Thursday, February 6, 2014

8 years of diapers. Done.

This is the blog post I wanted to write since last year....
The post where I announce that after changing diapers for almost NINE years now with NO GAPS between kids and having them overlap so I had two in diapers twice... that I am DONE!
Well we're NOT at 100% yet but DAYTIME potty training is pretty much complete!  And that IS reason to celebrate!!!!

Monkey #3 was the most difficult to train.  I started back in May 2013.  He had just turned 3.  I stayed home, put him in underwear and did the whole reward when he went thing.  He did great every time I initiated and he didn't fight me at all.  I was so calm and encouraging and really mentally ready for it!  But as I let him go longer between bathroom breaks, hoping he'd tell me when he had to go, that is when more accidents started happening.  We have carpet upstairs so I quarantined him to the main floor for 3 days.  I remained calm, cool and collected with my cleanings supplies at the ready.  He wanted to go to the playroom upstairs so I got more lenient.  He'd have random accidents on the carpets and I got my little Bissell Green Machine out and stayed calm.  I kept on him but after TWO WEEKS of cleaning messes regularly, I broke.  I switched to pull up training.  I just was starting to feel the frustration and anger build and I knew that wouldn't be good for either of us.  So with pull ups on, I encouraged his leading and didn't let the messes stress me out too much.  But for the rest of 2013, I tried different approaches.  

If he told me he had to pee and had dry pull ups on he'd get a sticker on his chart.  He'd get a watch when the chart was full.  I thought for sure he'd get it somewhat quickly because there weren't many spaces on it! People... this chart went up in June and he finally earned his watch in November!!!  But even so, it was VERY random and he was still nowhere near trained.

I told him to stay dry ALL day and he'd get a sticker.  Then when this chart was full, we'd go to Chuck E. Cheese to play!
Not even the mouse motivated that kid!

He just wouldn't tell me when he had to go.  He was too busy playing and didn't seem bothered at all by accidents.  So he never did complete this and I threw it away when 2014 started.

Last month, I went out with some friends for a girls night and potty training came up.  I vented about how that switch was just not going off in his little brain.  A friend gave me the suggestion to reward my son when he was DRY.  Hummm... that was interesting to me because that takes the attention off his bathroom visits.  {He will be 4 in April and honestly me cheering and clapping my hands is so 2 years ago!  LOL!}

I made this reward chart from images I found online.  I printed a photo of Heatwave the RescueBot Transformer, a toy that he REALLY wanted.  And that my friends, was motivation for my boy.  It was this approach that flicked a switch in his brain.  For the first time, Colin initiated his bathroom visits! 

On top of this, I also rewarded him  for going poop.  He got a lollipop for himself and his siblings.  He also LOVES to color and I printed any image from the internet he wanted.  He colored a lot of Power Ranger Megazords and Jake and the Neverland Pirate pictures!  That was his trigger!

This week, he finished his chart and we ordered Heatwave.  He arrived today!  Colin was sleeping in the van when we got home and found the box.  I told Vienna and Lance to go in the house first and open it so Colin would see it when he woke up.  They were so excited for their little brother that they ran to the playroom, found the other RescueBots he had and set them all up on the coffee table.  When I carried a sleepy Colin in and told him there was something for him, he looked at his prize and said in a fun little voice: "Are you kidding?"  He then went on to tell me how awesome I was and repeated over and over: "I am so excited I got this."  Best reaction ever and I totally wish I had it on video but I do not!

For the record... He still won't say "Mom I have to pee."  He literally stands in front of me with his legs crossed, pointing to himself and says:  "Mom, look." with a big goofy smile.  And then we go to the bathroom together.  I long for the day when he'll just take himself.  But this is progress... sweet progress!  He still has accidents but they are rare.  And he only wears pull ups to bed now!  Aaaand just two weeks ago, he started wearing underwear to preschool.  Yay!

He did it!  He stayed clean and dry and now he is "so excited to have Heatwave"!!!!

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Jessica @ This Blessed Life said...


In Light of the Truth... said...

He is sooo cute and Happy and I'm so glad he finally had a breakthrough! Hopefully he doesn't lose motivation now that he already has the toy! Okay so question, I thought your other charts WERE rewarding him for being DRY. Can you re-explain what the difference is with the last method?? Not that it matters over here since we're done, but I'm curious! :)

Mary said...

Good question Sarah! Sorry I wasn't too clear. Initially, I was rewarding him for actually going to the bathroom. That was how he earned his watch. I gave verbal praise too for actually going on the toilet. And candy in the early days. But with the stay dry method, I would check let's say every hour and ask "Hey are you dry?" and then he'd get a sticker if he was. I started to draw out the time between asking til last week he was only getting one in the morning and one in the afternoon. But the month prior I was giving them out A LOT! He loved that he was DRY, rather then attention being on going to the toilet. Because truthfully, he doesn't go that much and rewards on that were fewer and far between.

Mary said...

Aaaand asking "Do you have to pee?" all day was really annoying him. But "Are you dry?" was just mentally different for some reason!

In Light of the Truth... said...

Ahh okay, gotcha. Thanks for explaining the details! =) Kinda like the "dry all day" chart you tried but smaller increments! Nice!!

Amy said...

Yay Colin!!!