30 December 2010

Renewed Faith in the Potty

Remember when I said I knew we would have better days and worse days? I didn't realize the worse days would happen so quickly. And so roughly.

I've had a lot of requests from people asking me to post updates on potty training, so for those who are not interested - and especially for those who are eating dinner in front of the computer - I suggest you move on. Potty talk isn't pretty...

Day 2 of potty training went really well. For the second day in a row he pooped on the potty and went first thing after waking up in the morning (and, by the way, I haven't had to change a poopy diaper since Saturday - that's worth it!). Then he had a few accidents, then a successful trip to pee pee on the potty. Then more accidents. A total of about 6 accidents. But then, all of a sudden, at 11:30am we hit our stride. He went from 11:30am all the way to bedtime with no accidents. Well, not entirely true - he had half of an accident... He walked into the bathroom and started to pee on the floor but I quickly placed him on the potty and he finished there. But still, 11:30am-7:30pm with near 100% success? I was really excited.

Until Day 3.

Day 3 was rough. R-O-U-G-H. Nothing but accidents most of the day. Only 3 successful trips to the potty the whole day. I was frazzled. I knew we'd have back and forth days, ups and downs, difficult days, but this? It sucked. I started to question my method, wondering if we're ready... I somehow made it through the day. I was whooped by mid-afternoon. Gratefully Gary is an awesome husband and dad - he picked up dinner, swooped in to help me out, and let me have some much needed relaxation that evening. I had no idea potty training would turn me inside out.

I wasn't frustrated with Sheridan, though. But I did start to question if this was going to work. But once again, truth be told, some of those accidents were my fault. Not taking him when my gut told me (thinking he could make it a few more minutes), or sending a quick work email (it'll only take a minute - yeah, and Buddy only needs 20 seconds to flood my hallway, so you do the math). Or, sometimes you wonder if he's doing something and it's a "sign" that he has to go. Sometimes you put him on the potty and nothing, so other times you decide not to put him on the potty and, well, puddle. He's still learning (obviously I am to), so his cues aren't going to be consistent. But I can be consistent - and that's what I decided to do. 

And I started thinking about the silver lining in Day 3: Sheridan understood when he was having an accident. He would freeze, look up at me, stare for a few seconds, then look down and watch the pee, and look up at me. He definitely understands what's happening (when he was in diapers he would never even acknowledge he had peed). This awareness is HUGE in potty training. So I had to chalk that up as a success.

Day 4: honestly, not much better than Day 3. Four successful trips to the potty. Lots of accidents (some my fault - this is really hard for the parents, too!). But I remained consistent. And after a much-needed pep talk with my friend Natalie who's been through this with her boy recently, I decided I would add a couple things to our potty routine repertoire. 

Sheridan LOVES the stickers he gets when he goes on the potty. So, I did a sticker shopping spree at Target. I really wish you could have seen the look on his face when I showed him the cupcake stickers (he chose the pink cupcake after peeing this afternoon). So, stickers are great motivators for him. 

Today, we also added one Annie's Organic Berry Bunny Snacks (gummy bunnies) to the mix. So, when he is successful he gets 1 sticker and 1 gummy. 

I also made a board for him to put magnets on even when he just tries to go. So, every time he sits on the potty for potty time, but he doesn't go, we tell him "Good trying, Sheridan! Good job... we'll come back and try again in a little bit." When he walks out of the bathroom, he goes to the board and puts a magnet in the "Good Try!" area. So, he's rewarded for each step, really.

The magnets are really small, but I guess the fine-motor workout is an added bonus!
We've been using the Poop and Pee areas of the board to track what he's doing. We were letting him put those on, too, as a reward. But decided it was too much going on (his OT mentioned that it might be too much - too many rewards can be confusing). So, he just gets his sticker & gummy when he is successful and a magnet when he tries. 

And how did today go? Day 5 was good. An upswing. He had 5 successful pees/poop on the potty, and only 4 accidents. And you can see for yourself how many trips he made to the potty and gave a good try... it's a lot!

As you can see, little hands on the board all day make it tough to read. So, tonight I will recreate this with permanent markers. This will be our Potty Board for life :)
We are really proud of him - and us. But, at least one of those accidents was our fault again :) We just keep doing the best we can.

And, just FYI, we're not training for nap/night time. He wears a diaper for his nap (he goes to the potty right before nap time, then I change him into his diaper for the nap - as soon as he wakes up we go straight to the bathroom for the potty). For 3 of the 5 days we've been potty training, though, he was woken up from his 2-2.5 hour nap DRY. And he pees on the potty as soon as he wakes up. 

We do the same at bedtime. He goes on the potty before his bath (sometimes he still pees in his bath), then into a diaper for bed. As soon as he wakes up in the morning we start the process all over again :)

So that's where we are. I have renewed faith in potty training, and I know that bad days are inevitable. And I need to not feel defeated and especially not question myself (easier said here than done during the day cleaning up pee). And we just have to keep learning together. 

Oh, and an update on underwear... I had a few people remind me of the fabulous things you can find on Etsy, but because handmade underwear are so pricey, I decided to give a few new store-bought brands a try (although the stuff on Etsy is WAY cuter!). As a reminder, I don't want pull-ups or anything with padding/absorbent material - Sheridan was in cloth diapers and I think that would mimic his diapers too much. So, straight big-boy underwear is what we're after. Size 2T/3T is about all you can find in stores, but I found two brands that run small - small enough that if washed on hot, after coming out of the dryer they are perfect for little man. I found these boxer briefs (by Hanes) and these briefs (by Handcraft) at Target. But you can find them anywhere, and obviously online.

26 December 2010

We Survived Potty Training

...well, Day 1, anyway ;-)

In case you are wondering... he's a boxer briefs kind of guy.

As for the potty training itself... we put him on the potty as soon as he woke up (had a big success on that trip!) and then right into underwear. He wore underwear all day (we do put him in a diaper for nap and nighttime).

Sheridan had many successes throughout the day, going pee pee and poo poo on the potty a total of 7 times today! Here's evidence of his success:

He did have a handful of accidents (5 or 6) - so grateful for a house full of tile! But in full confession, many of those accidents were our fault - taking too long to get him to the potty (I was trying to quickly finish a phone conversation) or not leaving him on the potty long enough or not trusting my gut that I should take him right now even though it "wasn't time."

Today was our first day, our very first time trying this. So, we plan to see how it goes. We expect timing will become a little better for both Sheridan and us - by the end of the day he was signing he had to go (not every time, but he did ask a couple times).

I think our "pre potty training" helped a lot... we would put Sheridan on his potty (and sing to him, of course) when we knew he had the best chance for success (right before bath) just to get him used to the potty (which he loved right away) and help him be successful. So, he actually likes the potty - but at times his patience got a little worn at the end of today from being on so many times today (we used a timer and took him every 20-30 minutes).

I know we'll have days with more success, and days with more accidents. So we just need to be consistent.

We did have to bring back out his size 18 month pants. I knew his cloth diapers added some bulk to his body (he typically wears size 24 month or 2T pants), but I didn't realize just how little my lil man really is. Size 24 month pants sag WAY too much!

We still have a lot to learn :) but overall Gary and I think Sheridan did a great job on his first full day of potty training!

P.S. if anybody happens to know where I can find size 18-month underwear, please let me know! He's a little guy, and some of his underwear just slides right off his little butt (I can only seem to find size 2T/3T in the stores and online). But I'll tell you, plumber butt never looked so cute! ;-)

22 December 2010

09 December 2010

Le Petit Paris

I was so sad when this little Parisian Cafe in Sacramento went out of business... and I just had to have Sheridan do a photo shoot there before the cafe and its charm were gone forever. Three days before they closed their doors, they opened their hearts to Sheridan and his dear, dear Gracie Girl. Enjoy the show...

Gracie Girl


Gracie and her lovely mama

A big thank you to Michelle Marrone for capturing the beauty of Sheridan & Grace, and the last of the beauty that was Le Petit Paris :)