Friday, January 7, 2011

Potty Training the Twins

So I'm interrupting Jon's Fatherhood Friday's to share about our potty training experience and what we did and worked for US! I've had sooo many people asking about it and really it was SOO EASY I hope the girls at that easy in a few years!! NOW, this will be LONG but I don't want to break it down so I have it all in one place so read if you wish! Also I do use "pee and poop" A LOT so don't be offended!

{Brady, Joel & Jackson playing with play doh}
First, I read MANY blogs, did a TON of research (like I do with anything) and then found the method that I wanted to try. You can find it here. The one and ONLY requirement for this method, your child be 22 months old!! That's it! They don't have to have interest, can stay dry through the night/naps/most of day, whatever they ONLY have to be 22 months old!!

I had intentions on starting last Monday (the 27th) but since it was the first day after the holidays and craziness in our house I had LOTS of organizing and cleaning to do. And you all know me, my Type A personality has to have cleaning done before I can do anything else otherwise it's all I think about! So Monday was spent cleaning, and Tuesday I had a client come over for pictures so I knew I'd be tied up for an hour so with it being JUST a "3 Day Method" I thought, "We'll start Wednesday!" Jon was home too and I did watch Brady that day for my friend Mindy but he just watched and clapped right along as we did for the boys, it was cute!

Day 1: Wednesday: We woke up, had breakfast and then threw ALL the diapers away (not really, heck we're having 2 more I'm not about to throw diapers away!) but we pretended too and the boys helped. They cried and when I showed them their BIG BOY THOMAS underwear and told them they were going to wear them...they CRIED!! OMG you would've thought I was punishing them! But on we went, undies and t-shirt that's all they wore for 3 days! I had also seen this one mom who put a tarp down on her living room floor. HELLO GENIUS IDEA!! So glad we did cause 1 accident would've been on my cream area rug (I know you're thinking you have kids why have cream anything....I'm sorry kids should fit in YOUR life and lifestyle NOT you into theirs!) Anyways, so the tarp went down (Brady was thinking what the heck these people are nuts) and we started our morning, it was 8:20AM! We also did NOT use a potty chair, I'm a firm believer that why train a child to potty chair and then have to retrain them to use a big potty plus it makes it easier to go in public when they aren't scared of a big potty!

{Joel & Jackson wrestling on the tarp!}
We pushed the fluids all morning, anything from sugar-free juice, to sugar-free lemonade, to popsicles, water, tea anything they would or asked to drink we gave it to them and in fun little dino squirt bottles too! Have to make it fun for them! Our rewards (since we were pushing fluids) for pee in the potty they got a popsicle (those freezy pops that you can only buy in the summer thanks Mindy and mom and dad for having some on hand for us to have when we ran out) and for poop in the potty they got some pop (which is a special treat in our house) so they were pumped! Yet, they had NO idea what they were getting it for. So after the undies went on we repeated the phrase "You tell mommy and daddy when YOU have to go potty. We have to keep our Thomas' dry and clean cause it's icky to go potty in your underwear!" We said that at LEAST 300 times the first day!! But it stuck!

{Brady, Joel and Jackson watching Super Why!}
Now this is where this method is TOTALLY on compared to others when they tell you to take your child to the potty every 20-30 minutes. When you do that you aren't teaching THEM to tell you when they have to go and you'll have accidents afterward...YOU WILL!! And you'll have accidents on this method too and that's OK, actually I was happy when they had their accident because I could say, "that's icky, gross that your Thomas' are wet you HAVE to tell mommy or daddy when you have to go potty and so on." But with this method your training your child to tell YOU when they have to potty not you taking them when you think they have to go.

Back to our morning...right away they both said "Potty" and ran to the bathroom and both went and I thought...great...things are going good but I want to teach them what happens when they go in their underwear. And sure enough both boys had a pee accident just standing there playing and watching TV. They were HYSTERICAL! They cried and cried and thought the world had ended, you know because we had made it such a HUGE deal to keep their "choo choos" dry! So off to the potty we went to show them this is where they put their pee pee and after that it clicked with them! They stayed dry and were soo proud when they did! We did the potty dance and cheer and clap after they would go in the potty and even when they didn't go (but said they did, which happened a lot) we even praised the for telling us and said, "continue to tell mommy and daddy when you have to go potty, gotta keep our choo choos dry!"

{Having a popsicle for going potty! Brady even got a few that day!}
Day 1 Nap-time: So naps, we fed them lunch around 11:30 and then after that the rewards went to candy or something else that they wanted (frankly sometimes they didn't even ask for a reward when they would go). We limited the fluid intake about 1.5-2 hours before we put them down for their naps and also made sure they went potty at least 2 times before naps. We put them down around 2 and they slept until 4:30ish and woke up dry!! We told them time after time while putting them down, "make sure you tell mommy and daddy when you have to go potty" it was sort of frustrating because every time we said that they said they had to go. Sometimes they actually went and most of the time they didn't but we kept saying it and taking them when they had to go. Remember my boys are still in their cribs so they can't get up on their own and go (we're doing that transition to twin beds in the next couple weekends). We kept our baby monitor close by so we could heard them the whole time they were sleeping in case one cried out potty and so glad we did because Joel did wake up half way through and had to potty. After naps we went downstairs continued on with our day and now we are into supper time. We followed the same process as we did in the morning that afternoon and evening and everyone was still dry and only had an accident each to date.

{Brady, Joel & Jackson eating lunch}
Day 1 - Bedtime: Super came and we ate, stopped the fluids this time at least 2 hours before bedtime and they continued to TELL US when they had to go and off we would scurry to the potty. They asked for drinks as it got closer to bed but we said if you have anything to drink you'll get your choo choos wet and they said, "no choo choos dry" and we'd say then we can't have anything to drink! This worked sometimes, sometimes we'd squirt a medicine dropper of water into their mouth, they thought that was fun but we all went upstairs, put on a clean t-shirt (no footy jammies that we're use to since its too hard to potty in and get off) and then put them down for bed. It took them about an hour to go to sleep...SOO not normal for them they usually are asleep in about 5-10 minutes! But they kept saying they had to go potty. So we took them each time sometimes they went sometimes they didn't. We checked on them once in the night (when I got up to potty) and had them go and then woke up dry for day 2!

Day 2 - Thursday: We did everything the same today, no accidents but no one had pooped yet, so we knew it was coming! We watched them super close all morning and finally before nap time they had both gone. We made TONS of trips to the potty where they would say, "can't get it" they wanted to poop but couldn't and NEVER EVER did we say, "just try", don't do that, let them tell you when they have to. At one point we saw Jackson was trying to in his pants and I said, "let's go into the potty" and in we went and he couldn't go. We kept at it and I think they each had a couple wet farts in their underwear which we said is icky and gross so we got new Thomas undies on. After they both went poop we were happy and they knew they could do it! They were soo proud when they woke up from naps and nighttime with dry "choo choos" and we were too! It's like such a proud parenting moment!

{Joel cleaning in his big boy underwear!}
Day 3 - Friday: Still did everything from days 1 and 2 repeated the phrase 300 times and by now they were better at actually knowing if they had to go so we cut down majorly on how many trips we made to the bathroom with no potty. So they were learning their bodies. We really pushed a lot of dried berries and apples anything to get them some high fiber so they would be able to poop easier. No pooping by anyone on Friday so on Saturday we knew it would be coming. They say that once kids are potty trained their pooping scheduled isn't the same and don't be alarmed if they don't poop one day, so we weren't but could REALLY tell when they actually did have to go! So naps and bed-time and everyone was dry. On Friday Jon had to take Jackson to the doctor and I was soo nervous for him, we planned to not leave the house for 3 days and now he had to leave and take him in the car!!! So he put a potty chair in the car, got an extra outfit and undies and headed to the doctor. He said at the doctor's office that he had to potty and went I was soo proud when he came home and said it was a successful trip! We also had people over Friday night since it was New Year's Eve and boy were Jon and I tired from watching the boys and running to the potty and keeping an eye on the other 2 boys it was a crazy night! So the end of day 3 and we called the boys OFFICIALLY POTTY-TRAINED!!

{ proud of you honey!! Big boy!!}
{Jackson & Joel eating my snicker salad I made for Christmas on Saturday}
Day 4 - Saturday: Now the method ends at day 3 but we had 2 more days in the weekend and I wanted to use them to reinforce what they had just learned plus on Saturday we left the house for the first time and went to my Grandma's house for Christmas and this would be the real test on how they would do. On the way across Ankeny Joel said he had to potty. So I hopped in the back, pulled him from his car seat and sat him on the travel potty. "Can't get it," he said! So that was ok, at least he told me and he wasn't scared to sit on a potty chair in the car that was on the seat! They did great at my Gram's and both had AWESOME poopies and since there were lots of people there they got a ton of praise which was great for their ego. They ate popsicles and we had a good day!

Day 5 - Sunday: We stayed home all day, got the Christmas tree and decorations down, did a ton of cleaning and we both felt we didn't have to watch them like a hawk! So it was a nice day, all went well. While they were napping I headed over to our daycare lady's house and filled her in on the process we did and what has been working and wanted to make sure it was a seamless transition for them on Monday when they returned to daycare. She was VERY receptive to what we had done and worked sooo hard toward and had heard of the method but didn't know of anyone that had done it. She had taken kids every half hour and then had numerous accidents and was frustrated at times. I made it clear that was NOT this method and they would tell her when they had to go and so on. I took all our extra diapers home and prayed for a good Monday!

Day 6 - Monday (first day back to work and to daycare after a week): We dropped them off in the morning, they screamed and cried after being home with me for a week they did NOT want to go back there...can't wait until I can be home everyday, just broke my heart! Anyways, I couldn't wait for Lori's text in the afternoon so I texted her around 9 and she said all is going great, the other kids are following them to the potty and watching and she said no accidents. I reminded her to text me after naps. She did and they were dry!! So after worrying all weekend how it would go Monday, being SUPER sick to my stomach at work because of nerves it was all OK and they had a great first day back.

It's now Friday and all is still well. The boys saw the diapers in the girls' room the other night when we were in there cleaning and said they wanted one but I reminded them they are for their sisters, for babies, and they are NOT babies anymore!! We left the room and and they forgot about it, they are so funny sometimes! So we hope everything continues to go well for our potty-trained boys! We plan to actually venture out and run errands tonight (getting ready to paint both rooms this weekend) so we'll see how they do when we're out in stores!! Seriously, Jon and I are both sooo very proud of them and sooo happy with how things went! We were both blown away at how easy they were and how fast they got it!

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