Nolan: full-blown #pottytraining mode around here and he's blowing our minds! #boymom #SAHM #kids #parenting

Nolan has been OBSESSED with toilets and watching people use them for YEARS!

Since before age two, he would follow us into the bathroom, wanting an up-close and personal viewpoint of your business! He loved waving bye to the "business" as he flushed the toilet for you and always wanted to talk about your "business" experience once you were done.

By age three and a half he had the motor skills to pull his pants up and down by himself, climb up and down from a toilet, and, with some help, wash his hands; however, even with all of that, we noticed immediately that his body and brain connection regarding using a toilet just wasn't there, yet.

We had purchased him a potty seat and stool and helped show him the mechanics of using it and he did use it a few times but it was because we prompted and asked and physically placed him on the toilet, not because he felt the urge to go and just went on his own.

So, we just left it alone this last six months.

In the last 60 days, every time he was left naked between diaper changes, especially first thing in the morning and after his bath in the evenings, he would say "I need to go pee pee!", run downstairs, get up on his potty, and pee. Then, on Monday night, after bath, he jumped up from building a gear car and say "Mom, I need to go poop", ran downstairs, got up on the toilet, and pooped. It was beyond exciting, I tell ya! There's just nothing like watching your child "get it". It became clear that he was ready to use the toilet and we just needed to get on-board.

Can I just say that this was really hard for me?!?

Making the commitment to potty-training a child when you are a family that is always on-the-go is really scary! All I could think about was cleaning pee and poop out of his car seat, the playroom carpet, and changing bedsheets from nap time and bed time accidents. {sigh} While Nolan was ready, it was clear that I wasn't ready!

By Wednesday evening, I had gotten myself ready, mentally. I decided to give away/return all the diapers and get out the stash of underwear I had stockpiled and here's how it went:

Thursday - immediately after waking up and getting out of his night time diaper, Nolan went downstairs on his own and peed in the toilet. David put him in underwear under his clothes and he sat at the table to eat breakfast.

8:45am - Within 10 minutes, he jumped down out of his chair, grabbed a kitchen towel, and began wiping his legs and the floor. He had peed. We told him that accidents happen and that it's okay and we just need to change clothes and try to get to the toilet next time.

9:30am - After breakfast, I took him outside to water the garden and put in some new sprinkler steaks for my herb garden. Within about 20 minutes, he waddled over to me and said "I need mommy to change my poop". Umm. That underwear went in the trash and after cleaning him up, we put on a new pair of underwear and a new outfit and came inside to play.

10:00am - 10 minutes later, while sitting in the playroom reading books, he peed again and I noticed it when he jumped up and wiped the carpet, as if he was looking for something.

After stripping him of his soiled clothes, a lightbulb went off in my head: the underwear was still foreign and perhaps he needed to be naked for a while to make the whole potty-training experience more successful for him. I mean, he has used the toilet two dozen times or more in the last 60 days and every time it was between changes, when he was naked! So, I decided to leave him naked the rest of the day, beginning at 10:45am.

By lunch time, at Noon, he had stopped playing, reading, and watching a show to run to the bathroom and successfully peed in the toilet three times!

3:00pm - Because I was scared to death of him peeing in his car seat (I did mention this was really hard on me, right?), I decided to dress him in a pull-up (found three in my backpack) under his clothes to go pick up Emily from camp. Before getting dressed, he said he needed to pee and did so just before we got in the car. I explained that we had to wear clothes when we are not at home and that he needs to keep the pull-up clean and dry while wearing it. I told him if he felt the need to pee or poop to tell me and I would take him to the bathroom (we've used it every day for nearly two weeks so he knows where it is at the camp site!).

5:15pm - The kids play for over an hour every day I pick Emily up from camp until about 5pm. Just before we left, we walked down the hill to use the bathroom as we always do. Nolan said he didn't need to go pee pee but I asked him to try and he complied. Nothing came out so we drove home.

5:45pm - The moment we walked in the door, I stripped him naked and within five minutes, I saw him run to the bathroom and heard him pee in the toilet.

6:15pm - While the kids were eating dinner, Nolan got out of his chair and went to the bathroom and peed in the toilet twice.

6:45pm - After bath, before putting on his PJs, Nolan said "I need to go pee pee" and went downstairs from where we were reading in his room to pee in the toilet.

7:30pm - I dressed him in a night time diaper (one step at a time, people, night training comes next!) and his PJs and tucked him in for the night.

That is what I call a successful day!

I've heard about people stripping their kids naked for a few days to make potty-training easier on their kids (no false sense of security from the clothes, like a diaper, and no clothes to fumble with in case they are in a hurry to get to the bathroom) but truly never thought about it as an option. It wasn't something Emily needed and wasn't on my radar for Nolan. Until today!

My plan is to keep him naked again Friday (David is off work and home all day to help out) and discuss what underwear is and maybe try and find a video via a potty-training website to help him make the connection that underwear is not a diaper and you don't pee and poop in it. I bet it's simply a matter of creating that new habit and making it part of his daily routine.

Keep us in your positive thoughts! :)


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