Jackson began showing interest in using the potty when his older cousin started potty-training last year, long before the babies were born. However, we didn't want to push anything because we didn't know if he would regress once his siblings were born. For the past several months he has preferred diapers, but wants them changed immediately. When he pees, he takes off his own cloth diaper, pulls the insert out, puts it in the wet bag, and then lays down on top of a clean diaper waiting for me to snap it on. After putting it off long enough, Jesse and I decided to enforce using the potty during Christmas break. Jesse had two weeks off work.
We chose to go the quick route where Jackson spent three consecutive days entirely naked during the day. (We aren't even attempting to go without a diaper at night right now.) We started potty training the day after Christmas. He only had two accidents while naked. We had portable potties in the living room and his bedroom, and a toddler toilet seat in the bathroom downstairs.
To encourage Jackson to use the toilet, we implemented a marble jar. (Can you tell I'm an elementary school teacher?) Jackson earned a small marble every time he peed and a big marble every time he pooped. Once the marble jar was full, he was able to select his reward. Nothing happened when he had an accident, other than a reminder that "Big boys pee and poop in the potty." He was able to fill his marble jar after four days.
Not surprisingly, Jackson chose to go eat pizza to celebrate using the potty.
While there, Jesse took him to the bathroom and he successfully used the small urinal. Jesse texted me this picture while I was eating my pizza. Ha!
I don't want to end the post making reader's think that this experience has been without stress. In the last week since beginning potty training, Jackson has had four accidents. Jack had one accident while at a restaurant. He started to cry "I pooped" while we were eating. Another accident was at our New Year's lunch with family where he had an upset stomach.
He has difficulty using large toilets, which is our only option in most public places. He also takes a good 5-10 minutes to use the bathroom and is shy to go if we have company over. I'm not sure how I'm going to juggle potty training while going out and about with all four kids by myself. I don't want to become a shut in or skip out on weekly trips to the library, museum, or long car rides to visit family. I think I'm going to order this seat to help Jack use public restrooms.
I also worry about how positive our potty training efforts will go at preschool next week. If Jackson doesn't need to use the restroom, he's not going to sit on the potty and "try". He knows when he has to go and he needs privacy and time to do so.
Hopefully this will get easier each day. I don't even want to think about doing this with three kids!