Playing with her Play-Doh while being house bound!
Showing Abbey how to use the potty!
Loving her M&M's and panties!
So for those who have asked me how I did it, here's how!!
A few days before I wanted to start, I started telling her she was going to be able to go to the store and pick out her own panties so she could go on the potty. I also started telling her that she was going to get a treat every time she went in her potty. I was WAY OVER excited so she would get excited too!
Tuesday came and I once again made a big deal about the trip to pick everything up - she picked out her own panties, we got M&M's and we got a clear container to keep them in that she was able to open herself (once again the independence!). Oh and I picked up some carpet spot cleaner too! When we got home for lunch, I gave her a few M&M's so she new what to look forward to. I told her she would get more as soon as she started using her potty. After nap, I kept her in a diaper and waited to see if she would initiate any potty talk. She did! She went twice that afternoon!
The next day, Wed., we put panties on right away. We had a couple accidents but just as many successes. When she would pee in her panties she told me right away because she hated the feeling. She'd walk with her legs spread apart! That afternoon I called her pull-ups special panties but she treated them just like a diaper and didn't tell me when she had gone so it was back to panties the next day (Thursday).
Each day she started having less and less accidents and more successes. We stayed home Tuesday afternoon and didn't go out till Saturday which I think was helpful to be at home and her wear panties all the time. By the time we went out on Saturday, I tried the pull-ups again so we wouldn't make messes on anyone's floor. She is now treating them just like panties! I also used some training pants I found at Babies R Us that are just like panties but are a little thicker in the middle so it will catch small accidents. These are great! On Thursday I tried using the vinyl diaper covers that cover plain panties (or cloth diapers) but she went a few times in there without telling me so I haven't used them since.
OK a few other details that I think helped! I've made it VERY methodical for her so she does the same thing every time. She goes, wipes, I put water in her potty, she pours it in the big potty, she flushes and puts the seat down, washes her hands, dries her hands and then counts out her own M&M's from the container she can open herself. Of course it's out of reach but she can see it on the counter and I bring it to her each time. I don't want to make her compulsive but I've learned that Claire likes things to be very predictable! It certainly works for her!
Now... I started giving Claire 3 M&M's each time she went (not when she just tried) and she was eating a TON a day! I never realized how many times she went to the bathroom in one day! After 2 days, I cut it back to 2 thinking she wouldn't have it (since she was counting her own) but she didn't mind at all. I'll probably cut it back to 1 next week and wean her off the treats.
Well, I haven't talked about her going poop yet but it's been our most difficult part. She went on Thursday and it seemed to be a VERY traumatic experience for her. I think she was a little constipated so it might have hurt a little and it took her a long time. We read books while she tried to keep her mind off of it. She cried and I felt so bad for her but I just kept encouraging her and she eventually did it. I gave her 4 M&M's for that one! We had a BIG celebration and even took pictures to make a bigger deal of it - don't worry! I won't post that one! Well, she hasn't gone poop on the potty since. We've tried and I've caught her trying to go hide to do her business. When I see her do that I just smile and get her to the potty with little hesitation but she still just sits there. The only times she's gone since is during nap or bedtime when she's wearing a diaper. She never did that before so I really think she's holding it till she gets a diaper on. I'd love any suggestions if anyone else has gone through the same thing!
OK enough potty talk but I know a lot of people who are on the brink of potty training and have asked what I did with Claire. I can't believe how easy it has been even though it's been very time consuming. You certainly need a lot of patience because you have to stay positive all the time. Even through accidents and trying every 5 minutes because they want that treat so bad! It's worth it in the end. I wanted her potty trained before we get her in a big girl bed in September and I think we may have done it!