Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Tales from the potty

As I struggle through potty training with my son I felt the need to share my quest here. Perhaps someone can give me an idea I have not thought of or gain some information from what I have done.

Now mind you I have successfully potty trained two children already. Both girls though! We did have our trials though. Natalie was late to potty train, but that was because she did not have the language skills to tell us she had to go. So we started with her a few months after she turned 3. If I recall correctly Natalie was completely day trained by the time she was 3 1/2. Night training did take some time, but it was done by the time she was four. Kaitlyn was actually easy to potty train. I started with her at 2. We had a bout of "toddlers diarrhea" when we started though. Once we got that under control she was completely potty trained by the time she turned 3. Night training was easier with her than it was with Natalie.

Now I heard many people say boys are harder to potty train than girls. I didn't really believe it until now I think. CJ is giving me a run for my money. We started with him in September. He was 2 months shy of his 3rd birthday. I used pull ups with him to start because he was going to preschool and that's what they required for children who were not potty trained. So we tried the M&M every time you use the potty. That was sporadic. Then I figured well, he's getting his fill of M&M's by going potty a few times a day lets see if we step it up and he stays dry all day he gets an M&M. Well, that didn't work either.

I decided I hate pull ups. I needed to get him to feel he was wet. Maybe then he'll try harder to go. So during February vacation we gave it a go. He stayed dry two days out of that week. I decided to do a sticker chart for him. If he got 7 stickers then he would be able to go get a new matchbox car. He needed to stay dry for 7 days though. Well, he lost interest in that pretty quickly. So then we went out and purchased a bunch of matchbox cars to reward him instantly with a new car for every day he stayed dry. He has gotten 3 cars so far. That's two weeks worth of trying this and only 3 days dry.

The poop is the worst. I am so tired of washing out underwear. I'm tired of cleaning him. It doesn't even bother him. Today he has pooped in his underwear 3 times! At one point I kept thinking I smelled something and I kept asking him if he had pooped and he kept telling me no. Finally I checked and he had pooped. How could he not be uncomfortable in that? It just doesn't make any sense to me.

I am not too sure where to go from here for an incentive for him. He clearly could care less whether he stays dry or not. The thing is I know he can do this. Many times when we've been out he'll tell us when he has to go potty. I don't always have to tell him to go when we're home either. This morning after he got up he was still in his pull up and he went into the bathroom on his own to go. No one had to tell him to go. He knew he had to go so he went.

So here he is 3 1/2 years old and no where close to being potty trained. He HAS to be potty trained for preschool next year. They won't take him if he's not. And that would be devastating to him if he doesn't get to go to school next year.

I know I should probably just give in for now and try again in a month or so, but really I just want this done.

What do you think? Are boys harder to train than girls? I keep telling myself the old saying of he won't go to college in a diaper. Gosh, I'm really beginning to wonder though. I hate potty training!