Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Potty Training

POTTY TRAINING!!! Now that our angel has officially been potty trained for a YEAR (what?!) let’s talk about it! Over the last 12 months, I have had a lot of people asking about when I would post about this and now that I have realized how much time has actually passed… it’s time!

Heidi was potty trained by 18 months old (November 2015). There is a lot of talk about potty training “too early” or “waiting until they are ready”, but for us the pros of at least trying early outweighed the cons significantly. I didn’t want to wait for many reasons. These are my personal reasons why I do feel like 18 months was a good age for us to start – 1. At that age, potty training isn't some sort of power struggle. We never had to resort to bribes, rewards, sticker charts, negotiations, her using it to manipulated us, etc. At least for Heidi, it was just something that you did and that was that. (Not saying that those tools are bad or unhelpful, but we wanted just to keep it simple without them.)  2. Obviously, it is much more convenient (well, usually) to eliminate the need for diapers. Although, it isn't always the most convenient when you're somewhere without a potty, or standing in a really long line or just sat down to eat at a restaurant and suddenly it's bathroom time haha!) 3. I don't know about you, but the less poopy diapers I have to change in my life the better. I personally have ZERO desire to change big nasty toddler diapers. 4. Lastly, I really wanted to have Heidi out of diapers before Wells was born. Only having 1 kid in diapers at a time sounds like a good plan for us and our family.

All of this being said, I also knew that she was old enough to “get it”. Our girl is very bright, has always been extremely communicative and can really comprehend so much. (And honestly, I often feel like we underestimate the intelligence and comprehension abilities of our children at that age.) I knew she already understood the concept, since we had kind of dipped our toes in with using the potty (more on this below). I didn’t feel like we were forcing it or pushing it on her too early – especially since she had been “using” the toilet for a while. It was never a negative thing, no pressure surrounding it so I also felt like we wouldn’t be scarring her or causing any sort of negative feelings or fear towards using the potty that young, whether successful or not. EVERY child and family is different, and no one knows your child better than you! You make the choice when you feel like you and your child are ready.

Here’s how we did it, and how we will continue to encourage early potty training with all of our future kids.

I had always been curious about early potty training. When Heidi was born (or maybe even before she was born) I started doing some research about elimination communication (“EC”)/early potty training and did some exploring on how to incorporate some of those techniques into our routine. 

When Heidi was an infant, she would consistently pee right at the beginning of bath time, so we started just holding her over the toilet before setting her in the tub. She didn’t seem to mind this and most nights she would go. I bought her a little potty (when she was around 6 months old maybe?) and I would usually set her on it during diaper changes and most of the time she would go! By the time she was 8 months, she was even pooping in the potty 75% of the time. It was awesome!! I don’t think that she was actually old enough to understand to hold it until she was sitting on the potty, and a lot of it WAS just chance that she was going. However, I TRULY feel like getting babies used to that feeling of pooping and peeing one the potty makes such a HUGE difference when it actually comes time to full on potty train. We will ALWAYS sit our babies on the potty starting at a young age, just to get them used to that feeling of releasing into something that’s not a diaper.

Once I started the weaning process with Heidi and she started drinking a lot more liquids, it was really difficult to keep up with how much she was peeing. So even though I would still sit her on the potty during diaper changes, she was usually already wet.

Then, once Heidi started walking (and was good-ish at it) I began to consider when to go all out with the potty training. I reached out to a moms group that I am a part of on Facebook, just to see if anyone else had had any success or personal experience with potty training prior to 1.5-2 years old. A friend in the group told me about the “3 Day Potty Training Method”. Without going into ALL of the details (#plagiarism y’all) essentially you lock yourself in the house for 3 days and power through. You dress the child in nothing but undies and a t-shirt (not naked – they need to “deal” with their mess and feel that feeling of being wet!) and then it’s go time. Rather than constantly asking “Do you have to go potty?” over and over, this method says to remind the child “Remember to tell Mommy if you have to go!” or “Don’t forget to tell Mommy when you have to go potty!” Accidents are also not a reason to “discipline”. It should not be a source of shame or like they did something wrong. You are not supposed to get mad or upset over the accident. If you have ever house trained a dog – this is pretty much the EXACT same thing! The goal is basically to catch the child IN the act of going and then move them to the potty to finish their business. Is it 3 solid days of cleaning up poop and pee out of undies and off of the floor? You betcha. Is it worth it?? TOTALLY. This method is SO effective and I highly recommend it.

A few other tips:
- Block off the WHOLE 3 days. Do not plan any outings or distractions. Put the phone down. Turn the TV off. 
- It helps to have as much help as possible throughout the 3 days. I started on a Friday, and then Ryan was home with me to help on Saturday and Sunday. This way, one person was able to move Heidi to the potty and clean her up while the other person cleaned up the accident.
- Also, as I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I do feel like allowing Heidi to experience going to the bathroom on a toilet early on truly helped her to be “ready” earlier than if we had never let her. 

This post wouldn’t be complete without a link to this FABULOUS method! (CLICK HERE!) There are obviously MANY more details, preparation tips and “procedures” included in the full eBook (which is $27 by the way – WORTH IT).  If you feel like you are ready to begin potty training I HIGHLY recommend purchasing as it will give you a better understanding and more comprehensive insight into all of the what, why and hows of potty training in 3 days.

Going potty in the car!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Month 7 - Wells

Month 7: Baby!

Age: 7 months
Weight: 20ish lbs.
Major calendar events: Overnight in San Antonio to celebrate Beau and Brooks' birthday
Milestones: Cut his first tooth! Not crawling quite yet but if he has enough time he can slowly work his way from point a to point b. We've also tried sitting on the little potty a few times (although nothing significant happens) and he also had his first few times on a swing
Sleep: Finally (consistently) sleeping through the night and still napping with mommy every day (#sorrynotsorry)
Likes: making loud grunting/growling noises, freeze dried apples, Starbucks cups and swinging
Worst moment: Well, this doesn't really have to do with Wells, but Ryan had to go out of town this month and the single mom thing is NOT a walk in the park!!
Eating: Still 99% breastfed, every 4-5 hours, and of course still spitting up. (When will it end?!) He has tried a few things, but just literally tasted them not really had too much yet (he gnawed on an apple slice, has tried a bite of wholly guacamole, just little things like that). At his 6 month check up, I did ask our pedi if it was nutritionally beneficial to begin solids and she said yes :(. I'm still kind of procrastinating and haven't really put much effort into getting him to eat a ton of solids, but I know I need to put forth a little more effort now. He definitely still seems totally content with nursing and doesn't act like he's not getting enough calories or anything like that, but I know it's time to get him more into solids. Boo!
Things I want to remember: How nice it is having a baby that isn't mobile yet ;).

Happy man!

Check up time!

Sometimes if you unlatch at the beginning of a nursing sesh you get sprayed in the face. Sorry bud...

Riding the train!

Wells the train conductor!

Trying some food and not too sure about this texture...

"What the heck?!"


More swinging!

And MORE swinging! This dude loves to swing!

Photo op at Heidi's MDO.

My 1st Pumpkin Patch!

My two little loves.