At 2 years, 3 months, and 1 day old Fletcher learned to use the potty! It took 9 days from start to finish. And now I don’t know what to think!
Last Monday he started stripping his clothes and diaper, so I just never put them back on. I had already been thinking of beginning the “3 Day Potty Training” method that I had looked into, but just didn’t have the motivation. Let’s face it, a toddler in a diaper is easier to manage than one who is nude and potentially pooping on your floor.
My main motivation to teach him to use the potty was having to wash diapers less frequently, not gonna lie. I have been buried in laundry for months. Every other day I have to wash their clothes, and diapers. Plus our clothing, bedding, towels, and unpaper towels. I couldn’t get my head above water for one day!
So when he took his clothes off, they stayed off for 9 days. No diaper, no underwear (for the most part) and rarely a shirt. I turned the fireplace on in the mornings to make sure the house wasn’t too cold.
I explained that he was going to learn to use the potty like a big boy, and there were no more diapers. I prepared a sticker chart and promised a chocolate (usually a pretzel M&M) for each number 1 or number 2. Each time he pottied I did a ridiculous dance and song “Fletcher pee peed on the potty” to the tune of “La Cucaracha” and we made a huge deal of things.
This was different than ECing, something we have done part time at our leisure since he was 6 months old. I did congratulate him for using the potty but not in such a grandious way, and there were no rewards. My main goal for ECing him was to make sure he never feared the potty, and when we were ready, he would know what to do. If it saved a few diapers and kept him comfortable in the process that was just a bonus.
Even though I was ready for him to learn the potty, I wasn’t sure if he was. He has used it a million times but only when I put him on. He has only cued me by saying “poop” or “potty” twice before. Frankly, my son is a man of few words. He would rather sign certain things, and he only uses brief commands, never sentences.
Using an all naked training method proved to be the most effective for us. I do have all hardwood flooring though, so this made life easier. In the beginning he would just start peeing wherever he was. I started carrying a little potty around and catching it when he did, then making a big deal out of him peeing “on” the potty. When he just peed on the floor I didn’t admonish him, but I did tell him that wasn’t what he was supposed to do, and I would send him to play in his room while I cleaned the mess. I used my EC knowledge to put him on the potty when I knew he would need to potty (after naps, after waking in the morning, 10-30 minutes after a big drink, or when I heard flatulence signaling he needed to evacuate his bowels) and this helped tremendously.
Once we got a “catch” it was party time! He thoroughly enjoyed the stickers, which he liked to pick out himself and affix. The chocolate was a hit too, of course.
We had good days and bad over the 9 days. Sometimes it felt like he only peed on the potty once, and the rest was getting caught mid stream or wiped off of the floor. It was mentally draining for me as well. Not to sound gross, but staring at my son’s penis in anticipation of a pee, and constantly listening for him to pass gas was not my idea of fun. Housework, blog work, all were on hold while I catered to his needs. My poor baby was woken more than once while sleeping in my arms or nursing as I JUMPED to catch a pee or run the boy to the potty.
We really started making more progress when my husband would potty in front if him and when we started having him stand up to pee. (I purchased a Flippee from Amazon to install on our toilet to make this less messy) I also started the “let’s pee on a cheerio” game which worked to get him excited to pee, rather than want to avoid it. He liked the sound of peeing in water and liked to see the bubbles being made. Peeing standing is so much more fun than sitting, plus he can really see what is going on!
On Day 8 we had 3 floor accidents, but we also finally started to have un prompted potty visits. He just started going! He didn’t tell me, but I would follow him and he would stand and pee or put the seat on the toilet himself, and go.
On Day 9 he went unprompted every visit except one. We even went out in trainers and he returned dry, and he went potty a few minutes after we got home, unprompted as well. Apparently he did have one accident when Daddy got home but I am still calling him potty trained!
Now that the day he is 98% done with diapers (we are still unsure of his ability to go while out in public since he doesn’t ask to go, he just goes at home. Not possible at Target) and wakes up dry most days from naps and night time, I am is disbelief. On one hand I an thrilled, utterly thrilled, that it worked. I am actually very proud of myself for sticking to my plan despite the hardship of it. I wanted to give up many times. It would have been easier to just put him back in a diaper and get my life back. Instead we locked ourselves inside and did it.
I am also tremendously proud of Fletcher. Once it clicked, it stayed. And he has been going potty ever since.
27 months is a little early for boys to potty train, though I certainly know of boys who have done so sooner. I am still very happy to be done with the diaper phase for Fletcher. I am only sad that he is growing up so fast. He eats with real utensils, on real plates, drinks from real cups, and uses the potty. He is a little person!
At least he still needs his mommy for lots of hugs and kisses and cuddles…for now!