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Monday, July 8, 2013

The 6 Stages of Potty Training Double Trouble

Potty training these two has not turned out how I would have expected.  But I'm trying to remind myself that "how I would have expected" is only because I'm comparing my kids to other people's kids.  

And my kids are not their kids.

Specifically, THIS KID is not their kid.  Lily is proving to be a difficult one.  She's made me feel like potty training is going to go on forever!  Which is so strange because she rocked Stage 1.

To clarify, I have found that there are 6 Stages of potty training in this house.  It's what happens when your kids are 13 months apart:

Stage 1:  Train kid #1 to stay dry during the day
Stage 2:  Train kid #1 to stay dry during naps
Stage 3:  Train kid #2 to stay dry during the day
Stage 4:  Train kid #1 to stay dry during the night
Stage 5:  Train kid #2 to stay dry during naps
Stage 6:  Train kid #2 to stay dry during the night

We are happy to announce that Sammy has completed Stage 5!  She got 12 stickers on her dry-nap chart and we're going to a family movie this weekend to celebrate her success!

But I have to confess it frustrates me that Lily has stalled out at Stage 4.  I wanted Stages 4 and 5 to happen at the same time so we'd be down to one diaper at night for Sam.  But Lily just doesn't seem to be able to do it.  I'm relatively sure it's that she sleeps through the urge to get up and go potty at night.

In almost a month of night-training for Lily, she's only gotten 4 stickers for dry  nights.  And some of those stickers only happened because one of us woke her up for potty breaks in the middle of the night!

For the first three weeks of it we tried cold-turkey... and I changed her sheets at least once a night if not more.  Fun (annoying) fact: she started to pee in her bed and then get up, change her panties, and relocate to Sammy's bed. And then she proceeded to pee in Sam's bed, too.  So on more than one occasion I was changing both sheets.

We took a break from training during hand-foot-mouth disease week.  In which time I discovered that the off-brand pull ups cost the same as the off-brand diapers I was using.  So we started trying again... this time with pull ups.  So Lily has the option to use the potty at night on her own, and Momma doesn't have to do as much pee-pee laundry.

Sometimes I suspect Lily and Sam will night-train together.  And I don't know why that bothers me! When I gave Lily her first pull up this time around, it took about 2.5 seconds for Sam to take her diaper off while Lily was taking a potty break.  You try telling a two and a half year old that she is supposed to pee in her diaper when her big sis gets to use "Panty Diapers" (as Sammy calls them) ...and use the potty whenever she wants.  Yeah, right.  They act like potty breaks at night are a privilege!  

And yet, no one really stays dry.  They just drive me crazy taking 20 bathroom breaks from 7-8:30 when they're supposed to be sleeping.  At least they're trying!

So I guess it's pull ups for all, for now!

It's a process, right?  Every kid is different, right?  I'm trying to get a thicker skin about potty training.  I get comments from other Moms... surprised, almost condescending comments about how I should try this and such trick with Lily.  Or how their 8-month-old stays dry all night.  Surely they're exaggerating or their kid is just a super-baby.  

But my two are happy to pee in their pull ups most nights.  And even though Lily is approaching her 4th birthday, I have to be okay with that.  You can lead a 3 and a half year old to the potty at night, but you can't make her pee.  My day for the Potty Party will come.  And it will be a glorious celebration.  I'm thinking of adding a pull-up-burning to the list of activities ;o)

So to any other Mommas out there who are getting impatient with their potty trainees, I'm with ya.  But let's keep being patient, okay?  Our Monkeys don't seem to care, so why should we?

Three cheers for letting kids be kids.  And not stressing the small stuff.  In five years I won't even care about potty training or diapers or pull ups or wiping anyone else's butt.  And I'll look back at myself during this stage and chuckle.

This is a short parenting stage.  And I can handle it.  Stage 4 and Stage 6 will be completed at exactly the right time. When my girls are ready!  In the meantime, I'm going to channel my inner chill-Mom and stop trying to force things.


  1. oh Jess, don't sweat it! I feel ya! Steve and I were just talking about this last night. Naamah (just 2) is suddenly ready to be potty trained, like over night, and I think with her it's because I didn't push her until she showed signs to be ready. She still has accidents, but she is doing super! Zeph is not even CLOSE to being dry at night. If fact, I don't even remember a single time he woke up dry. And he is approaching 4 as well. My guess is that Na will be trained completely before him. I know some kids who still wear pull ups at like 9...10... which I think can be helped at that age, but makes me realize that every kid IS different and I need to relax and go with the flow. (sometimes literally! ;)
    It will come! You are doing a SUPER great job! Love ya!

    1. Amen sister! It's hard to remember that there is such a broad range of "normal" for this. And I totally laughed out loud at your go with the flow comment! Love you too and thanks for commenting. Miss you friend!

  2. So with you! Katie will be three in a few weeks and it seems like we've tried every method, always with two steps forward & one step back. She spent the last week with grandparents and when we got her back she was in a diaper & this week we are a way from home and she's only gone on the potty once. she really wants to go to preschool in the fall, and sometimes that *deadline* freaks me out. But...I remind myself that if she's no ready, she doesn't HAVE to go and that I am not a failure as a mom if that happens (good thing we're haven't registered yet!). *Wee* will get there someday (see what I did there?!)

    1. LOL stop with the pee jokes you guys! You're killing me!!! :o) Yeah nothing like a deadline to make us worry-prone Mommas worry even more. But you're right... it's not a "potty train her by the fall or her life is over" deadline. It's more of a "well, I guess she has another year to hang out with me at home" deadline, right? Best wishes. I'll think of you as I plead with my kids to stop peeing in their pull ups ;o)

    2. OH! And "tried every method" reminds me that all these thoughts I have on just chilling out come from a really good conversation with my Uncle recently... he told me to STOP TRYING all these methods. And just let it be. Good advice.

  3. my #3 is almost 3 and wets the bed almost every night even though I take him one more time right before I go to bed. annoying, but what can you do but keep on keeping on...

    1. Hmmm... I'm going to PM you about this.