so that I don't have to  keep saying "Want a treat? Let's go potty" - this way he can just see the treat, right there relatively close to the potty and make the positive association himself.

Last night at Randalicious' house, Aiden was playing with a new Thomas toy and saw one on the box that he really wanted, then actually asked if he could have it. Papa took the initiative and said, "If you can learn to use the big boy potty, I will buy it for you." This kind of reward usually goes with a "potty chart" - in the past I have allowed Aiden to collect stickers on a piece of paper but communication hasn't been great enough that he really understood. Fortunately, with his talking and listening getting so much more fluid, I think we might be ready for one of these charts. I like the Elmo one, because it goes well with the Potty Time movie and I also like the one with the potty picture because it really reinforces the point, but I will probably make one myself that is a combination of the two some how.

 I really like the way the Thomas chart tracks the whole process, I want him to get good at not only using the potty, but also taking his own pants off, flushing when he's done, and getting in a really good habit of washing his hands.

Anyway, the objective of the chart is that he will fill it up and then turn it in to Papa for that Thomas toy he wants.

We're about a week away from starting the whole thing, but wish us luck!


Jan B said...

Since he's toy motivated, you might also try putting a large jar in the bathroom or somewhere else highly visible. Then when he goes in the potty, put a token or some small change in the jar. He can see it filling and that might encourage hime to go in the potty more, getting him closer to the toy prize.

Jan B said...
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