Saturday, June 12, 2010

3 Day Potty Training - My Review

*WARNING: I will be discussing the bladder/bowel habits of an almost 2 year old.
Turn back now if you don't care!

I have definitely rolled my eyes in the past when other moms have discussed in detail their potty training efforts on their blog. I mean, who wants to know about that? Well, I know of at least 10 of my readers who do want to know about our adventure and I need to debrief because it was more exhausting than bringing her into the world. So, here I go. Roll your eyes if you want.

A couple of friends (Read Heather's story here) forwarded me the e-book for 3 Day Potty Training by Lora Jensen. In a nutshell: At 22 months, you switch to panties and rush the child to the potty every time they start to pee/poop. You stress the importance of keeping panties dry and you remind them VERY often to "Tell mama when you have to use the potty!" You do this for 3 days and never leave the house. It is intense and you pretty much hover of your child every waking hour, but it's worth the effort when it is "guaranteed to work."

Note: We followed the plan exactly with the exception of waking her one hour AFTER she went to bed to potty and waking her again one hour BEFORE she wakes up to potty.


* I like her immersion approach and agree that consistency and patience are important.

* Avery knows and can verbalize all the concepts of the potty experience.

* She can tell me before she has a bowel movement & make it to the potty some of the time.


Avery never once made it to the potty to pee. She would tell me "Mama pee-pee" while she was going on the rug/floor/couch. It was like she knew, but didn't have the control. At one point, she was so grossed out by pooping that she gagged, cried and eventually vomited before I could get her cleaned up. (The whole scene was comical...she obviously inherited my gag reflex.) Every poop since then has involved crying and panic because she is so disgusted. Didn't see that one coming.

She got her first reward (3 M&M's) on Day 2 and she was in heaven. But it turned into a big mess with her demanding "more, more!" and even trying to fake me out by telling me "Potty, Mama" and leading me to the bathroom only to sit down on the potty and demand M&M's. Like her Daddy says, "If she wasn't so cute, I would sell her to the gypsies."

She had a strong desire to please me, but a stronger desire to have control of the situation. All the peeing on the floor, running to the bathroom and poop trauma made her tired and stressed. She didn't sleep well and even had diarrhea I know was caused by anxiety. She runs errands with me every day and not leaving the house for 3 days left her BORED out of her mind. She thrives on routine and this very obviously messed up her routine.

I did 2-3 loads of laundry every day of the training to keep up with panties, waterproof pads, blankets, sheets and the rags I used to clean up 10-12 messes in the day. I don't suggest taking this on while 37 weeks pregnant. My body very promptly informed me that whisking a toddler to the potty 20 times a day, being on hands & knees to clean up and sitting on a tile bathroom floor isn't ideal at this stage in the game.

Closing Thoughts & Our Plan

Wow. I was pretty heavy in the negative column. Overall, I'm glad I did it. I always would have wondered if I wouldn't have. I know that when this boy beebs arrives, I won't be able to devote my full attention to Avery so I think we have laid a good foundation at least. I would only recommend this program if a friend passes along the e-book. I wouldn't actually pay $20 for it. Even if the program was a complete success for us, I think calling yourself "The Queen of Potty Training" and saying "I guarantee it!" is too much. All children aren't the same and potty training isn't one-size-fits-all.

We have created a new Avery plan that includes a mixture of training panties, Pull-Ups, cloth diaper inserts for added absorption and more patience. We have decided that going back to diapers would be confusing for her and a horrible regression on our part. We already told her she's a big girl and wears big girl panties...she even threw her diapers away and looked so excited. Now we wait for it to "click."

"The Daddy Reads While She Drinks Mama's Water Tactic"



lsprad said...

Thank you so much for sharing!!!Now get some rest!

JB and Cindy said...

This is about the funniest thing I have read all week. While the rest of the house is silent, I am sitting in my office laughing out loud. I can so see your faces, which makes it funnier. Sorry it wasn't an immediate success and that it wasn't easy- boo! Hope it clicks soon. Thanks for sharing :)

Meredith - proud mom of THREE! said...

No worries. She'll get it when she's ready. EK got it a little after 2, and Peyton is "working" on it. So I am right there with ya.

The Armstrong's said...

I SO wish that it was easier, but I have to admit I laughed out loud. Caroline has such a strong gag reflex (as Cindy as experienced) and so I am sure she would do the same thing. I am thinking about easing her into it and we'll see how it goes! Thanks for sharing!