Potty Training 103

Previous two parts can be found here and here.In this post I want to talk about nighttime potty training. While I had some experience with daytime and naptime training before my kids came along, I had never done any nighttime training and didn’t  know where to start.

The thing that propelled me into starting Logan into nighttime training was that he started to outgrow the diapers and I couldn’t get a larger size. I had actually wanted to start him around his 3rd birthday, but I waited because Scarlett was born then and I couldn’t pick him up for a few months, so Logan was 3 years and 4 months old when I began. He was staying dry all night most of the time, so that gave me the courage to take him out of diapers.

At first I took him to the toilet at least twice a night, then eventually it went down to once. Most mornings he woke up dry, though I did notice he was more likely to be wet when it was raining or cold. He doesn’t stay covered so well (many kids don’t) and though I dressed him extra warm, he would still pee.

Now that the weather is warming up, he is mostly staying dry again, and I have even had nights when I would forget to take him and he would wake up dry. He often comes to our bed in the night, and if I happen to be awake (nursing the baby), I tell him to go on his own and he will. But if I’m not awake, chances are that either he already wet or will wet … our bed. And it is always on daddy’s side. Ha.

With Lila I may wait longer before starting her nighttime training. (She is 2 years, 9 months now.) Up till now she has only woken up dry a handful of times, so she is not yet ready for it. One bonus I have with her is that pull-ups are now available here, so I plan to use them during her training time.

The way I see it, you have two choices: either keep your child in diapers/pull-ups until they are dry all night, every night, or take the time to get up in the night and take them to the toilet until they can either do it themselves or until they no longer wet in their sleep.

I don’t think there is a perfect way for night training; I am still learning as I go. I also feel it is important to separate daytime and nighttime training. They are two separate things and will be learned at different paces, so, even though I know it is possible for a child to be completely daytime trained by 2, it could take a few more years before they will be nighttime trained. It may not, cause I have heard of children picking up on both quickly, but it more likely will take that extra time.

If you do want to go the waking-them-in-the-night method, then here are a few things I have learned.

-Pick a time to focus on it and go for it. Take the diapers off and don’t look back. (Though you may like to try using pull-ups since they are easy to pull up and down, and if your child does wet, you are spared the bed change.)

-Talk to your child about it. Tell them about your plan and get their ideas too.

-Make sure you start at a time when your child’s home life is stable and they aren’t facing any other big emotional issues like starting school, a new baby in the house, sickness, or any other situation that could cause them emotional upset. Trying to potty train during such a time can make it harder and the chance of them succeeding will be lower.

-If you are going the diaperless route, be prepared for wet beds. Invest in a good plastic sheet to keep the mattress safe, and keep extra sheets and pajamas at hand so you don’t have to hunt for them in the dark.

-An idea I read about somewhere was to make the bed in layers with several plastics and sheets on top of each other. That way, when one is wet, you just have to take it off and the next is there, ready to go.

-You may find it helpful to set an alarm for yourself so you will actually wake up to take them to the toilet.

– I find it debatable whether curbing liquids in the evening works or not. Some people sware by it while for others it makes no difference, so you may have to experiment and see what works best for your child. Since we live in a hot climate, often the kids will want water at night, so I give it to them. I’d rather they need to pee than feel thirsty.

-If your child is a very deep sleeper and doesn’t wake up when you get them up, you may have have to actually wake them for them to pee at all. With Logan, I would stand him in front of the toilet and would have to shake him awake or he would just flop around, sometimes trying to sleep on the toilet.

-Very important – don’t punish them if they wake up wet in the morning. They were asleep when it happened and didn’t do it on purpose. Just reasure them that it isn’t a big deal and help them get cleaned up.

Mommies, we need your success stories! Please share what helped you when night time training your child and at what age you started and by what age they were staying dry all night.

Potty Training 102

Logan at 16 months.

In my last post on potty training, I discussed daytime training. Now I want to talk about naptime training.

I don’t think there are any tricks to it. With both Logan and Lila, there came a point when I noticed that they were waking up from naps dry, and they would, at that age (between 20 – 24 months), nap a minimum of 2 hours a day, sometimes more. Though I had taken them out of diapers during the day, they wore one for nap until they were able to go for a while without waking up wet. Of course if I didn’t put them on the potty as soon as they woke, then they would wet, but once they got used to going on the potty after nap, they would hold it until I put them on. Once they reached that point, then I could let them nap without a diaper.

Lila is currently 2 years, 8 months old. She is daytime and naptime trained, but that isn’t to say there are never accidents. These mostly happen when she has had a lot to drink, enough that she has to pee several times in one hour. At those times I do remind her that she has to remember to get to the potty instead of peeing where she is – on the floor, couch, playmat, balcony, my bed, etc.

It is important to remember that, even once a child is trained, accidents can and will happen, but it doesn’t mean you have to go back to diapers. Some reasons a child might have an accident are:

– Forgetfulness. Toddlers need lots of reminders, not because they can’t remember things (try to get them to forget that song they heard on t.v. two weeks ago that they only heard once and won’t stop singing), but because often fun gets in the way. They are busy playing and exploring the world. In other words, their minds are engaged in what they are doing and they don’t notice that they need to go until it is too late.

-Not recognizing the need to go. Learning to recognize the feeling of needing to go is important and it takes time.

– Some children try but just can’t hold it, others wait until past the feeling before they say anything. I remember doing that as a child, why, I don’t know. Logan will also wait until the last second before he says anything and then he can hardly hold it, but he does. I can’t remember when he last had an accident. (He’s 4.)

– Too much to drink. Input equals output. The more they drink, the more they will pee. It isn’t rocket science.

I think that what it comes down to is that you have to remember for them until they can do it for themselves. If it has been a while and you suddenly think about it, put them on right away. I know that when this happens to me and I ignore the feeling, next thing I know is that Lila is wet. It happens often and you’d think I’d have the lesson down by now. Let’s hope I get it before I begin Scarlett’s potty training.

Potty Training 103 -night training.

How did naptime training work for you and at what age was your child staying dry during their nap?

Potty Training 101

For some time now I’ve been putting off writing about potty training. Why? I guess there is so much out there about it, so many opinions and personal viewpoints. These range from those to think potty training should begin as soon as a child can sit to those who hold out until their child is 3 or 4 years old. On this blog I try to cater to everyone and make it easy for anyone to feel welcome, yet I know that won’t always be the case.
 
Almost every time I blog about something that is a big deal, I tend to want to cover all angles so that no one feels slighted or left out. Problem is, I am not always familiar with all the angles and won’t be able to do them justice. Then I remember that this is my blog and that what I write about should be what I think, how I feel, and my personal experiences on the subject. While it is good to consider everyone’s feelings, in the end, trying to please everyone will result in making a mess of things.
 
So when you are reading this, remember that I am writing from my experiences with my children. If I suggest something that is not to your liking, you are not obligated to like it or do it, just like I don’t have to do what you say on your blog. Our blogs are our own personal expressions and should be seen as such.
 
I also want to offer a disclaimer – when I talk about at what age you should do something or how to do it, I am talking about children who are healthy, who don’t have physical disabilities or health problems that would hinder or delay them from being able to potty train at the age I am suggesting. In such cases you as the parent will have to decide if they are ready or not and how to best go about it.
 
Your child may or may not progress in the same way mine did. Actually, it is highly likely that they won’t, since every child is different and progresses at different paces. Also, right now I am only referring to daytime training. Nighttime training is a whole other subject that will be covered separately.
 
Ok, keeping all of that in mind, let’s get into the basics of potty training.
 
First off, the age at which you decide to begin potty training is really up to you, but from personal experience, I have found it can be started as early as 12 months and it is possible for a child to be trained as early as 14 months. If you feel that is too early, then sometime between 18 and 24 months is reasonable. I know many people like to hold off until their child is over 3 or in some cases 4, but I feel that is too long to wait. Why they feel it is easier to keep a child in diapers until then beats me, not to mention how gross diaper changes for a child that age would be.
 
I started Logan on the potty at 12 months. It was only to get him used to the potty and let him get comfortable on it. I made it a regular part of our day to put him on the potty at intervals, though I have never had set intervals. You can time it, or you can get a feel for how often they go by watching them for a few days and noting when they go.
 
Logan’s first time on the potty,
a few days before his first birthday.
In the beginning I only put him on a few times a day – morning when he woke, midmorning, before nap, after nap, midafternoon, and before bed. I was using cloth diapers at this time since it is easier to tell when they are wet and can be removed easily for pottying. He still wore a diaper all day. That way if he didn’t make it to the potty there was no floor mess to clean. (I should mention that I was pregnant with my second at this time.)
 
When Logan was about 16 months, I took him out of diapers and just let him run around in underwear. I continually reminded him to tell me when he needed to go so that he would get the idea. Since he wasn’t talking yet, each time I would point to his pants and pat them while reminding him. He eventually would pat his pants when he needed to go.
 
Between 16 and 17 months I focused on his training. I wanted him trained, at least for when he was awake, before the new baby arrived, and he was. Often, if I put him on the potty as soon as he woke from his nap, his diaper would be dry, but if I waited it would be wet.
 
But then he regressed. I had the baby and spent 5 days in the hospital away from him (C-section). He was with daddy all the time and daddy didn’t keep up the training like I had so he lost what he had learned. Since I couldn’t bend or lift him for some time, it had to wait, and we picked up again when he was about 19 months old. Since he was already familar with the process, he relearned quickly.
With Lila I was wiser and, while I introduced the potty early, I held off her focused training until she was about 20 months. The reason? Yes, I had another baby and another C-section. It was planned that time so I knew it would be best to wait for when I could handle it physically. Since she was already in the habit of sitting on the potty at intervals, it wasn’t too hard for her to learn.
 
My plan with Scarlett is to wait another month or two and then start. Since I am not/will not be pregnant, I won’t have to worry about that interruption. She is now 13 months, but I want to wait out the cold months and train her when all she has to wear is a diaper and maybe a t-shirt. She has sat on the potty once or twice, but only for a second and usually after seeing Lila use it. She still thinks the potty is a toy and likes to play with it if I don’t keep the bathroom closed.
Logan at 19 months.

So here are some tips:

– Decide when you want to start and go for it. Don’t do it on and off as that will be confusing for your child.
 
-Make sure that things are relatively peaceful when you start. Heavy teething, sickness, weaning, passing through a time of emotional difficulty, or a having a new baby could make it difficult for your child to focus on the training.
 
-You may want to wait for warm weather to train. Children pee more when they are cold, and if they are wearing several layers it will make more work for putting them on the potty.
 
-A child will pee more when they drink more. Some books recommend offering more drinks during the training time so that they will need to go more often and get in the practice. The problem often is that they go so frequently you will finish your stack of undies before the day is out.
Lila’s first time on the potty at 11 months.

-Hearing water running will often make a child go. When they sit on the potty, you can turn on a faucet and let it run a little. If they don’t go within a few seconds then they probably don’t need to go. But you don’t want them to only pee when they hear water or you will be in trouble when you pass a fountain, it rains, etc.

 
-Remind your child to tell you when they need to go. It is good to do this so that they get the idea, but don’t depend on it. And don’t ask if they need to go – 99% of the time the answer will be no. And you won’t get a reply if they aren’t talking yet, so save your breath. If they haven’t gone in a while and you feel they need to go, put them on. Just say, “It’s time to go potty now.”

 

-Teach non-talkers a signal for how to tell you when they need to go.
 
-Potty time should be fun. There is no need to leave them for a long time. If they don’t go after a few minutes, take them off and wait a while. While they are sitting, you can use the time to look at books or sing songs together. Especially if they fuss about it, do something to distract them.
-Some people prefer to start on a potty and others go straight for the toilet. I prefer to start with a potty. It is easy for a child to sit on and eventually they can sit without you being there. Some children find the toilet scary, too.
 
-Learning to use the potty is a new skill for a child, so it isn’t fair to them to punish them when they have accidents. Accidents happen; when they do, just remind your child in a cheery voice, “Pee goes in the potty.” And leave it there. Don’t keep harping on it.
 
-Draw attention to the positive by getting excited and clapping for them when they do go, even if it is just a dribble. Positive reinforcement is the way to go.
 
-I don’t think it is good to get in the habit of offering treats to get them to go potty. You don’t want to connect food with praise, nor do you want them to depend on getting a reward every time they use the potty. Food is for nourishment, not reward. Offering food treats can get them in the habit of always eating to reward themselves and could later lead to weight problems. Instead, offer lots of verbal praise, claps and cheers.
 
Lila at 2 insisted on using the toilet.
-On the other hand, if you feel a reward would help them, try something like getting new undies with their favorite cartoon character on it, or a new toy, or a trip to the playground. It doesn’t have to be big. You don’t want to have to buy them something for every potty run. Such rewards could be for success over a certain time frame, one that is easy for your child to reach. An immediate reward that you will always have is story time with you. Most children love that, and you could offer it whenever you want.

-Potty training success will take time and effort on your part. Don’t give up too soon. But don’t feel you have to keep going if it isn’t working for you. You can always wait a few weeks and then try again.

Logan, 2 yrs. 5 months; Lila, just days before her first birthday.
 Next time we will discuss nap training.
 
Mommies, please share your tips and what worked for you. Also mention the age at which you started and why. First-time potty trainers need all the help they can get so let’s give it to them.

Success!

Well, I finally did it. I’ve been debating for some time whether I was ready or not but I realised that I was only prolonging the agony. What am I talking about? Logan’s nighttime potty training. I took him out of diapers at night!
Ok, I guess I was hesitant to make the switch, not knowing exactly what the outcome would be. I’ve potty trained children before I had my own, just never at night, which is why I wasn’t sure how to go about it. There were a few things pushing me to just get it done, mainly the fact that the diapers were getting too small and larger sizes are hard to find. People here train their children earlier than people in the West do. In fact, pull-up’s for 3 to 4 year olds have only just come out this year, but the small packs cost more than diapers do. They are one of the most expensive things you can buy. I do consider it worth it to use disposables at night (and for the baby while on outings as well). That way they don’t have to feel the wetness of a cloth diaper and I don’t have to deal with middle-of-the-night diaper changes.
So anyway, I found that he was staying dry all night, but would then pee in the diaper just as soon as he woke up. That was when I decided that it was time to just take it off and see what would happen.
So far he has done well. He only needs to pee once in the night, and so far he has woken up dry every morning. Good thing too, as he wakes up in our bed. 🙂 As long as I take him to the toilet once in the night he does fine. Yes! We have just cut the cost on diapers for him and Lila in half. I’m happy about that.
I took the time to explain to him that now he is a big boy and can stay dry all night, so he doesn’t need diapers. We talked about him waking me if he wakes up and needs to pee, and he asked for big boy diapers. Ha. He is ok without them now, and it’s only been a few days.
On top of that, Lila has started waking up dry too, though not every night. For now I won’t take her out of diapers at night, for my own peace of mind. During the day though, she is doing great. For the most part she is dry, and I can even take her out to the park without a diaper. The worst that can happen is she’ll wet her pants, so if we are going for longer than an hour I just take an extra pair and change her if needed. She has yet to learn how to use the toilet in a public place; she often forgets to tell me she needs to go and doesn’t yet use the regular toilet, only the potty, but were getting there. I took her out of diapers at the beginning of the year; she wears panties all day and I think that has helped her be more aware of what it means to be dry. Yes, she has accidents daily but it’s not the end of the world. She isn’t even two yet so I think she is doing well.
I’m happy with Logan’s success cause it’s my success too.

Rainy Days and More

We’ve just woken up to another rainy day. These depressions that come over the ocean, I don’t understand just how it works, but somehow, they bring rain at odd times. This isn’t monsoon season, yet it is raining non-stop and the streets are flooded. Drainage isn’t very good on most streets so they become small rivers, so even when the rain does stop for a while I still can’t take the kids out. I do love rain and rainy days, but this unpredictable rain makes you stay home all the time, unlike monsoon, where you know at precisely what time of day it will rain and you can plan your outings around it. At least half the day will be sunny and the other half rainy. But right now, I can’t even remember when the sun last came out.
Anyway, we are keeping busy in the house. There is still work to be done, meals to make and cleaning to do. Laundry doesn’t stop. I have the laundry rack in the spare room under the fan all day so that it can dry. I can’t afford to have the laundry pile up. One problem I’m facing is that Lila wears cloth diapers in the house, and in this weather, they really pile up. She will sometimes come to me to tell me that she needs to go potty and will get the potty and even sit on it herself, but her diaper is rarely dry. Keeping up with that isn’t easy, especially since I don’t have so many of them. When it isn’t raining there isn’t a problem since they dry quickly in the sun, but drying them in the house takes longer and we run out quickly.
I’ve been debating whether to complete her potty training now or wait until after the baby comes. See, Logan was potty trained before she was born. I did that because I was sure it would make things easier, but then I had to spend 5 days in the hospital and Logan was with daddy the whole time. Since Glad had to take Logan with him whereever he went, he put him back in diapers and Logan regressed. I had to start over again with him once I was able to bend again. So I figure it would be better to wait on the full potty training until after the baby comes. She does use the potty daily, especialy for doo-doo, and will sometimes come and tell me when she needs to go, or she will bring the potty to me. I don’t want to discourage this. I’m happy that she is getting the point of what the potty is for, and I’m sure she could have been fully trained by now had I focused on it. But I’ve not had the time or willpower or energy to do it. It is harder to do things when you have two kids then when you only have one. So I think I will wait until after the baby comes. Probably will have to wait out the cold season too, but that won’t last long. Baby is due in November and it will be cool until about the middle of January. By then I will feel more up to it and I’m sure it will be easier all around.
I’m also waiting until then to work on night time training for Logan. I figure, why stress myself out at night when I don’t have to. I know night time training takes longer, and it isn’t a big deal for him to wear a diaper at night. It’s good that he and Lila both wear the same size diaper, cause they don’t come larger here. I could get pull-up’s but they cost twice as much as regular diapers and you get less in a pack. But I may have to if they outgrow the size they are wearing, which is the largest one I can find.
Ok, no more about potties and diapers. I’d better make some food for the kids. They have been happily playing with blocks but I know it won’t be long before they start to pester me for food. I give them a cup of milk when they first wake up and that holds them until I get the breakfast ready.
They are both better now. Logan’s appetite is back and he is eating better, so it won’t be long before he regains the weight he lost last week. I’m happy he is feeling better, for many reasons, one of which is that he is not prone to burst into tears when I say no or wait when he wants something. He would do that when he was sick and it was so frustrating. He just lost all the patience he had, but now he is doing better at that. I realised it yesterday when he asked for a video in the morning and I told him that since he wasn’t sick any more, he couldn’t watch videos all day and that he could watch one later at the usual time, which is while I make dinner. And he waited, and even kept saying that it wasn’t video time yet and was very good about it the whole day.

Logan watching a video last week when he was sick.

Daddy and Lila enjoying a cricket match.

This ‘n’ That

Don’t they look cute on the pot?


Logan is currently obsessed with the song “Old Macdonald’s Farm”. He has always liked it but it has grown to new heights ever since I downloaded the song.
I thought I was doing myself a favor by just having the computer play the song when he wanted to hear it instead of me having to sing it, but now he wants it to play over and over, all day long. He cries if we turn it off, so I try to not put it on unless he asks, because I know that I won’t be able to turn it off for a long time. He calls the song “Cow, Farm”. Cute…until you have to listen to it all day long.

Lila loves the rocking horse. She can get on and off by herself so I don’t have to be there. Now I need to go get some screws to replace the ones that got lost (don’t ask me how that happened).

Lila is crazy about climbing. She climbs on anything, anywhere, and she is fast. She will be up on something in just a few seconds. She also has no fear of falling and will run across my bed and throw herself down just by the edge while my heart jumps into my mouth and I race to rescue her from her own foolishness. I know it is only a matter of time before she does have an accident from all this wild climbing. I just hope today isn’t the day.

My crazy girl doing two of her favorite things. Yes, she climbed up like this and back down on her own.


Logan Tries to Walk – and Other News

Ok, so what’s new. Well, Logan is trying to WALK. Yippie. It won’t be long now. You don’t know how heavy a baby can be until you are trying to carry two and one of them you can never put down. It is really cute how he stands, wobbles a little until he gets his balance, and then tries one or two steps. I love it. As soon as he can walk well I’m going to buy him a ball and teach him to kick it.

He is also trying to say more words. His newest is “Ba” which means either bottle or ball or book, depending on which one he wants at the time. He said it today when looking at a picture of a ball and he said it yesterday for the bottle, so I think he is getting the idea of sounds. I am flashing the alphabet phonetically for him and he loves it. Maybe that is why he is getting more sounds down.

I’ve been giving some thought to how I will juggle two children and their needs. Logan is getting more demanding and fussy, and he is naughty. He crawls away the other way as fast as he can when I call him. If I say to not touch something he will hit it vigorously. When I tell him to lie down and sleep he will stand up as soon as I turn my back, then lie down quick when I come over. He will have a big grin on his face like it is a fun game. Meanwhile mommy is getting bothered because she is waiting to shower and Logan won’t go to sleep. I’ve tried leaving him alone but he only cries, so I have to be in the room until he falls asleep. Some nights that can take up to half an hour because he just wants to play. At least he goes to sleep on his own.

One good thing I have going for me is that he likes babies. Whenever he sees one he gets as excited as he does over seeing a dog, and that is the greatest excitement he has. He will laugh and kick his legs and make his most excited noises. I’m teaching him now to be gentle on the baby by letting him pat my tummy and “kiss” the baby. He actually will very gently pat my tummy, and if I ask him where the baby is, he will turn and look at or touch my tummy. It’s so cute.

He’s making progress on the potty. My goal is that he is trained before the baby comes so I won’t have two children in diapers at the same time. He tells me he needs to go by pulling on his diaper and saying “uhh uhh”. Many times he does go but at others he is only crying wolf and I spend a lot of time running to the potty when he doesn’t need to go. Oh well, maybe it is for the best.

But he doesn’t have it down pat yet. Today he peed on the floor when I was getting out a clean diaper. I usually put him on the potty whenever I change him, but this time I thought he had just gone so I didn’t. I was surprised to see him pee on the floor. He had fun and tried to step in in. Yuck. But that’s not the worst. If I leave him alone he will get off the potty, sit on the floor and immediately stick his hands in it. The more I shout “no” the faster he tries to grab whatever is in there. He actually grabbed a ball of doo doo and squeezed it not long ago. I was horrified while he thought it was great fun. The toddler years have begun.

Here are some new pics for you to enjoy.

Logan on a scooter at a friend’s house a few days ago.

Our latest family photo. Why oh why does the camera have to make you look fat when you don’t want to. At least I know that I will lose all that weight after the baby comes.

Logan and daddy having fun. They play a game of rough and tumble and Logan gets so excited about it. He loves it.

“Finally, I can stand.”

Our Chennai Trip

We landed in Chennai and had one day to rest and get some extra sleep. I never sleep well on a bus and to top it off, Logan was up from the time the bus arrived around 5:30 in the morning. So when he went to bed, I did too and we both slept for hours, me out of tiredness and he due to being sick. He had a fever the night before but was much better now.
Here Logan is dressed up for Halloween. Not that it is celebrated here but a hotel here had decided to celebrate and we were asked to make balloon sculptures and paint faces.

But as you can see, his makeup didn’t last. Here Logan is having lunch at the hotel restaurant.

This is the apartment we will be moving into in Chennai. The family we are moving in with had this fish tank and Logan loves crawling up to it and trying to catch the fish.

He also had fun in the rocking chair.

Well, I didn’t get any pictures of the city itself but that will come in time. We plan to move there soon, sometime in the next two weeks after we wrap things up here in Bangalore. So moving time is coming up. I’m excited about being in a new place.
Some other news is that Logan is going to be one in three days. Already he is almost weaned, not that I wanted to wean him so soon, but because I couldn’t keep up with nursing him while being pregnant. Now he takes bottles before his naps and during the night and eats solids well at meals and snacks. The only time he still nurses is before bed. He knows that is the time he can and doesn’t like to take a bottle then, though I try to get him to take at least a little bottle so his tummy is full and he can sleep better.
Another new thing is that I started him on the potty. This picture is the first time he went doodoo in the potty. I was excited because every doodoo in the potty is one less I have to wash out of his diaper. And as you can see, he already knows how to clap for himself.
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