Monday, July 23, 2012

Inquisition Monday

Jennie asked (or I suppose more accurately, stated), "I'm just curious what your "potty training" story is for Margaret, and then again for Isaac, what was the most frustrating, and what you found worked really well overall."

I don't feel like I've really done anything. For both kids we've done a really, really part-time EC. 

When Margaret was about 5 or 6 months, we noticed she would not pee all night, so we started putting her on the potty first thing in the morning. We would have naked butt time and she liked using the potty at 9, 10 months, but if I wasn't aware, she would have misses. For a bit there we were pretty lax and didn't do much. Sometime before the age of 2, she was regularly pooping in the potty and I rarely had a poopy diaper to clean. I know that when we moved to California, she was wearing a diaper just for church or when we were in the car a long time or out where I wouldn't be able to potty her. When Isaac was born (27 months old), Margaret was just using the diaper for church- and that was only for McKay's peace of mind. A couple of months after he was born, we made the jump to just panties and never went back. She still has accidents from time to time, especially if I don't remind her to go potty before we go out or if she gets upset. She'll tense up her whole body and pee her pants if she's hurt and crying. But I think that's typical for a 4 year old. Most of the time she goes to the bathroom herself.

For Isaac, we did some diligent ECing when he was a newborn, but when I was fighting thrush, I decided my mind needed to focus on that and not his pottying. We've had a similar attitude with his ECing as with Margaret's: it's there, he has a lot of naked butt time. I've actually been a lot more lax than with Margaret. Part of it is having 2 kids, and part of it is that everyone says boys will take longer, so I didn't want to push and cause a potty strike.

Despite that, he is at about the same potty-learning stage Margaret was at 2. At home, he is perfectly fine in panties or naked and has no accidents if I remember to put him on the potty regularly. We use diapers when we are out or at church, but he will ask to use the potty in public on occassion. He won't stay dry all night, but I think that's because we don't put him on the potty immediately upon waking in the morning like we should. He also has a more difficult time pooping in the potty. I get the impression that it's not comfortable for him to sit on the potty when he's pooping (humans are meant to squat instead of sit, did you know?). I really wish he was more consistent with pooping, but oh well. I'd love for him to be potty independent before the next baby comes. Only one in diapers at a time!

While I haven't full-time ECed, we haven't used any potty training methods (sticker charts, candies, etc). I have read to Margaret and Isaac while they're on the potty, but that's not too different from most people I know: we all read on the toilet! I think that the moments we did EC made me more aware of the kids' pottying needs. Also, I think it's a parent-thing to have that little nagging in the back of your head, "He hasn't gone in a while... maybe you should get him on the potty." You just have to listen to that.

I'm not sure if we did anything particularly special. Of all the things we've done, I think the naked butt time has been the most helpful. Whether or not it makes the kids more aware of pottying, I don't know, but it definitely makes me more aware. At 2, the process is mostly getting them to the potty when they need it. I don't remember how it transitioned to the kid going on their own- it was pretty seamless. Yes, there were misses and I've cleaned poop and pee from carpet and wood and tile. I try really hard not to get upset or shame them when that happens, though they have heard a few exasperated, "WHY didn't you go earlier?" I need to work on that.

I'm kind of afraid this post sounds like, "My children magically potty trained and it's all perfect and happy." It's not. But I never made potty learning a "thing" I had to do or attempt or start. For us it hasn't been an event, it's been a process.

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