Thursday, August 12, 2010

Tips and Tricks Thursday: A Potty Party

I think this will (hopefully) be my last potty training post. Unless I end up potty training Logan until he is 5. Then you should expect to see many, many more! Last weekend, I posted my potty training book reviews here. Some of the reviews I wrote and some were shared by other readers. I've really enjoyed getting input on potty training from others. (Even if it's just a heck ya, I've been there and it sucks comment!)
I decided that instead of doing a thematic unit of activities this week, I would do some "FUN" potty activities with Logan. This might seem like overkill to some kids. But Logan always buys into my thematic units. If we read books about bubbles, he is obsessed with bubbles. If we read about beaches, he becomes obsessed with beaches, and so on. So, without further ado, here is our potty journey:
We followed Dr. Phil's Potty Train Your Child in one Day method. I'm not sure if Dr. Phil's "days" are like the biblical "days". You know, to the LORD, a thousand days are like one day...but other than not working in a day for us, it seems like a decent method.
We got a doll that pees. Logan named him Michael. We fed him, watched him pee, had the potty party, and got a sticker. Then I told Logan, "If you pee on the potty, you will get a sticker too." His response? "I don't like the potty. I want sticker." Me: "You can have a sticker as soon as you pee in the potty. Do you want to pee in the potty?" Logan: "No, Never." (ummm, where did he learn the word "never"?)
I followed April's suggestion to have him go barebottomed. This helped me more than him, I think. I could tell right when he was going and it helped me to learn the signs that he was ready to go. I debated going back to pull ups when he pooped on the floor and seemed upset by it. I wasn't trying to embarrass him, just trying to make him aware. However, when I let him pick to wear a pull up or big boy underwear or go without, he always picked big boy pants or going with out.
According to Dr. Phil's method, every time your child has an accident you take him to the potty 10 times in a row to help build muscle memory. As a teacher, I know that repetition does work. But I wanted it to be fun for Logan-- since he is a kid who could be easy to get into a power struggle with. So, we made up the potty races. We put the potty at the end of our hallway. We took turns running, sitting on the potty, and running back. We would say, "Uh-oh, gotta go." and then take off. We also did giant steps, baby steps, hops, jumps, turns, crawls to the potty. (It was also a good chance for me to assess what movement skills he can control.) I didn't realize until we did this, that sitting down on the potty was actually difficult for him to do alone.
We also made a collage to use to decorate the bathroom. Our kid's bathroom is really ugly and ready for a makeover soon. It has no wallpaper or paint on the walls right now (as we ripped the nasty wallpaper down). So it needed some sprucing up! I clipped pictures from magazines as well as pictures of family members. We sorted them into people that go on the potty and people who wear diapers. Logan got to glue (one of his favorite things).
We did a lot of art during the intense potty training. I found that it helps him relax a little and he can be naked and make a mess. Yes, he did "nude painting".
We also made this potty box.

We decorated an old wipes box with stickers and loaded it up with a few small toys to play with on the potty.
We watched the Elmo potty video (thanks, Gayle for the suggestion). You can see the potty song on youtube. (just a note, do not search youtube with your kid. there are "potty videos" with elmo, barney, etc. that are not kid appropriate!! I watched this one and it is the same video that is on the DVD produced by sesame street but you might want to watch it before showing it to your kid just in case!)

We did a few songs. We did a few dances. We are still a LONG way from being potty trained. Logan is still not sure it is something he wants to do. I think the more he sees that he CAN do it, the more he will WANT to do it. So I plan on staying close and watching for readiness signs and getting him to the potty so he can experience success. We are having more successful pees on the potty than accidents so I think we're doing ok. This is probably one of the hardest things I've done. It has exhausted me mentally, emotionally, and physically (you try running down the hallway and squatting on a kid size potty ten times in a row, whew!). To all the potty training moms out there, best wishes. You can do it!! And so can your kid (I think).


  1. Oh my goodness, I posted on potty training last week. We tried all of the experts' advice. None of it went very well. Finally, I had to turn to some Mommy instincts. Miss Enigma is potty trained but it is one of the hardest things I've ever done in my life!

  2. Potty training (or learning as we call it at our house) is so hard! My son has been working at it for awhile, but we're getting there...I think!

    I'm giving away a pair of Super Undies training pants if you are looking for some options :) Cloth has helped us!