Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Great Potty-Training Experiment of 2010

Dear Amy,

We are fast approaching potty-training ground zero here in Wisconsin. D is now 29 months old and he’s expressing interest in the potty. With Michelle’s five kids, your six, Dayna’s five and David’s 2, I have heard countless horror stories. I’m scared….REALLY. SCARED. I’m trying an approach that has garnished rave reviews online. It’s called “Three Day Potty Training” by Lora Jensen. You can find it here. I realize that you and my other siblings are skeptical at best regarding whether or not I can potty train D in 3 days…over a weekend, for example. But I am taking a deep breath, standing tall and going for it.

The method is pretty straight forward and has some elements to it that really ring true with me. I can’t go into details here since she sells the method in the form of an ebook and it’s all proprietary. In preparation for the big weekend, I did some research into potties and decided to get a traditional toddler potty that can double as a stepstool to the toilet as well as a toddler urinal. I may regret the urinal, but with two boys to work with for the next few years, this seemed like a good move. Plus, the more I read online, the more convinced I was that this was a good route to go.

As part of the 3-day method, Jensen recommends having 20-30 pairs of underwear on hand. Um, hello…I had no idea toddler underwear was so pricey! CRAZY PRICEY! So, I did a little research and found a fabulous free pattern for toddler underwear online here. You’ll see on the top of that same page there is a link to toddler boxers. Are you kidding me? Toddler boxers? CUTE! So, I’m digging into my stack of retired t-shirts to make D’s new big boy underwear. I’m kind of excited to make them for him actually. Is that silly?

Jensen also recommends you have several sheets on hand for naptime and overnight accidents. D is in a toddler bed and we only have two sheets for crib mattresses. Again, they’re not cheap. So, I found a pattern online for crib sheets here. When we upgraded from a full-size mattress to a queen, I kept all of our old sheets. People think I’m crazy, but old sheets can be used to make a HUGE variety of other things. (Pajama pants are especially yummy made of old, soft sheets.) I’ll be using some of those old sheets to make new crib sheets.

Okay, so far, I’ve saved about $150 in underwear and sheets alone. But that’s not all…this is beginning to sound like one of those early morning infomercials where they keep saying, “But that’s not all! Order now and we’ll throw in a second set of knives for only $3!” Smile.

Jensen also recommends using wipes by the potty for the first little time because wiping with toilet paper can be tough at first. She makes a point of saying that these should not be baby wipes because your toddler is making the transition into being a big boy or big girl. Okay, so wipes…toddler wipes (insert eye roll here) are also expensive…and dumb. I found instructions here and here on how to make your own. Eric is still in diapers, so I think I’ll be making all of my own baby wipes from now on.

I’m pretty excited about all of my great information finds online. Thanks, Internet. You rock.

Love, Kate


David, Hillary, Ethan, Jefferson, and Samuel said...

My one piece of advice: If this method says to never quit potty-training once you start because it will confuse the child, IGNORE THAT ADVICE. If it isn't working, and it's too hard, just quit and try again later. That's right. I'm saying be a quitter. Once they're ready to potty train, it isn't nearly that hard. I think people's nightmare stories are usually because they've decided for some reason that this child must be potty-trained right now.

Amy said...

Great advice Hillary...I also think that if she recommends that you take him potty every 30 minutes, then you may be the one trained, not him. I hated that...I did try to wait until my toddler was ready and now am finding that my 3 year old thinks that going potty takes to much time out of his day and there are times it's inconvenient. We have regressed a bit, but I have found that talking to him has made some difference. Good Luck and happy sewing and then potty are ambitious!

David, Hillary, Ethan, Jefferson, and Samuel said...

I thought of one other thing :). I think needing 20 pairs of underwear is a ridiculous exaggeration. I'd say more like 10. If there are accidents, and there will be, then you're going to want to do wash every day lest your house smell like urine. If you're doing wash every day, and he still goes through 20 pairs of underwear, then he is obviously not ready to potty train.

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