At Tommy’s 2-year check up, I was surprised our pediatrician asked if we had thought about potty training. In my head, I figured we would tackle that issue in June before baby #2 when Tommy could run around naked at the Cape.
However, our 24-month old started showing signs of being “ready.” He began to tell us when he had to pee, he knew when he went #2 and we could predict when he would go as well. He is and was then pretty verbal and could communicate.
I started researching methods and per everyone’s recommendation, Oh Crap! was the book to get and method to follow.
I started to read the book and realized, this had to be very planned. The book talked about signs and it just reinforced my gut feeling that Tommy was ready. The author believes that children between the ages of 22 and 30 months are the ideal age to potty train. Earlier or after that, it is harder to do based on either lack of communication or development in intelligence and the use of manipulation, stubbornness, resistance, etc. Tommy is almost 26 months.
You need to pick a weekend to stay home, preferably a 3-day weekend and have zero plans or at least one parent has to be home. It took about a month for us to finally have a good window of opportunity.
Lucie’s List has a great summary here of what you are going to be doing. I read the book above and asked Nick to read the cliff notes here on Lucie’s List.
Since Lucie’s List does a great job at summarizing the method, I’m not going to explain it here but basically your child is naked all day except for naps and night time when they can wear a diaper and you have to watch them like a hawk for signs for having to use the potty during the day. Once you notice the signs, you prompt them to pee. You don’t ask if they have to go, you tell them to go. Half the time, they start to pee on the floor and then it’s your job to tell them to hold it and physically put them on the potty. After day 1, you kind of have an idea of your child’s potty schedule and can better predict when to prompt or carefully watch them.
Tommy did so well on Saturday and Sunday. I really was shocked! We got two 2 pees on the potty and 2 dribbles that ended up fully in the potty on day 1. Day 2, we got all but one pee in the potty which was a weird incident. Tommy was climbing and slid through the arm of our living room chair and we think it hit his bladder and he peed like a water fountain. Regardless, we were proud parents.
On Monday, I had a prenatal appointment and Nick had to go to work. I brought Tommy and his potty seat with me. There are no diapers or underwear allowed with this method so he was going commando. We went potty before we left and had no accidents at the appointment.
After, I was scheduled to teach my Mommy + Me fitness class. I tried to get Tommy to use the potty before we started but it was a new place and he didn’t. Within 5 minutes of starting my class, he has his first accident. I felt really bad because I felt like it was my fault.
You usually are not recommended to do an outing this long, this early in the process but… life. Quick trips around the block or recommended.
Pee was going great all week. After each successful potty use, he goes “I did it!” with a huge smile on his face like this one.
Since he is still wearing diapers at night and during naps, he is not totally diaper free. He also would not go #2 on the potty but in his diaper first thing in the morning. On Wednesday, we knew he was going to have to go when he woke up. I had a meeting and so Nick’s sister stayed home with Tommy. He ended up having a #2 accident while wearing pants but there is an entire chapter in the book on poop so I knew this was going to be more of a challenge.
Daycare was supportive of our method and helping encourage Tommy to use the potty. He had no accidents Tuesday or Thursday at school. We were doing great. He was telling me when he had to go, and even went and sat on the potty unprompted and peed a few times. Then Thursday afternoon came…
On Thursday, I had to run to Trader Joe’s and despite Tommy using the potty before we left school, we didn’t make it home in time. The book says not to go grocery shopping during the first week but again… life. Nick is traveling, we had a snow storm and I made the decision to go. I changed his pants quickly in the mall on our walk home. He also had another accident Thursday night wearing no pants while I was cleaning up dinner.
This morning, I thought we had a turning point. Tommy sat on his potty and went #2 without getting upset and was very proud of himself. We went to flush it and he was so excited. I stayed in the bathroom to brush my teeth and before I could finish I heard him crying. I ran out of the bathroom because I knew that cry…
He wasn’t finished going #2 and the 2nd half was on the floor. Accidents happen and I wasn’t mad obviously but it reminded me that we are literally 6 days into potty training and I got too relaxed about prompting and watching him. I pushed him by going to the grocery store and now I have to be better.
He’s “training” and getting better at learning his bodily functions every day. Our current issue I think is that he doesn’t know when he is “all done.” It’s been 6 days and honestly, I’m so proud of Tommy. I am shocked at how well he is doing. However, I do feel like we are taking two steps forward and then we take a step back. It’s going to take at least a month to get the potty thing down and luckily we don’t have much travel planned with the exception of a Cape Cod weekend getaway.
I don’t want to think about no diapers at bed time even though the book says you can and it’s recommended to do all at once. I don’t want to be washing sheets every day mainly because being pregnant and having a rigged crib that is super low is really hard for me to change. It is a selfish reason, but I’m also enjoying the fact that Tommy sleeps through the night and I don’t want to take his diaper off while he is still in a crib. I get up to pee in the middle of the night and if he goes every 2 hours during the day, how can I expect him not to have to go either?
Did you literally not leave your house for a month during potty training or did you carry on after a week or so and hope for the best? Did it work out ok?
Oh man, this was the hardest transition/phase for our toddler. He just turned 3 and we’re still working through it. Good of you to start now; our tot requested starting the day we came home w/baby #2 -- it was hectic!!! We just started sending him in underwear to daycare and they did a lot of the heavy lifting. #2 withholding has been a HUGE weird issue for us; can be so frustrating. I haven’t read this book but I think the expectation of nothing @ night is highly unrealistic. Sounds like he’s still in a crib? How will he get up to go?! Might set you & him up for more disappointment and frustration than it’s worth. We put a floor potty in the room (not sleeping in a crib when this all rolled around), and he used it A LOT @ night which for us, was a good transition. Good luck!!!
Liza Wellford says
Love this!!! I’m a mom of two boys. 28 months and 9 months. I’m on day 2 of potty training. Your scenario seems like mine. Diapers still for nap and nighttime. Love your page and csn relate!
Just started the oh crap method this weekend… give me hope!! My son is 22 months and overall doing great, but still having accidents and has to be prompted to use the potty. How’s Tommy doing now?
He’s doing great with pee… the other not so much and begs for a diaper if he doesn’t do it first thing in the AM when he has a diaper still on. Gotta re-read the poop chapter. lol.