My mother has always said that she would happily have had more kids if she didn’t have to potty train them. While I never looked forward to potty training I really understand her now! I delayed potty training since Nick never showed signs of wanting to do it, and everything I read said that it was a waste of time to do it before your child was ready. I finally felt we needed to get started on it though when Nick was about three and a half. I spent weeks researching on Pinterest. I read all of those posts about how to potty train in 3 days or *gasp* a whole week. I was planning to do it during a week when Nick’s school was closed. The posts made it seem easy enough. I was sure we could do it. We even had the a long weekend leading into that week off. At this point I laugh at myself for those thoughts. I give a high five to those that get those fast potty training systems to work, but they did not work for us. In fact, it has taken us a year and a half to accomplish the task!
A few months back I got the paperwork for kindergarten round up. One of the questions on there was about if you child had any trouble with bathroom accidents. It was at that point I realized that desperate times called for desperate measures. I didn’t want Nick to be that kid in school. The one that is always having accidents. I was bound and determined that we would master potty training!
How we Mastered Potty Training
At the start of this year I truly was desperate to make things happen when it came to potty training. I considered an enormous amount of ideas, but none of the ones I tried worked. What finally turned the key for us was using a rewards chart. We had used a rewards chart when we first started potty training, but we didn’t use it consistently and we used it to track if he had used the potty. This time I decided to take a very different approach. I told Nick that he would get a sticker for his chart for every day that he went without any pee accidents. I went on to tell him that when every square on the chart had a sticker I would take him shopping to buy a very special toy. This was quite a big task that I was setting for him because the reward chart had 42 squares that needed stickers, but I knew that once we’d filled that chart up that accidents would be a thing of the past.
It took far longer than just 42 days, but by the time we had a week worth of squares left on the chart Nick had it down. He wasn’t having accidents any more. It was certainly a relief for both of us when we came to that realization. I still made him finish the chart before we went to get his prize though. That had been the deal and I wanted to make sure that he really had mastered it.
What we did seems so simple when written down, but it certainly didn’t feel that way as we were dealing with it all. Only a few months ago I literally wanted to pull my hair out in frustration, and the entire situation was really quite stressful for both of us.
What Made This System Work
One thing that is really important to remember with potty training is that every child is different. They all master potty training at different times and in different ways. If one system doesn’t work for your child try something else and keep doing that until it happens. I know how hard it is to think that way while you’re over stressed over it all though.
For our system I think there were a few things that made it finally stick. First, Nick was old enough to truly understand everything since he was almost 5 when we went through this. Second, we discussed what toy he wanted to earn and we kept a focus on it by constantly talking about him earning it.
The first few days with the chart went pretty well as he really wanted to earn that day’s sticker. After the first few days we hit some bumps and many stickers weren’t earned, but since we kept our eye on the prize he got back into working for it. During the first few weeks I did also give him a few M&Ms if he earned the sticker. I was a bit worried that he would lose site of the goal since it would take so long to get there. Eventually we stopped with the M&Ms though because he didn’t need them.
The other thing that helped was that we heaped on the praise. We’d call Nana and tell her, on speaker phone, all about how Nick had gone all day at school without any accidents. We would make a huge deal about his earning each sticker. Even when we were buying the toy we laid it on thick about why he had earned that toy. There was no doubt that he knew that his lack of accidents made us happy and proud of him.
Pull-Ups® – My Saving Grace
I had this idea in my head before potty training that we’d do it for a week and I would never have to buy diapers again. Well, I wasn’t totally wrong about that since I didn’t buy any more actual diapers, but I never guessed how long I’d be buying Pull-Ups®! At the same time I don’t know what I would have done without them! They’ve especially been a saving grace when we’ve been on vacation and potty training at Walt Disney World. Overall they’ve saved me a ton of stress and anxiety, and we’re still at a point where we use them often, and always at night as a back up.
One of the things I love about Pull-Ups® is how great the company is at supporting parents through potty training. The first set of Pull-Ups® that I bought was a big Jake and the Never Land Pirates treasure chest full of not only Pull-Ups®, but also a sticker chart, and potty training tips, and all sorts of things to help us. Now I’ve learned they have a whole website full of information, printable charts, games, and so much more! Trust me when I say that you want to check it out!
Save at Dollar General!
While they have made my life a lot easier, needing to buy Pull-Ups® all the time can really add up cost wise. That’s why I always take advantage of any deals and sales that I can find on them, so I ran over to Dollar General the other day to take advantage of their current $2.00 off coupon!
Want to know how you can save at Dollar General too? It’s really quite easy!
1. Sign up here or Text JOIN to 34898 to begin saving today!
2. Create account and load which coupons you would like to use
3. Visit your local Dollar General to redeem coupons at checkout. Look to their store locator to find your nearest Dollar General!