PostHeaderIcon Potty Training Boot Camp

Life with toddlers has been rough, making it very tough to type a blog post or take a break. They consume my time a suck my energy, yet I love them more every day!

Most recently we have tackled potty training. I started by reading other blogs, referring to books and talking to friends. When I realized that “cold turkey” works for potty training as well as other “habits” I went for it. I chose a weekend with no plans and we said goodbye to diapers during waking hours. I called it boot camp.

On day 1 of boot camp we started with potty training undies (just thicker down the middle) and using the potty every 1/2 hour or so. I soon realized the underwear was too tough to master on day 1. So we went commando, since it was summer they were mostly nudists in the house. By day 2 the underwear were on without pants. By day 3 the pants were on.

If you choose this method be prepared with tons of rags and extra undies. Oh, and patience helps. I used tons of rewards. Balloons, stickers and cookies worked best. By day 4 Elan was fully trained, so much so that he started to wake up asking to use the potty and always has a dry diaper at nap time (sometimes in the morning!).

I don’t think Elan is unusual. Since he is a twin, his life is more about structure and routine than singletons. Potty training was just another routine. Zev, on the other hand, has been more challenging. No amount of bargaining can speed up the process with him.

After one month Zev is just beginning to ask to use the potty, but not every time. I try to keep my cool and encourage the right behavior. Once we master daytime for 3-4 months I will work on nighttime. Oy!

I think that the most important lesson is to say goodbye to diapers during waking hours and to be firm with that, no matter how hard. Kids don’t understand mixed signals.

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