We are by no means the poster children for potty training. It started off really good for us: within the first week he was peeing in the potty seat and telling us when he had to go and we even got him to poop in the potty twice! We thought we were potty training rock stars.
Then about a month into it everyone in our house got sick. Finn was one of the worst with diarrhea for about 2 weeks straight. This required us to put him back in pull-ups 24/7 (and even a stool sample to the doctor which was fun). We told the doctor about our reservations regarding the potty training and how this sickness and the pull-ups was setting him back and she sort of (probably wanting to shake us like we were overbearing crazy parents worried about the complete wrong thing here) assured us, “hey, he’s sick!” So, we went with it. And of course with that, our potty training was set back almost to the beginning and we went down a road of part time underwear and part time pull-ups for the next 5 months that had us pulling out our hair almost all the time and completely anxious ridden.
We’d leave him in a pull-up for naps and bedtime (and continue to) and until he would go #2 the next day because we didn’t like cleaning up the mess in his underwear and he refused to go on his potty seat. Well, because he has some serious constipation issues, sometimes that meant that he’d be in a pull-up all day or for days and as long as he had that safety net, he’d continually have accidents in his “underwear”. So we really weren’t getting anywhere. And because it was easier for us, we’d wear pull-ups anytime we left the house. So basically we had just switched from diapers to pull-ups and occasionally used underwear. Yeah what a racket those diaper companies have going!
It wasn’t until about a month ago that a friend suggested getting rid of pull-ups altogether during the day that our potty training really started getting on the right track. It was a total “duh” moment. Within 2 days he was almost back to where he was in December when we first started. Then of course we went to Disneyland (more on that later, I promise!) and that went to hell that whole week, but then once we returned we were back to underwear for GOOD.
Now we only use pull-ups for his nap and bedtime and he asks for his underwear in the morning when he wakes up. If he fills his pull-up too much in the night he doesn’t like it and will take it off and just free ball it until the morning much to our dismay. So, we’re on the right track now.
Except when it comes to doing the big deed. For that, he asks for a pull-up. Which is frustrating because he will absolutely not volunteer to sit on the potty seat. However, at the same time, as our doctor says its a good sign that he’s recognizing that he has to go and asking for a pull-up instead of just going in his underwear. The cleanup is much easier in a pull-up than it is in underwear, trust me! But this means we’re not fully potty trained
and he most likely can’t go to preschool come August. The doctor says with his medical issue, it is very important that we do not force him on the potty and cause him anymore anxiety than he already has about going #2 but I don’t know if he’s ever going to volunteer to go there on his own! We do get him to go about 2-3 times a week with a lot-a lot of coaxing, so that’s something.
One thing we are getting really good at rocking is peeing in public. We used to always have to bring his special green potty seat with us and let him use it in the back of the car and then just dump it wherever we are (gross I know, but he was terrified of public toilets). Now we’ve graduated to using the portable seat that sits on the toilet. I just have to make sure I promise him I won’t flush it while he’s in the stall because he’s terrified of the loud noise. This works because he’s only peeing right now… when he graduates to other deeds, I don’t know!!! But I am so proud of both him and me for getting through this incredibly difficult and daunting part of potty training!
Everybody says it just “clicks” and one day he’s just going to be this potty trained machine… I’m just waiting and waiting and waiting for that day. Until then, you’ll still probably find me pulling my hair out here and there, but I think we are finally winning the potty training war.