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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Ditching the Diapers

Guess what?!
…we only spent TWELVE years in diapers…
(total…with five boys…)
You guessed it!  Monkey is potty trained!  I started potty training him right before Christmas.  Why?! You may ask?  Because he was ready.  He was telling me every time he went in his diaper.  Sure the timing wasn’t convenient (and the whole potty training process would have gone by a lot faster if it weren’t for all that Christmas-time busyness…) but I didn’t want to miss that window of opportunity when HE was ready.
There are lots of ways to potty train kids.  All I can say is do your homework.  Research all the different methods and take what you like and toss what you don’t.  Patience is key, and my best advice is to wait until your little subject is ready.  There will be way less tears from both of you if you go on their schedule.
Anyway, when I first started potty training all of my boys, it was a big deal for me to even get them to sit on the potty.  I learned with my oldest that if you have something that they are interested in and it is JUST for the potty, it makes it more exciting for them, and they’ll WANT to sit on the potty. 
For some of my kids, it was books.  For others, it was miniature cars or trains.  We had our “potty cars” or “potty books” and they could only use these things if they were sitting on the potty.  For Monkey, it was cars.  Not just any cars, they HAD to be CARS cars!
(Monkey may some day want to kill me for posting this picture on the internet!!)
I found some miniature CARS cars and bought them for Monkey.
(If you type “Disney Pixar movie toy mini adventures” into the search bar, you’ll find more characters.)
Next, I mounted the map onto a *TV Dinner table.  For the map, I took a picture of our Radiator Springs map/rug and printed it off.  I printed two of them to fit the top of the table, but they were both going the wrong way.  And they were too small.  So, The Hubsters had me email him the jpeg and he printed it off on some 11”x17” paper and laminated it.  It worked out much better!  Email me if you want the jpeg image and I’d be happy to send it to you.
Or you could just buy this cute little set that comes with a map and the cars:
*The Hubsters and I got a set of TV dinner tables for our wedding 13 years ago and we’ve used them in potty training all five of our little guys.  Here’s one at Wal-Mart for less than $10.00.
Hopefully this post wasn’t too random, and maybe now you’ll have an idea on how you can get your little one to sit on the potty.  This is what worked for us.  It actually worked five times, so it’s a pretty good tip.  :)
As for the rest of the potty training, I just set a “potty timer” and every time the timer went off, it was time go go to the potty.  I did this until they could tell on their own that it was time to go.
When they had success, they were able to put a sticker on their chart.  My charts weren’t actually charts.  They were just pieces of 8.5”x11” paper taped to the bathroom door. 
This way, my kids weren’t stressed with how many times in a row they made it to the potty; they were just happy that they went.  They also really liked putting the sticker wherever they wanted.  If they want to put the sticker on their shirt?!  By all means, let them!!
After they put their sticker wherever they wanted it, they were rewarded with some candy.  Monkey’s favorite candy is Reese’s Pieces, so after every success, he got three of them.  Yes, only three.  I didn’t want the boy spoiling his dinner!
It’s also important to make a big deal of their successes.  Jump up and down.  Shout “Yay!!  You went potty!”  Call grandma.  Do whatever it takes to get them excited about being a big kid!
It’s a big deal to potty train your little one, but so worth it.  Boy, am I glad I never have to do that again!!  :)
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