I made it through my first day of potty training! And I think it went okay. Phew. (However, I know that I’ve only just begun, and I’m terrified of what’s to come.)
Based on the recommendations of many, many mamas, I just picked up a copy of Jamie Glowacki’s “Oh Crap! Potty Training.” This seems to be the current potty training bible, and I’m trying to figure out if it will be my bible during this era.
There are definitely things I like about it and others I am not keen on. In part, I am writing this in the hopes that it will spark discussion and camaraderie among us potty trainers. I want so badly to follow the directives in this book perfectly; however, I know that life is busy and hectic, and I am not sure I’ll be able follow everything.
Let me start by saying that we jumped into this whole experience after having committed one of Glowacki’s cardinal sins. We put the potty out before we started potty training. We said that our goal was to get our daughter used to it in advance of potty training. In reality, I think we put it out hoping that, miraculously, our daughter would just start using it of her own accord. As I have recently learned, this NEVER happens. Whoops. Per Jamie’s recommendation, I put it away before we officially started potty training.
She also recommends mentally preparing yourself for the whole adventure, giving yourself two weeks to think about it before starting. I’m a working mom and life is busy. I gave myself two days to prepare.
One thing I really like about “Oh Crap! Potty Training” is that it breaks training into six distinct phases. This makes it seem totally manageable. The first phase involves nudity (your child’s, not yours!) and a decent number of accidents.
The goal is to get your kid used to using the potty without any sort of encumbrances (namely, clothes, training pants, or underwear).
Given that today was an oddly cool day, I kept my daughter in a shirt, but she was completely naked from the waste down. My task was to watch her like a hawk, and when she started peeing or showing signs that she was going to, whisk her over to the potty. Then I would tell her that we don’t pee on the floor, that we pee on the potty, and recognize and celebrate her use of the potty.
As you might guess, this results in a decent number of accidents and parental clean up (although Glowacki recommends involving your child in the clean up… good luck with that!) Some parents choose to keep their kid contained to one room in order to make clean up easy. Whoever these parents are, I don’t know. I have a pretty active kid, so keeping her contained to one room is next to impossible. I ended up cleaning up a number of different floor surfaces – hardwood, tile, and carpeting. Despite only taking two days to mentally prepare myself for this, I felt ready and wasn’t bothered by the mess. (This in and of itself felt like a win!)
Yes, we had more than a few accidents, but by the end of the day, my daughter recognized when she needed to pee and was getting herself over to the potty in advance. The best part is how proud of herself (and how proud I was) every time she succeeded in using the potty! She proudly told me that she’s now “a big girl!” more than once today, and indeed, she is.
Of course, we are far from this being over. Apparently, getting your kid to use the potty while naked (or half-naked) is the easy part. The real challenges start to arise when you put clothing back on your kid. Apparently toddlers have pretty strong muscle memories related to diaper-wearing. Therefore, as soon as you put anything resembling a diaper back on them (training pants, pull-ups, underwear, etc.) there’s a chance they’ll revert to diaper-wearing behavior.
The next phase is to slowly get your kid back in clothes. Glowacki recommends your child go commando for awhile. Of course, it’s also recommended to be very close to a potty at all times so that you can drop everything and get your kid to the potty when they need to go! I suppose we will try this next phase over the next day or so. Wish us luck!
My biggest issue with “Oh Crap! Potty Training”
This book is clearly targeted at stay at home parents who are able to wipe their schedules free for a week and focus exclusively on potty training. While I realize that this is probably the ideal way to tackle potty training, it just doesn’t seem to jive with being a full time working parent.
I know that the approach that they use at our day care is a bit different than the Glowacki method, and I want to be respectful of that. I am still trying to figure out what our plan will be going forward, especially if we try and stay on track at home.
For those who have gone through this, or those who are doing it right now, did you follow the “Oh Crap! Potty Training” method? Where did you deviate from Glowacki’s plan? What worked? What didn’t?
From one member of the potty patrol to another, I thank you!