Friday, May 24, 2013

The Quest for Diaper Freedom

Ivy's been potty trained throughout the day since she was about 22 months old. (That was back in August 2011- almost 2 years ago.) Every kid (and parent) is different, but that is when I felt the time was right. My mom and I worked together to get it done, and here's what we did:

Day-Time Potty Training

1. Still wearing a diaper throughout the day, take it off and put her on the toilet every 30 minutes throughout her waking hours, whether she has to go potty or not. Do this for 2-3 days. 

What To Expect: 
She will still go to the bathroom in her diaper.
She will hopefully go sometimes on the toilet.
If she's going at all on the toilet, move to step 2 after 2-3 days.
If she's kicking and screaming about using the toilet, you can either wait a few more months to potty train, or use rewards. Rewards can include stickers, a skittle. 

2. Put her in panties throughout the day, and continue to put her on the toilet every 30 minutes. (Leave her in a diaper for naps and at night.) 

What To Expect: 
Accidents - she will still go potty in her panties, so be prepared to do frequent clean up.
Don't get upset at her if she has an accident. Clean it up with joy in your heart!
Explain to her what she should do if she feels like she has to go potty.
It's probably a good idea to put her in a diaper if you're going out in public.
If you're seeing her potty more frequently in the toilet, move to the next step after 4-7 days.

3. Use panties throughout the day and on errands and, more or less, move on with your life! 

What To Expect: 
Remind her to use the bathroom.
She will still have some accidents - Ivy had them for about 2 months.
Try to keep her in panties if you're out in public, otherwise she'll get used to wearing a diaper all over again and get lazy and have more accidents. 
Put a thick towel on the bottom of her car seat in case she has an accident.
You will have to wash out the car seat - multiple times. 
Remember, clean up with joy in your heart! 

Depending on the child, she may not need a diaper at nap time. You'll know this if she wakes up and her diaper is consistently dry. If your child is a 'wunderkind', she may not need a diaper at night either. Ivy was neither of these. We kept her in a diaper for naps for about 6 more months and then she was able to stay dry. However, she woke up every morning and her diaper was as full as can be. Here's what we did to try to remedy the night time. Unfortunately, it did not work for us, and we have yet to be free from diapers.

Night-Time Potty Training...FAIL

1. Limit liquids after 5:00pm. 
Ivy wanted no part in this... and sneaks drinks up until bedtime.

2. Wake her up every 2-3 hours and sleep walk her to the potty.
Kit and I wanted no part in this step, and frequently slept through my alarms.
It was like having a newborn all over again.

3. Buy waterproof sheets and waterproof pads.
This should have been step #2. 
We waited 2 months to do this and by that point 
the mattress had been soiled over and over and 
I washed sheets almost every day for 2 months straight.  

What I Expected:
Ivy to start waking and going to the potty on her own.
Ivy to start waking up dry. 
Neither of these things happened.

Last week, after being sleep-deprived for 2.5 months, I GAVE UP. I bought a pack of pull-ups (I had banned them from the house back in March to ensure success). I admitted to myself (and in effect, to her and Kit) that she just wasn't ready. I'm done acting like my child is like "every other child" who just wakes up dry on her own. Despite the fact that we had the perfect day-time potty-training experience, night time dry-ness just isn't for us right now.

You're welcome to try the above night-time steps, but before you reach ultimate frustration (and lose your joy due to sleeplessness and insane amounts of laundry) ask yourself:

"Is she ready for this?"
And more importantly, 
"Am I ready for this?"

They grow up quickly. Maybe allowing pull-ups to stay in your house is not that bad. Especially when we all wake up with a full night's sleep. Best of luck!


Read more ...