I just survived my 3rd and final day of Potty Training, and what a 3 days it's been! I'm an exhausted and proud Mama! And happy to say that Lyla has done an incredible job, and it's been a huge learning process for both of us!!! We used the "3 day potty training method" and there are several reasons I decided to go ahead and do it. Julia did it with great success with Annie when she was this age. And I've also seen 3 of my good friends/neighbors recently go through the process with their children the same age as Lyla and it worked great for them! So, I borrowed the book from Lee, read all about it, and became instantly inspired to try it myself! The author says that the ideal age is 22 months, so I figured since Lyla is 23 months, I might as well try it! Also, I wanted to do it in the summer (or at least really hot months) so that she can wear dresses and panties and I don't have to deal with pants and being bundled up when we go out. Also, I'm obviously ready to quit paying for diapers!! Plus, I was kinda up for the challenge of it, and ready to stop thinking about it and worrying about it and just DO IT. So, because I don't want to forget what this process was like, I'm going to give a pretty detailed recap of what the past 3 days have looked like for us...
By far, the HARDEST day of parenting to date! Truly, this day was a little slice of Hell on earth. I mean, I expected it to be hard the first day but not that hard. Let's just sum it up by saying that we went through 31 pairs of panties (yes, that's 31 accidents to clean up, and 2 loads of laundry to do before she went to bed at night.) The whole method consists of watching them like a HAWK all day (I mean, I could not let her leave my side the entire day!) to teach myself to pick up on the signs that she needs to go, and to scoop her up and rush her to the potty every time she starts to have an accident. Accidents are GOOD during these three days because they are part of the learning process. (but that doesn't make them easy or pleasant...especially when they are happening every 20 minutes!!) And the hardest part was that she would scream and cry and say "hold you! hold you!" every time I'd put her on the potty, like the whole process was just scaring her to death! I felt extremely defeated, frustrated, worn out, and VERY tempted to just give up and try again when she's older. However, I talked to all 3 of my neighbors who just went through it and they promised me this was so normal for the first day and to stick with it because they promised it would get better! Boy am I glad I did!
So, here we are the first morning at 8 am. We were both SO excited to put her big girl panties on her and I made it a really big deal. She was obviously feeling VERY cute and grown up...
(little did I know what the next 12 hours would hold! starting just a short 10 minutes later!) :)
The night before, I was feeling so prepared:
big girl panties, treats, and lots of juice. check.
potty chart made, stickers ready to put on, flushable wipes, and potty chair. check.
I couldn't even sleep the night after our horrendous day...I was so anxious thinking about doing it all over again the next day. Plus, another part of this method is that you throw away the diapers and pull-ups and it's strictly panties and that's it. SO, I was paranoid about her waking up all throughout the night with wet panties and having to change sheets all night. BUT, to my pleasant surprise, she slept all night and woke up with only damp panties and nothing on the sheets! (which is exactly what she did for her nap on day one! So that was exciting!!) I took her straight to the potty, and she just happily sat on it and giggled for about 10 minutes (with no success....but at least she was happy and not screaming!). We went to turn on Mickey Mouse and about 2 minutes later, she started going. GREAT. We had 2 more accidents within the next hour.
BUT, by 9 am, she TURNED A CORNER!!!! She looked at me with legs crossed and a panicky look, and said, "Mommy! Potty!" (this was the first time she actually felt it coming on and was able to tell me!) so I rushed her to the potty and she WENT IN THE POTTY!!!! It so pleasantly shocked both of us!! We started giggling, high-fiving, and celebrating big time! She was so thrilled to put a sticker on her chart finally and get a donut! And this was the turning point we needed! It's like, she realized what it felt like to actually go in the potty and it made her so happy and proud. And there was no turning back! I absolutely couldn't believe it! Of course, the rest of the day, I still had to NOT take my eyes off her and most of the time I'd see that she was about to go, or she would barely start to go and I'd rush her to the potty, but she always finished on the potty!!! YAY!!! She got to add 10 stickers to her chart on Day 2! (she did have an accident at the end of her nap time, and she still pooped in her panties...but I know these 2 areas take longer to "get", so I wasn't feeling too discouraged about it.) Overall, I was busting proud of her all day and so thankful to see some lightbulbs go off for her! And I was thankful that I was really able to pick up on her signs that she was needing to go and able to catch her every time. Another thing that really helped her, that my mom told me worked with us, was to have her "listen for the pee pee" every time we get on the potty. She thinks this is SO fun!! Every time she gets on the potty she says, "shhh! listen!" and then we both get so excited when we hear it start coming. It truly is the best sound on earth for a potty-training-mama.
A couple pics from Day 2:
Love those little buns! The fact that she looked so darn cute in her panties definitely made this process a little easier!
Enjoying her "pop" (lollipop) that she earned for going in the potty :)
For some reason, we've played with this a TON the last three days...and I keep noticing that she uses her left hand every time! (and eats with her left hand too) Just thought I'd document that as a random side-note. :)
Who doesn't get a wedgie when they're toting their heavy toys around the house?
We've made it to today! Our 3rd and final day! WAHOO!! I woke up on my own at 7 am, and although Lyla's monitor was still silent, I glanced at it and noticed that her eyes were open and she was just lying there. So, I went in before she could start stirring and have an accident, and her panties were DRY!!! YAY! So, I scooped her up, took her straight to the potty and she tinkled right away! And we did not have a single accident all day. (well, other than poop...still can't get her to go on the potty! I'll take any advice if you have some!) Another great thing about today is that she waited about 2-2.5 hours between every time she went, which shows me that she's gaining bladder control and able to hold it longer. She's still not great about actually telling me when she needs to go....I just have to keep watching her to pick up on the signs. Although, as I was typing this, she came up to me and clearly said "Mommy! Potty!" and I took her to go! I praised her up and down for telling me, SO hopefully she will start doing that more often!
Overall, although it's been an intense few days, I'm officially a believer in the process. I'm shocked at how much progress I saw in Lyla in just 3 days! And, honestly, I've REALLY enjoyed the time we've spent together. Even though we were on lockdown at the house, I felt like our days were purposeful which didn't make me feel stir crazy. And because I couldn't let her leave my sight, I felt excused from keeping up the house perfectly and it allowed me to just really focus on quality time with her. It was such a bonding experience for us! We cried together on the first day, but we celebrated and giggled together a LOT the past 2 days! I'm just so proud of her and it's truly been the sweetest time with her being right by my side for 3 days straight! (And did I mention that John David's been out of town Monday through tonight?? I know, I'm crazy. BUT, again, it allowed me to really focus on Lyla and being ok having frozen pizza for dinner and a dirty house. Boy, is John David going to be shocked when he comes home to such a BIG GIRL!!)
So, here's our chart at the end of 3 days:
YAY for all those stickers! Way to go Lyla!! SO proud of you!!