November 2008: Potty Plans A (Ambitious)and B (Back Off) are failures (See Potty Time Pain)
January 2009: Potty Plan C (Cautious) is a failure.
I never even told you about this one. It involved just Jonathan (because he truly is ready to use the potty, the stubborn little monkey!) and a bunch of Easy-ups. Three days of Easy-ups, LOTS of trips to the potty with an increasingly defiant child who could care less about any incentive I threw his way, and not one single successful potty usage. Conclusion: Jonathan will never do anything one moment before he is ready. One of these days, he will simply decide to use the potty and just will and never look back, but it will HAVE to be HIS decision!
March 2009: Potty Plan D (Determined, Dadgumit!) is a SUCCESS!!!!!
Here's what I did: I focused just on Reagan because she's a girl (doesn't EVERYONE say they're easier?) and she responds well to incentives! When she got up in the morning, she went into real underwear, and she stayed in real underwear all day, naptime included. No diapers until bedtime. I made her a Potty Page to hang on the wall in the bathroom. Every time she sat on the potty, regardless of actual pottying, she got 2 little stickers, one for her Potty Page and one for her shirt. If she actually DID something in the potty, she got 2 BIG stickers and two pieces of candy (M&Ms or Skittles). When she had an accident, we cleaned up, got dry clothes, and I told her it was okay and she'd remember next time. (Thanks, Gwen, for that last part!) I never MADE her sit on the potty, but I did ask her often if she wanted to, and she always did. She loved getting the stickers!
I based this plan on what I had read about the 3-day Potty Training Method. I don't have all the details about this method because I'm too cheap to pay for them, but I had a basic idea and was hoping for a breakthrough by the end of the third day.
The first day, we sat on the potty 18 times, had 5 accidents, and no success. The next day we sat on the potty 15 times, had 8 accidents, and 1 SUCCESS!!!! On day three, we sat on the potty 11 times, had only 2 accidents, but no success. It wasn't exactly the breakthrough I was anticipating. Nevertheless, I pressed on and continued with the plan since Reagan was still very excited about being "big" and wearing her underwear. She loves the underwear! All those pink and purple hearts and flowers! She has been in underwear all day ever since, with the exception of when we leave the house. I'm not ready to deal with accidents in public, so she has princess Pull-ups for outings, but honestly she doesn't like wearing them!
Obviously I expected to need lots of room for all the big stickers on Day 3. Alas.
She had her second success on day 4, and another on day 6, and THEN CAME THE BIG DAY!
On day 8, she successfully used the potty SIX TIMES!!!!!!!!!!!! I couldn't believe it! Six! Since that breakthrough day she has never had more than 2 accidents in a day, she has quit wetting the bed at naptime, she is successful almost every time she sits on the potty, and we've even had 2 days with no accidents at all! I'm so proud of her!
Today is day 17. On Monday I changed the reward system to reflect her growing abilities. She has a new Potty Page. Every time she does #1 in the potty she gets 2 little stickers. If she does #2, she gets 2 big stickers. She gets candy before naptime and before bedtime only if she has completed that half of the day accident-free.
These potty days have gone by really fast! Actually I was surprised when I counted this week and realized we were on day 17! But I'll tell you I had no idea it would be so EXHAUSTING!!! Running to the potty every 2 seconds and cleaning up accidents and keeping up with stickers and potty pages and candy and being supportive in the bathroom while still trying to monitor the other three children running amuck and unattended, not to mention the additional laundry and the loss of some of my naptime because I need to rush in there as soon as the kids wake up to get Reagan to the potty before she has an accident and still trying to get done all the things I need to get done...it's exhausting to type it, imagine living it! I can't imagine trying to do this with more than one child at a time! What was I thinking in Plan A? I was crazy! One potty trainer at a time is PLENTY!
So that is where we are right now. I'll keep you posted on future developments! And good luck to all of you other potty trainers out there!