Potty Training: Day Tres

Oh boy.  We are done.  Done for now.  Pardon the time lapse between this post and that of Day Two, we were busy recovering/cleaning/cleaning/sanitizing/recovering.  Since the twins have graced our lives, we’ve never had a more rough few days than the three days we tried potty training them.  Tried and failed.  Yep, we’re back to diapers.

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Anthony had three and half days off of work so we expected to use all that time training and we did, but now those days are over without the results we were hoping for and he’s back to work today which leaves me and the three tots alone and heck if I’m going to nurse a babe, cook, mother, and clean up potty all the day alone.  Not.Happening. 

It feels a little like we wasted three days and I’m really, really bummed that the girls didn’t train like we had hoped and thought.  However, we learned a lot and I think we definitely planted a few seeds about using the pot.  I’ve mentioned this before, but we purchased and followed the ebook, 3 Day Potty Training by Lora Jensen.  I read the book a few times before we started, made notes, and relayed everything to Anthony.  During the three days we trained we followed Lora’s instructions to a T.  We used positive reinforcement and no matter how many times we wanted to slam our fists through a wall, we flashed smiles and encouragement to the girls at all times.  They didn’t see an ounce of negativity in three days.  We followed them around everywhere, we told them to let us know when they needed to go, we caught 98% of their accidents and ran them to the toilet during those accidents (that one left a nice picture in your mind, didn’t it?)  It was misery for all but no one ever said potty training was fun, right?

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Poor Sebastian was neglected (the number one reason why we should’ve gotten another person on board to help) and spent the majority of the last three days in his swing.  Besides the emotional stress of trying your darndest to nicely teach your kids that excrement belongs in the toilet, the stress of knowing that I couldn’t cuddle our three month old killed me.  I missed him so much. 

Potty training brought out the worst in me.  I’m a pretty positive person but when I wasn’t within a five foot radius of both twins at all times (a must with the three day method), so during naptimes, I was exhausted and perched next to their bedroom door while they slept listening for any signs that one needed to ‘go’ and browsing Instagram where I wanted to comment “you suck”, “you suck”, “you suck”, “you suck” on all my followee’s pictures because everyone was happily living life and I was stuck cleaning up gallons of pee (and that is probably more literal than figurative). 

Anyway, it’s over.  Life is back to normal and I love all my Instagram friends again so I’ll not focus on the misery but on what we took away from the crappy experience (more figurative than literal thank God).

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[I know you’re dying to see pictures of my kids in their skivvies, so I’ll just keep on postin’.]

The girls can be potty trained.  It is possible at their age – 22 months.  They learned how to hold it.  They know how to control it.  The first day was spent cleaning up accidents because they’d just release not knowing what they hay was happening.  Day two was different.  We pumped them full of liquid that they gladly drank but they became afraid of having accidents so they held it until they couldn’t hold it anymore.  They learned to tell us when they had to go – they’d run to us and get all panicky and want to be held.  But, here’s the kicker, every time we set them on the toilet they’d throw a FIT.  Seraphia actually did pretty well on the morning of day two until she observed Cecilia throw a fit on the toilet and decided she’d do the same.  It wasn’t that they were afraid of the toilet.  If we set them on it and handed them a book, they’d be perfectly fine and would sit there reading.  For some odd reason, they just didn’t want to release into the dark abyss below.

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In the end, we learned that not every method, not matter how many successes it touts, works for every kid.  Lora says you should never say “no” or “bad” and I agree and disagree.  Seraphia responds pretty well to “no” when we say it upon her doing something we’d like her not to.  She’ll stop and move on.  Saying “no” to her when she goes to the bathroom on the floor would probably resonate well.  Cecilia on the other hand seems to think that the word “no” signals a game.  She’ll give us a wry smile, continue doing whatever it is she’s not supposed to being doing and laugh in our faces.  You can imagine how she’d react then if we told her no peeing on the floor…actually, don’t imagine it because…yuck.  Saying “bad” to either girl however would probably make them think that peeing is bad in general, no matter what or where. 

Anyway, I know that if you haven’t already clicked off that I’m boring you to death talking about human excrement so leave the rest of my thoughts to myself.  Our goal is to have the girls potty-trained within the next few months and so, when success finds its way to us, I’ll let you know how we achieved it.  Until then, it’s back to the 20+ diaper-changes-per-day grindstone which I will gladly take over the nightmare of our first experience with potty training.  :)

If you have any tips or tricks that got your kid from diaper to pot, please leave them in the comment section or email me!!  I’m not going to say that we’re desperate but we just might be…a little bit. 

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P.S.  One little tidbit of info I did pick up – I bought size 4 toddler undies for the girls even though they’re barely in size 2T because they were literally half the price and we needed 30 pairs for training.  After washing them and drying them on high heat they shrank a little and, even though they didn’t fit tight, they worked perfectly!

24 comments:

  1. Man that sounds intense! I am NOT looking forward to potty-training and I think I'm going to put it off as long as possible, haha! Sorry it didn't work for you this time around!

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  3. Our son learned within 1 week, the week before his 2nd birthday. He showed interest and just did it. Our daughter... it was awful. We had to get down and dirty and fight with her but, at 3.5 years old, she finally did it. And it took a month. I learned that, contrary to popular opinion, girls are harder to potty train. And that if the kid doesn't wanna do it, they just ain't gonna do it. Stay strong, and good luck!

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    1. Wow! That gives me hope for Sebastian!! :)

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  4. Whew! I just read your potty training trilogy and high five to you for sticking through all three days. :oD
    Question, (just because I have no idea and I'm curious), is it recommended to potty train both twins at the same time? Like, if one copy cats the other, could you put all of your focus on that one in hopes of getting them trained and then hope that the other follows suit after that?
    Also, I had a friend potty train and she bought her girls boys underwear for the training time period because it is thicker and more absorbent so less mess for her to clean up. That was one of those tidbits that I bookmarked in my mind for the future.

    Anyway, good luck! They'll be trained before you know it!

    PS - I LOVED listening to your wedding song. SO PRETTY!

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  5. Oh Mama! I FEEL YA! And I only dealt with one at a time. The boys were super easy and Jack initiated on his own way earlier that either of the other two, but Mia......a totally different story. We tried right around the same age. She would sit on the potty and read books foreva and have an accident as soon as she got up. I don't know if we got a single drop o' urine in the toilet those first couple days. I was a nutcase and she was beginning to despise the situation and scream when put on the toilet, so we took a break. I waited until the summertime when I noticed her holding her pee longer and when we did try again (closer to 3 years old) her body was much more ready physically. We also skipped undies altogether the second time around. I put a towel under her when she sat to play but somehow having something on her bum (even undies) made it ok to go in them since she was used to diapers. Naked meant she was more likely to want to go somewhere/anywhere. We kept a little training potty in the same room with her so as soon as she needed to go she went right on. Slowly we moved it further and into the bathroom, then got rid of it completely. I think you need both the physical and mental readiness for potty training to be a success and we did it a little differently we each of our kids. At this point, a break and some baby snuggling is due for you all. It will come!

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  6. I wasn't going to say that trying to potty train twins in 3 days is a terrible idea buuuut ;)

    Anyway, Mary Claire (17 months) has REALLY been wanting to use the potty, so I'll let her on every once in a while and sometimes she'll go, sometimes not. Elizabeth was terrified, but now that she sees Mary Claire doing it, SHE wants to do it. I'm resisting the urge. But they're always telling me when they poop and when they're peeing, and I think that's a *big* part of the readiness factor. AND they have older siblings who use the toilet, so that is primarily what made them interested - Cecilia was a TON easier to train than John Paul (and actually trained shortly before 18 months because she REALLY wanted to. She just wanted to do what her older brother was doing!

    Think you can hold off long enough to train them all at the same time? ;) Also, fitted cloth diapers have been a huge help for us when it comes to potty training - you could probably whip some up out of extra prefolds if you wanted to (with all that free time? hmm...). The older kids were really receptive to the fact that they could literally SEE and FEEL the pee filling their diapers, and they got really interested in using the potty when it meant getting out of those wet diapers!

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  7. If I could I would give you a high five and a nice big hug and we don't even know each other. We used the same method with our daughter and while elements certainly worked, it ended up being a LONG process. I went in thinking after a week we would be home free, but our headstrong daughter used the toilet as a control mechanism and I reached my parenting low while potty training her. Your girls will certainly get the hang of it in their own time so congrats on making it through phase one. I've heard if you can survive potty training, you can survive anything I kind of believe that's true now....

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    1. Jacqueline! You are the sweetest! I would gladly take your high five and hug and I'd relish it too! I have to admit I laughed when reading that you hit your parenting low with her because I can relate!!! Man, I was miserable during those three days!!!!! Haha!

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  8. Reading this made me relive our first two trainings. I was about to pull my hair out and only had one at a time and someone taking care of my baby. I am so, so sorry. I'm glad it's over for now and hope the next round goes better. :(

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    1. Ugh...so sorry. I don't think it really matters how much help you have...in the end it just stinks all around. Boo potty training. Why couldn't it have just been an instinct? ;)

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  9. Ok, so I was just super impressed that you tried it with them in the first place!! Our 1st, a girl, was very difficult to potty train. I tried around 2 years, then stopped and waited a couple more months, then tried again, and again, and again. It was super stressful and I was so tired of cleaning up accidents! In hindsight I think I should have just waited and dealt with the diapers...no big deal (though we only had 2 in diapers at the time)--she just wasn't physically ready. Our 2nd, a boy, was super easy. I was a little older and wiser too. : ) Around his 2nd birthday he started to tell us when he was wet and wanted his diaper changed, so I waited until after the Christmas holidays and he was trained in a day or two. We are on our third now who is 20 mos and I've just started to mildly potty train him (put him on the potty, talk about where we go potty, make him aware of things), so we'll see how it goes this time around!

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  10. We took the lazy parent route and waited until our boy/girl twins were 3 before we cracked down on potty training. We had a stressful few days where I made them try every 20 minutes (sometimes nothing - then pee on the floor 1 minute later) and rewarded with candy. Then we'd be inconsistent and have them in diapers because of work schedules. At some point they just got it in spite of their parents. We still have diapers at night for our sanity.

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    1. The lazy parent route is sounding better and better to me after the three days of he!!. :) Haha!

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  11. Sorry it was so rough! CJ is going to be 3 in June and I've had several false starts potty training him. Every time he gets really stressed out and I call it off before he develops a phobia or something:/ Good luck next time, I'm looking forward to hearing how it goes!

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  12. We tried the 3 day training marathon with Easton when he was right around 20 months and holy not gonna happen... But there is hope! He is three and has been potty trained/diaper free for over 9 months! 24 hrs a day too! The three day thing didn't work for him, I believe the positive reinforcement didn't work for him either and he saw peeing on the floor as no big deal. It will get better and they won't be in diapers forever! Bless you both for trying to potty train twins with a teeny tiny baby around!!

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  13. So proud of you for making the decision that is right for your family vs forcing it right now. :-) I was going to ask about training one girl at a time but clearly the above posters have a point in joint training too. Just keep loving them - in my opinion God doesn't care what age we were potty trained :-)

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  14. I am dreading having to do that with my girls. But having another one on the way I figure we'd better try before we do have the new one to watch as well. Your girls sound sooo much like mine. Taylor will completely listen when you say "No", but Alexia does the exact same thing you said, gives a mischievieous smile like I'm going to do what I want and repeats the action. THe problem is it makes me want to laugh because I can see sooo much of my own stubborness in her in those moments that will drive me crazy as they grow but I know can push her to accomplishing great things through her life.

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    1. Haha! I'm so very happy someone can relate! Little stinkers, aren't they! Congratulations on the baby!! Did I know this? I don't know but once again, you can relate, or rather you will be able to relate to the craziness that is kids. :) Good luck if you decided to start potty training Tracie! I'm here for moral support if you need it!!

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  15. Hey Sheena! Awhile back I read a post on your sister's blog about "Elimination Communication" - an alternative to potty training as we know it - and that ended up being the method I used for Maria and I'm starting with Gregory (10 months) - so thank her for introducing that to me! I started with Maria when she was about 11 months or so and after a month she was trained with #2 - I found it easier to start with that because it was so obvious when she was going, her grunting signs/getting red in the face were impossible to miss, ha! The important thing was just learning that you go in the potty and getting used to that. I would put her on the potty to pee after waking up and after meals, before bed, etc…she still peed in her diaper throughout the day but no dirty diapers!…that was pretty much the situation til her 2nd birthday when I just took the diapers away and at that point she already knew what the potty was and was aware of when she would pee, etc. Here's the link to the book I read to learn about the method - http://www.amazon.com/The-Diaper-Free-Baby-Training-Alternative/dp/0061229709 . Good luck!

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    1. So awesome Gertrud...and even more of a reason why Farrah needs to get her blog back up!!! :)
      I might have to try that method with Sebastian. Hopefully by the time he's 10-11 months, the girls will be trained (better be trained...) so it'll be fairly easy to work with him.
      Thanks for the book link! I'll have to check it out!

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  16. We are currently trained our 20 month old daughter (who is now 22 months). She is potty trained minus naps & bedtime. I'm open to suggestion on how to get her trained during naps & bedtimes. She will only go #2 while in her crib. :/ We did jelly beans as incentives for sitting on the potty for a few days & then only a jelly bean for peeing on the potty. We used a toddler potty & lots of naked time (about a week). She knew when she had to go & did great. Next was undies. At first we had just a few accidents & still do once in a while but she knows when she needs to go. She even tells us when we are out & about. Lots of positive reinforcement & praise. Good luck!

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    1. Wow! Impressive! I wish so much I was in your shoes! I read that making them use the potty before naps should keep them dry and for nighttime, wake her up an hour after she goes to bed to potty and an hour before she normally wakes up until she wakes up dry on her own. Make sense? I have no clue if that works but that's what I read. :)
      Thanks for commenting! It's so promising to here that other kids our girls age are potty-trained! I know it's possible and you've given me even more motivation to try again sooner rather than later! :)

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  17. All my girls were just about 2 1/2 and that seemed to work perfectly. They could communicate that they had to go, they would go if I made them (and really wanted to go if they got M&Ms), and they were dry at night (mostly--although one of my girls was not consistently dry until about 7/8- we just kept her in pullups) and during naps. With my twins, I trained my girl first (so maybe you could do the one who seems most ready), then about 3 months later, my boy. I just couldn't handle doing them both at the same time. Just an idea. Good luck and it will happen!

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