Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Potty Prep!

I’m not unrealistic (well, about potty training anyway).  I realize my kiddo is only 18 months and potty training probably isn’t going to happen for a while.  However, I’m all about making it as easy as possible when it is time.  So…  a while back I read this article I found on Pinterest about how to prepare your child for potty training long before they are actually ready.  In a nut shell, it gives these five suggestions:
1.     Acknowledge when baby is having a bowel movement and associate a word or phrase with it.  I have mastered this one.  For months, every time I see the poop face, I said, “Are you going poopy?”  Usually multiple times. 
2.     Let your mobile baby watch while you go to the bathroom.  Is this one really a choice?  If you have a toddler, trust me, going to the bathroom is no longer a private event. 
3.     Buy a small potty and keep it around, long before you plan to use it.  Check.  I found a great deal at the Rhea Lana consignment sale, so JJ’s little potty has been sitting out letting him explore it since spring.  He has mostly explored it by putting it on his head or throwing bath toys in it, but he does sit on it from time to time.
4.     Have your baby sit on a potty sometimes while he goes- even with his diaper still on.  On this one, I give myself a C+.  He loves to sit on his potty (especially when mom and dad are on the big potty), but sitting when he pees is another matter.  For one, I have no idea when he is peeing, and second, it just seems wrong to interrupt a good poop to carry him up to the potty.  Right?
5.     Let your baby go diaper free every now and then.  Yeah, right!  I’ll do this as soon as someone volunteers to come clean my carpet regularly!  I will say, he often runs around buck naked after bath, but this usually ends up with me cleaning up pee from somewhere. Let me expand on this one…
I’m no dummy (why are you laughing?). After a few times of cleaning up pee post bath, the genius in me thought, “Hey, this would be a great time to put him on the potty seat.”  Maybe, just maybe, he’ll accidentally go in the potty seat.  But, of course, that would just be too easy.  It’s like the kid does the opposite and holds it in while he is on it.  In fact, I recently got one of those seats you put on the regular toilet so he can sit on “the big potty” and he thinks he is pretty darn important when he does.  So after bath, I put him on the big potty.  He climbs up his step stool, and with a little help gets turned around and situated.  Of course, I’m a little nervous because the little guard they have on the front to catch boys pee is apparently pretty fun to play with, so I’m worried that if he does actually pee it will either be all over his hand, or even worse, all over me.  Anyway, after a minute, no pee, so he climbs off.  He stands on his stool facing the big potty for a minute (probably playing with toilet paper or trying to wear the potty seat as a hat) and I suddenly notice the pool of pee at his feet.  Seriously?  You’ve been off the toilet for like 10 seconds?  Oh well, maybe next time. 
Anyway, those are the five suggestions in that article, but in my OCD preparations, I found a few other tips that I feel should be added. 
1.     After a poop, flush the poop down the toilet.  The reasoning behind this is simple.  Toddlers like things to be in their correct place.  If they see poop in the toilet, they will want it to go there.  Thanks to the iron drops he has to take and his love for milk, cheese, and bananas, JJ’s poop is usually pretty solid (he’ll thank me some day for sharing that with everyone) so this is pretty easy for us to do.  And, it is an added bonus because he hates having his diaper changed, so when I tell him we are going to flush the poop, he gets all excited and we get through the diaper change with much less of a fight!  Warning – a solid ball of poop can really splash!
2.     Teach them that toilet paper is for wiping your ass.   I don’t mean to brag (well, maybe a little), but I came up with this one all on my own.  It happened when JJ found it was quite fun to put TP in the toilet.  He was throwing in one square after another, so I decided to try to make a lesson out of all the wasted toilet paper.  As I helped him carefully tear off just one square, I would tell him to wipe his bottom.  It was darn cute watching him reach around and wipe, even if he was mostly just wiping his lower back.  It’s a start!
3.     Make poopy the coolest thing ever!  I started writing this blog a few days ago, but life has been slightly busy, so it took me a few days to finish it up.  I think it was supposed to happen that way, because last night we had a pretty big moment in the potty training world.  As JJ and I were reading books, playing with dinosaurs, or some other extremely fun type of toddler play, I noticed he was doing his pre-poop tip toe dance.  Trust me, I’ve seen this many times before and I know what is coming!  I figure I may as well give it a shot and run him up to the bathroom.  We quickly strip him down and sit him on the toilet.  He doesn’t complain because the potty is one of his favorite places to be right now, but he looks at me with much confusion.  After a minute, he gets off, no poop.  I don’t give up.  I know it’s coming, so we play with toilet paper and whatever else to wait for the big moment.  When I see him tense up, I put him on the seat and presto!  Perfect timing.  His first poopy in the potty (yes, this is how I really talk these days!).  It was crazy how excited I was for this!  Jeff, who was sick in bed, came running in and even took a picture (yes, of the poop!).  I opted not to post that here.  You are welcome.  Afterwards, I even texted my mom, sister, and besties to share the news.  Anyway, back to the poopy.  So after he pooped, I immediately showed him his poop and boy was that apparently very cool!  And when we flushed, the kid’s level of excitement was out of this world!  Will it make a difference in the future?  Who knows, but in my mind it can’t hurt, so the rule stays!

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