Gracie has been showing signs of being ready for potty training for about a month now. She can hold it for a while, sometimes even all night. She tells us when she has to go potty, and she tells us when she needs a diaper change. She loves panties, and has a healthy interest in the potty happenings of all our family members. She’s been interested, but any time I would actually put her on the potty, she wasn’t happy. She’s squirm or cry, and so I would immediately take her down. I didn’t want to force her to sit on the potty because I didn’t want her to be any more scared or unwilling than she already was.
In our house, we take potty training in a few long-term steps. Step One has been happening for the last month. We buy a potty seat (we use potty seats on the big potties and not little potty chairs just out of personal preference) in a favorite character and sit it on the potty. We start reading books about going potty. We start talking about going potty during diaper changes. We buy a pair of underwear in a favorite character print. Step One is all about getting them used to the idea of a potty, and beginning to associate potty with potty business. In our house, this step can last a short while or a long while, and is completely led by the child. Michael was in this phase for only a couple weeks. Gracie has been in it for a little over a month.
With Gracie’s second birthday coming up on March 25 (WHAT!?!??!!??!??), we have slowly started entering Step Two. Part of the reason we are entering this phase is because Gracie has started talking about going potty all by herself without us prompting her. She takes her babydoll (named Baby Tut Tut after Cousin Tillman) into the bathroom a lot now and I can hear her telling Baby Tut Tut about going potty. It sounds like this, “Baby Tut Tut (babble, babble, babble) potty (babble, babble, babble) big girl…(babbe, babble, babble).” But we’ve also started Step Two because we are preparing for a big change coming up for Gracie in the next few weeks.
When they move into the two-year-old room at her daycare, they begin potty training. It’s not that I’m opposed to letting someone else potty train my kids, but that time frame will line up really nicely with my spring break, so I figured I’d try to potty train her myself that week before sending her back to school into her new classroom. She will probably have some regression (if it’s even called that this early on in the process), but at least she will have had one solid week of potty training at home with mommy. So, spring break this year will be Potty Camp 2013 for our family, with the hope that Gracie will be ready to go by the time she’s back in school and heading into her new classroom. Honestly, there is not a reason in the world for me to do this myself instead of just waiting for her daycare, except that I’m her mommy and I want to do it myself and my way. I done birthed her, and I can teach her to pee pee in a potty, too.
Because Potty Camp 2013 will begin week after next, this interim week has been our Step 2. In this phase, we start actually sitting routinely on the potty at specific times of the day. I’m not actually expecting anything to happen in the potty, and if it does – great! What this phase is for is to start getting used to being on the potty and connecting bodily functions with the potty itself.
So, this weekend, I’ve been taking Gracie to the potty whenever she wakes up, whenever I change her diaper, before she takes a nap, after she gets up from a nap, and before bath time and bedtime. She’s getting really good at it now. She likes to pull her stool up to the potty all by herself, and she always brings Baby Tut Tut with her each time. And then – suddenly – this afternoon it happened!
I started squealing, Gracie started clapping, Bean and Chris came running – it was wonderful! She was so excited! She got her first Skittle (which we are using as potty treats because Gracie isn’t an M&M fan) and got to put her first sticker up on her potty paper. She was so stinking proud of herself, and I was so proud of her!
GO, GRACIE, GO!