Sunday, May 11, 2014

Say Adios to Diapers - Part 1

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As a parent, potty training has been one of those most frustrating experiences that I’ve had to deal with, by far. It took several attempts at potty training before it finally stuck with Veronica. Soon it will be Adri’s turn to start potty training. While I’m dreading having to go through the process again, I learned a lot the first time around that I’m hoping will assist this time.

For the first part of this Say Adios to Diapers series, I’ll be sharing some of the insight gathered from round one of potty training with V. In the second post, I’ll be talking about what we plan to do with Adri and what we’ll be doing differently from the first time.

Get the gear. When potty training Veronica, we started off by buying two things. She got a miniature potty that doubled as a stool and had a removable seat, which could be attached to the toilet, as well as “big girl pants,” aka Pull-Ups. The toddler-sized potty made it easy for her to go on her own and being able to use the seat to make the big toilet child friendly helped a bunch too.

Being in Pull-Ups versus diapers has been proven to deliver more potty training success. Not only did V feel less like a baby with wearing big girl pants, but they made it possible for her to remove them on her own when it came time to use the toilet. With Pull-Ups’ partnership with The First Years, parents can purchase a specialty potty seat for her toddler featuring a free sample pack of Pull-Ups® Training Pants.

Consistency. Continually repeating the same routine helps it to become a habit. For that reason, a trip to the potty was something that happened first thing every morning. I have to pee when I first wake up, so why wouldn’t she? I believe that getting Veronica accustomed to this first trip, made it easier for her to recognize what I felt like to have to go. And even if she didn’t use the potty for the rest of the day, this first trip was always something that happened.

Positive Reinforcement. Since the very beginning, we’ve made a big deal out of every potty occurrence that actually happened on the toilet. Celebrate the Every Flush is a ritual designed to celebrate successes in potty training. In our home, each flush was accompanied by lots of cheering and clapping. For a while, Veronica was rewarded for going on the potty with a treat, usually a piece of candy. After a while, she was getting too much candy, so we stopped that. Some parent’s choose the healthier alternative of stickers or reward charts.

The main thing that I learned with Veronica is that potty training takes some serious commitment. It didn't happen right away, and it actually took several separate attempts with breaks in between for it to catch on. For that reason, I'm not in a huge rush with Adri, yet. But I do have plans that I'll discuss next time.

Love, Alex

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