Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Potty Training

 I potty trained Sierra this past summer and I did it in less than a day!  Not really, I had been prepping her for a year, so I guess it was a year and a day!

First time on the big potty!
    When she was two I bought the potty chair, I wanted her to get used to it before I tried to actually train her.  Then I bought videos and books that she could watch and read about the potty.  Over the year she watched those videos over and over again, she really liked them!  They taught her everything she needed to know about going to the bathroom.  We practiced sitting on the potty, wiping her bottom, flushing the toilet, and washing her hands.  She knew how to do everything except to let the pee come out into the potty!

    That was where we were at three years old, everything except the actual act of peeing in the toilet.  Sierra refused to do it.  She would sit on the potty for a while, but when she had to pee she would throw a fit until I put her pull-ups back on.  The same thing with training pants, she would not pee in them.

    During the summer I was determined to train her so I talked to her behavioral therapist, she told me to cut a hole in the diaper so the pee comes out into the toilet.  She said to slowly over time to cut the hole bigger and bigger until she was used to going in the potty and gave up the diaper.  That was good advice, but it didn't work with Sierra.  She was already used to sitting on the potty with no diaper on, so she wouldn't sit on it with a diaper on.  I had to find another way.

    I went to the book store and scoured over the potty training books for some good advice and came across a book called Toilet Training In Less Than A Day by Nathan H. Azrin, PH.D., and Richard M. Foxx, PH.D.  It is fairly old but they have given it a new cover, copyrighted in 1974.  I chose this one because it went along my guidelines of my mental picture of potty training, and they have training in Applied Behavior Analysis, also they developed this method with the mentally retarded that have been institutionalized.  I thought if you can train them in this manner then I should be able to train Sierra who has similar problems, but not as severe.  You can  Buy it Here.    

The supplies needed were a doll that wets, snacks that Sierra loved, stuff to drink, lots of lose fitting panties, and of course a potty chair.  The general idea was to have sierra teach the doll to potty and the doll got the treats, then Sierra wanted the treats so she had to potty to get them, and a lot of practice runs and praise in between.  I did have to remove every diaper in the house before I started.  Sierra went looking for a diaper when I wanted to put the panties on her, and she threw quite a fit when I didn't have any!

    It did work and it only took a day, but I did have to kind of hold her when the first pee started to come out.  Sierra wanted to get up when she started to pee but I handed her a snack she loved to eat so she could eat it while she was peeing, and I kept my hand on her shoulder to encourage her to stay seated.  Once she peed the first time the subsequent ones were easier.  When she had to have a bowel movement I had to encourage her to stay seated again, but once she went in the potty their was no turning back!  For bed time and nap time I bought completely different pull-ups and called them "night time" panties and told her they were only for sleeping, she seemed to accept that.

Check out my post Best Portable or Travel Potty Ever to see what we used when we went out.

    Their was more to the process but I would be writing the book all over again to tell you, so I encourage you to get the book if you want to try this method. It really was one day of actual training. I also recommend the two videos Sierra learned so much from. Potty Power and Go Potty Go. If I only could buy one it would be Potty Power, it taught her the most and she loved to watch it!