Potty Training

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Let's jump into the number one reason blogging has been hard for me lately: potty training twins (with a 10 week old).  I never thought I would talk about poop this much but c'est la vie.

Yes, we have begun the journey to ditching the size 5 diapers and while the thought of only 1/3 kids being in diapers is VERY appealing, it's been a process that's required more patience than I have had to have in my life.  Guys.  This blog is not meant to scare people away, but to show the true reality of our life with three under 3.  So here we go.

We decided to start out with the naked method: strip your kids down, let them roam naked and when they feel the urge to go, show them their potty.  We bought these from Amazon.  We moved the little toilets we got for them to the living room, a very central location.  They began to seek out the toilet.  We rewarded each pee and poop in the potty with a dum-dum sucker.  We had fewer accidents than I expected and soon they were peeing in their little potty's!  I began to realize they were having like 5 suckers an hour... sometimes earning another one before they had finished their first one.  I've heard M&M's work well, suckers did it for us.

 So we moved the potty's upstairs to the hall way (getting closer to the bathroom) and made a sticker chart to reduce the amount of suckers they had.  For each pee or poop, they got one sticker.  Once they got 4 stickers, they got a sucker.  After doing this 4 or 5 times, they got a present.  See chart pictures below.  I bought them each a packet of 100 stickers from Target.  So they were already excited about those.  Each time they go on the big potty they get 2 stickers and 1 sticker for their little potty.  Even more incentive to go on the big potty.  Right now, they have to get 30 stickers for a present.   They are on their second charts.

Not exactly thrilled I'm documenting this.

This may sound like we had a great plan going in, but here's our secret: we made this up as we went.  Yup.  Looking back, I think we would have been more successful sooner if we had the plan with the stickers going in.  My kids are CRAZY about stickers so this worked for us.

We were pretty much shut into our house for like 3 days, trying to solidify the training.  I will admit, there were times I was totally irrational and thought, "this is how life will be forever.  We will never leave our house again, and my kids will forever be naked."  Looking back, I know that is so so crazy, but in the moment you can't see past it.

We are entering our 3rd week training this week.  I've read so many accounts of people training their kids in like 3 days and I have a hard time believing that sometimes.  It's a long process from beginning to end.  Maybe it's because I have twins, maybe it's because I have an almost 11 week old too.  Who knows.  I've accepted that it takes time and learning will be continual.  I've accepted that today.  After changing 6 wet underwear and it's not even 3 pm.

We introduced pull up's too.  The only problem I've had with those is their false sense of security for my kids.  They seemed too much like a diaper and they just went in them.  So we moved pretty straight on to underwear so they could really feel it when they got wet.  Note to others: buy a TON of undies.  I've gone through like 4 pair in an hour with Emmy.  As it stands now, we use pull-ups at night, or in the car.  Underwear at home.  And wine to reward this tired mama at night.

Right now, we are still on the sticker chart.  We've taken the sucker incentive out of it and if they fill up a chart full, they will get a present.  Something they really want: Dorothy shoes for Emmy and "Tin Man" shoes for Bennett.  I'm not even entirely sure Bennett knows what those are or if they exist but he wants them.

A side challenge emerged from all this too.  As if the training wasn't enough.  Emmy has struggled with holding in her poops.  This started from a time when she had a very painful, hard poop and since then, her relationship with her bowel movements has been scarred.  She does really well with going pee and will eventually go poop after a day of holding it in.  We've tried Miralax per our pediatrician and that seems to help soften her poops.  I've been hard on her.  I will say we've both cried together and been frustrated.  I'm thankful for a husband who stays very patient and reminds me that trying to force it, won't help.  We have to make her comfortable to go again and reassure her that it's okay, everyone poops, going poop is good and rewarding her for going.  Again, this is so much easier to type than to live by.  I did reward her with getting to wear my shoes when she went once.  She was overjoyed.

 I have to admit, I've had many breakdowns with this process.  Parenting is hard and this just seems like a slap in the face to already tired parents.  But it's something everyone goes through.  And no one goes to college in diapers.  For the most part.  For now, I'm taking life hour by hour and constantly reminding myself, they will get it.

Top 5 Tips for Toddler Parents About to Start Potty Training (from my point of view anyways):

1.  Expect nothing.  Reading about it and doing it were two totally and completely different things for me.  I think creating something that works specifically for your kids is best.  For example, my kids love stickers and suckers... so that's what we used.

2.  Your house will be a mess.  Everything is washable.  Just breathe.  It will be clean eventually.

3.  Put hand sanitizer everywhere.  I was washing my hands sometimes what seemed like every minute of the day.  Sanitizer is quick and works.  My fave "on the go" sanitizer is the Honest Brand spray.  I've linked it there.  It's so nice and quick drying for toddlers.  And they have tons of really good scents, not like the normal sanitizer smell.

4.  Buy tons of underwear when you are ready for that phase.  Amazon is our go to.  They are pretty inexpensive and your laundry will thank you.

5.  Take breaks.  When it seems like you can't catch a break, or there are way too many accidents, throw on pull-ups (them, not you) and take a breather.

Our summer has been awesome though.  We made the trip up to Minnesota for my Grandma's 82nd birthday.  I was soooooo glad the trip happened.  And that she got to meet Maggie!  We got to spend time with our family, which was much needed.  And the first road trip as a family of 5 went pretty well!  Minus the fact that we discovered we will most likely need a bigger vehicle in the near future.  RIP Pathfinder... your days are numbered.

Pit stop in Iowa!

4 Generations!

Update on MJ

This smiley, almost 11 week old girl is a trooper in our family of 5.  She holds her head up, sleeps soundly amid the loud, craziness of our house and has a smile that will make you melt.  We moved her to her own room and crib last week and she's been doing SO WELL.  In my mind, the twins were in our room for the first 3 months. Turns out, we had moved them to their own room when they were 8 weeks old!  AND we had started sleep training them!  I was behind the buck with Miss Maggie.

After knowing that, I knew she would be just fine.  She still wakes to feed once or twice a night.  I'm going to wait until she is 12 weeks old to try and wean a night feeding.  The girl is GOOD as far as size is concerned and she has no trouble eating.  At her 2 month appointment she weighed 14.1 lbs!

The major difference with sleep training her versus the twins is that she doesn't take a pacifier.  At all.  She has started to use her hand and has found her thumb a few times but not consistently to soothe her to sleep at night.  I've also always nursed her to have her fall asleep... not sure how to change that too.  I'll let you know when I figure it out.

This summer has also FLOWN and we are winding out our last week before Alex returns to school with pre-year meetings etc...  Here's some of the fun things that happened:

Lake Trip with Alex's family to the Ozarks

Loving Auntie Olivia's pool
Family Pics taken by Rachel Moore at RPM Photography in KC.
MJ was baptized! Cried through the whole thing.... Pic by Nicole Watkins
Buddy got his first haircut! 

Such a handsome man!
Visiting our friends and sharing popsicles! 
Making pizzas! 
Hanging out at the splash pad!

That's a pretty good recap of our summer!  I'm still working on a post regarding breast-feeding... Wanted to get the potty training one out when I had the chance.  If you never thought you would read about someone else's kids potty habits, well I'm happy I helped make that a reality for you!

See ya'll soon!

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