Saturday, December 27, 2014

potty training

I have had quite a few questions on Instagram and from other moms about potty training Olivia {31 months old}. My disclaimer for this whole post is that every kid can be so different. My daughters {26 months apart} potty trained differently but the basic ideas worked just the same. When Olivia was about 18 months, she was already interested in the potty since her big sister was potty trained. She started peeing in the potty before bath time on a pretty regular basis. As any mom would be- I was excited! I thought, "wow! this is going to be so easy!" But it wasn't. Any aspect of parenting isn't easy, even when we think it might be. By the time she turned two, she had pretty much no interest in using the potty. She just wasn't developmentally ready to be potty trained at that point. Some kids are; some kids aren't. So I just decided to let it go and let her lead the way- the same as we did for Julianna.

About 5 months ago, right after Olivia turned two, we decided to start up our pom pom motivation jar again. We did the pom pom jar with Julianna when she was potty training and it worked so well. This time Julianna was earning balls but for positive behavior and Olivia was mostly earning them for potty training. One ball for #1 and two balls for #2. She was pretty excited about this {at first} and earned a prize right away. We let our girls pick anything they want once their jar is full. Anything from a movie date to a toy. Whatever they want {within reason}. During the last 5 months, Olivia has been in pull-ups and would pretty much only go #2 in the potty {opposite of her sister}. 

About two weeks ago while we were getting ready one morning, Olivia told me she wanted to be a big girl and wear panties like Julianna. So I let her. She had a couple of accidents that day but we just kept putting her in panties because she was so insistent about wearing them. I just wanted to keep reminding her to go try to potty and that got on her nerves. The more I asked, the more accidents she had. So I decided to let go of control {which is super hard for me} and let her take the reigns. When I stopped stressing about it, she had less accidents and would just go to the potty on her own. During the past two weeks, she has done so good and filled her jar. Her prize was Build-a-Bear Workshop and we had a blast! 

She hasn't been completely accident free but I didn't expect her to be yet. She's still getting the hang of this whole potty training thing and that's ok. One big issue was nap time. She would need to use the potty while she was in her crib so instead of calling us to get her out, she would just take her pull-up off and use the bathroom in her bed. So gross. I knew it was time to go ahead and switch her to the toddler bed so she could get in and out on her own to go the bathroom. She has become such a big girl in the last two weeks!

We plan to keep using the motivation jar for Olivia for another month or so for potty training and then start only giving her balls for positive behaviors once she isn't having as many accidents anymore. My biggest piece of advice is to relax and let them lead the way. I promise they won't go to college in a pull-up. Feel free to e-mail me at with any questions!

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