Although I didn’t believe it would ever be possible, I was able to leave the house with Elijah. We went to church on Sunday morning (leaving him in his two year old class) and later in the afternoon made it out to a restaurant to celebrate February family birthdays. We were also able to make a playdate today. Warning: this is a longer post, but I’ve broken it up into categories so it’s easy to skim and find what’s most pertinent to your own potty training adventure.
Here are the details of my current strategy (in no particular order):
Before we leave to go anywhere we put Elijah on the toilet and encourage him to go pee. If he does, great! If he doesn’t, no big deal, we tried. Once we arrive at our destination (depending on travel time) we encourage him to go to the potty again. If it’s not necessary that he pee right away, we still take him to the restroom to show him the toilets and let him know where he can go potty when he needs to.
So far I have also planned that I have a buddy with me when I take Elijah to the restroom. I know this is not feasible forever, but for now at this point in Elijah’s potty training journey and my pregnancy – this is what works. I’ve either had Mike stand outside of the women’s restroom or my mom come into the handicapped stall with me. I help Elijah with actually using the restroom and then he is released into the care of the buddy so I can collect all our stuff from the stall (and clean what is necessary). If my mom is there, she has helped Elijah clean his hands. If Mike has been waiting, he stays with Elijah outside the restroom until I come back to get Elijah and wash his hands. I’m not interested in Elijah roaming around the bathroom unattended, partly because he will literally touch everything in sight, but mostly for safety reasons. He’s still little enough to wander off, and I’m too big to run and catch him.
We still have been unsuccessful at getting Elijah to go number two in the toilet. We actually realized last Friday that he had been holding his bowel for nearly five days – which kind of scared me (but the pediatrician assured me is normal). He is now on a regimen of equal parts prune juice, cranberry juice and water in a sippy first thing in the morning, and then later in the evening to try to keep things soft and moving.
We’ve gotten him back into a semi-normal routine, but he still messes himself once a day. I have been trying to keep mental notes to see what happens immediately before he needs to poop. Usually we have a few mad-dash-false-alarms to the toilet where Elijah whines and tells me “no.” Eventually he can’t hold it and very quickly he relieves himself . . . in his underwear. Sometimes when we are quick enough we can get a Pull-Up on him before he goes, but honestly I’ve been cleaning a lot of poopy underwear. Gross.
As far as leaving the house, I’ve been trying to either avoid the time he normally goes, or insist he wears the Pull-Up. I am not cleaning poopy underwear in a public restroom or somebody’s house. We were gone today during the time he’d been going poop and unfortunately I think we completely missed our opportunity. Bummer. I’ll have to watch him more closely tomorrow. At this point I just want him to be regular. We’ll work on the poop training later.
Toy Story Pull Ups
Elijah is a pretty big fan of wearing underwear at this point, but I’m not entirely convinced that he’s able to make it outside our house (where there are a ton more distractions) sans accident. He has definitely passed the stage of running to the potty every five minutes for a little pee-pee, and is at the point of testing how long he can hold it (continuing in his current activity) before it’s too late.
A friend of mine explained her daughter called the Pull-Ups outside underwear (and nap-time underwear when appropriate). I liked that idea. Sometimes it works with Elijah, and sometimes it doesn’t . . . but I have managed to wrestle them onto him most times (even though this morning we had to put the underwear on top of the Pull-Ups). What helps is that Elijah is a huge fan of the Toy Story characters right now and thankfully Pull-Ups have Buzz and Woody plastered all over them.
My pediatrician also explained that continuing to put diapers on a child after they are using the toilet can confuse them and could enable them to regress back to wanting their diapers all the time. Even though I had nearly two boxes of size 5 Huggies – they all went into the basement and are being saved for Noah. The only time Elijah wears a diaper is an overnight one at night. I’m not convinced Pull-Ups can handle what Elijah brings to the table at bedtime, and I don’t want to do laundry every morning. Until we start night-training we’ll stick to the overnight diapers.
My New and Improved Diaper Bag
This is a quickie. I’ve been keeping clorox wipes, regular wet wipes and three Pull-Ups in the diaper bag. I still keep the changing pad (just in case we have an accident that makes things really difficult for me to clean with him standing up) and two changes of clothes.
Elijah has yet to sit on a regular toilet and successfully use the restroom. To be honest I don’t blame him at all. He’s a little guy and toilets are big. He knows as well as I do that he’d fall right in. In the spirit of continuing the positive trend of potty training, I schlepped the potty seat around with me in a Target bag.
I know it seems a little gross, but it’s all I could come up with before we are able to transition him into sitting on a grown up toilet. To make things less gross, I keep clorox wipes in a ziploc bag (marked of course so they aren’t accidentally used on Elijah) to be used to disinfect the bottom of the potty seat after it is used.
I can’t stand the thought of what is on the toilet seat in a public restroom anyway. The potty seat keeps Elijah a little more germ free, and the clorox wipes keep my potty seat germ free.
If the part about the germs is not true, please don’t tell me otherwise.
So there’s the recap of our current adventures in potty training. If anyone has any comments or suggestions that would help us in some of our transitions they would be greatly appreciated. When we finally figure out how to get Elijah to go #2, or ditch the potty seat we’ll be posting again!