From the beginning of this journey into underwear, things have gone pretty much perfectly.
After about a week of potty-training, Grey got it. He even started waking up in the middle of the night to ask to pee and then waking up dry in the morning (something unheard of at our house!)
I had orginally confined us to the house for about a week, and then put the boys in pull-ups if we left for the first few days, but then I decided that the only way that everything would click was if we just jumped in head first.
So I brought the little potties, extra sets of clothes (and shoes!) wipes every where we went, and we started business as usual. Running errands, visiting friends, going to the park.
At first, we had accidents anytime we did something fun- even playing in our own yard, they'd refuse to admit that they had to pee!
But they were always really good about telling me when we were doing something boring, like shopping.
It's frustrating! Because we'll go to Target and get to the point of the store farthest from the bathroom, and one will announce that they need to pee. So we run back to the front of the store and they each sit on the potty for ten minutes, and no one pees.
And then it happens again.
But we always go to the bathroom, every time they ask. And generally everything has been very smooth and wonderful, so I don't mind that we spend 20 minutes in the bathroom everywhere we go.
I guess that's what you have to get used to in motherhood: time is no longer your own. It is run entirely by the bodily functions and desires of the tiny little people in your life.
Anyway. Here's Grey's tale:
For the first few days of potty-training, I felt really frustrated with him. Like he was peeing his pants on purpose, and refusing to sit on the toilet despite bribes.
But then he got sick of peeing his pants and was mad that Micah kept getting suckers. So he started announcing that he had to pee every 10 minutes.
And he sat on the toilet every time, until he figured out what it felt like to actually have to pee.
The first time I thought, "Oh my gosh, he gets it!" was at Joann Fabrics. On the way there, he yelled "I'm peeing!"
We were ten minutes away and begged him to please try to wait until we got to the store. We talked about it the whole way there "We won't pee in the car, we will pee in the potty at the store."
When we got to Joann's, we walked in, headed straight to the bathroom, and he peed in the toilet. Like, no big deal.
Since then, we've had almost no problems. He tells us when he has to pee and poop and can wait 10 minutes or more. If I ask him to pee on command (like before we go somewhere or before bed), he almost always can. He wakes up dry every morning. Almost all of his accidents (very rare) are my fault for not giving him enough opportunities to pee or pumping him full of juice before an excursion.
I would say, as far as toddlers can be: Grey is 100% potty-trained.
Our biggest problem is that he wants to get out of bed every night and sit on the toilet for a half hour. If I say, "Are you all done?" He says, casually, "No. I'm still pooping."
I don't even mind this too much, though, because he becomes a very charming chatterbox (trying to stay up later) and we've had most of our really awesome and funny conversations then.
Micah was originally the best at being potty-trained. He was really into peeing and being rewarded, and never had any accidents when they were still just naked. But when we transitioned back into pants, he got really frustrated.
He couldn't remember that he didn't have a diaper on. He would pee or poop, and then completely panic or feel really bad and guilty.
After he figured out that he didn't want to poop in his pants (after pooping in them three times one day), he started asking to put a diaper on when it was time for him to poop.
Since I'd rather change a poopy diaper than scrape poop out of tiny sweatpants, I would put him in a diaper- always asking him to first try on the potty.
But after a few days of that, he got really frustrated with even a diaper. I think it makes a huge difference that he has Grey. They see each other being praised and rewarded for going to the bathroom and want the same.
So now, Micah rarely has accidents at home (again, it's usually my fault if he does), and he constantly reassures me, "I'm not peeing in my pants. I'm not pooping now, Mom." It seems suspicious, doesn't it? But he likes to be praised for staying dry.
If we're out, he rarely tells me if he needs to pee, so I have to remind him. Even then, he'll assure me he doesn't need to, despite reality.
So we've started having this little dialogue where I say, "You don't have to pee now, but if you pee in your pants you'll be very sad and we'll have to go home. If you pee in the potty, we will be so happy and you can have a fruit snack." (Or go to the park, or play with this car, etc)
"Would you like to try to sit on the potty?"
And then he usually agrees and almost always pees.
So we hardly ever have accidents. Micah still has only woken up dry twice, though. So he sleeps in a diaper.
Obviously, we've had a charmed experience, so my advice may not be valid- but as far as tips go, here are mine:
Let your kids be naked for the first week or so, and then wear LOOSE fitting pants sans underwear, or loose thick undies, not cute little tight ones. Then they can feel that they're not in a diaper and they can take their own pants on and off to pee.
Praise them constantly. My kids didn't care for a song and dance, but they just about burst with pride if we got down and looked them in the eye and said, "I am SO PROUD that you peed in the potty. You are such a big boy and you are doing really well."
Also, CANDY. Ain't nothing wrong with candy.
Praise them for being dry. This was awesome advice someone left on the blog. Every ten minutes, Id ask "Are you wet or still dry?" Then we'd feel their undies and say, "Oh yay! You're still dry! Good job! I'm so proud, etc."
When they were wet, I'd say, "Oh no! You forgot to pee in the potty," then they'd have to sit on the toilet and repeat after me, "I'm a big boy. I pee in the potty. I do NOT pee in my pants. I pee in the potty."
Don't do it half-way. It's messier and it sucks, but make them wear underwear and then leave your house. Don't put them in a pull-up. Pull-ups are diapers. Diapers are for peeing in. Don't let them nap in diapers. (Nighttime is harder, obviously.) But it helps them realize that PEEING YOUR PANTS SUCKS.
I obviously still have to bring an extra pair of pants and underwear in my bag wherever I go, but I actually much prefer it to carrying around 15 extra diapers.
Seriously, potty training it amazing. It's the best thing I've ever done.
But on that note: wait until they're ready. We tried to start last Christmas time, and that was silly. This time, they were totally into it. They essentially did all the work themselves.
They pretty much potty-trained themselves. Wait until they're ready to potty-train themselves.
So yes! The boys are potty-trained! Pretty much 100% in about two weeks! YEAH!