We are 1 week past my babies giving up diapers (except they are still wearing pull-ups at night & naps). They are almost a month shy of their 3rd birthday. Everyone does this transition differently and I will honestly say I was TERRIFIED of it for a long time. As with all my transitions, I wanted to take a few minutes, pass along some pointers and document for history this milestone in their world!
A quick google search found me a diaper calculator and it estimates that since my kiddos were born, here are the numbers (astonishing)…
- We have gone through 12000 diapers
- Spent about 800 hours changing diapers
- and almost 2600 bucks….
I swear my kids will pay back the environmental impact they’ve already had on the earth–but that’s a lot of trees they are going to need to plant.
A few obstacles I had to overcome before even attempting
1. There were two kids–a huge mental block for me–I mean I know lots have people have done it, but the thought of tearing through Target to get to the bathroom with not one, but two kids in tow left me at an anxiety level I couldn’t handle for a while (and kept me diapering despite the fact that my kids almost look like they are nearing 4 and I’d get some judgemental looks from strangers when I tried to put their tall bodies on those silly changing stations). What got me past this? An amazing mom who I’ve bonded with via blogging, Jen M., has 4 and she did it recently and lived to tell the tale–if she could do that, I knew I’d survive as well!
2. I HATE public restrooms. Call me what you want, but the idea of taking them into a gas station bathroom and sitting for an extended period of time while one walked around the bathroom touching everything literally almost made me break out in hives. What got me past this? Potty-on-the-go (see below)
3. I knew I wouldn’t be able to hibernate for a week, I don’t have the personality or the patience for it, so timing was important.
4. I rarely have time to read, so the books & such weren’t going to work for me, I was tailoring our attempt knowing that I know my kids best and I’ve paid a lot of attention to moms talking about it for a while!
Here are just a few tips I learned along the way
1. We introduced early, but never pushed. The potty chairs were under the tree at Christmas when they were 18 months. They explored them, then put them away. Sometimes we’d bring them out to watch Elmo Potty Time or try, but kept it simple. About 3 months ago I bought “big girl panties” and let them start to wear them in small windows of time. Sometimes out in the backyard, other times just in the morning watching cartoons or after baths in the evening.
2. Everyone says do it when they are ready-I knew I had one totally ready and one really close-I had a bit of “free” time and took the plunge. We woke up a week ago and packed up all the diapers in the house to take over to our friend “Baby Henry”. Baby Henry “needed” the diapers and they didn’t anymore. We came home and pushed through.
3. I set the microwave alarm to remind me every 15 minutes or so to take them in to try. They got a single M & M for an attempt & two or four for you know what. After the first day and a half, I moved the reward from each success to long-term success. If they stayed dry a certain time frame, we had a popsicle, or a juice box or something. We did some serious positive reinforcements that meant calling people on the phone for a little praise or simply dancing/clapping around the house. They quickly got the hang of it and were SO proud.
4. On Thursday, we took our first road trip, packed up the potty, headed 2 hours north. They knew half-way, we’d stop to potty & get happy meals. That was enough of an incentive for them–they did great! A change of scenery at the lake house was good–it was still a familiar place for them and they got even more praise. We told everyone what big girls they were and they bathed in the attention. Since then, we’ve kept it familiar, but they’ve tackled public restaurant bathrooms, a morning at “school” & the YMCA child care with success!
5. The potty-on-the-go was HUGE…we had it in the back of the car for running errands and on the boat over the 4th of July. I didn’t want us to ever be “stuck” somewhere and an accident result. Yes, I got some crazy looks, but it was worth it. It will be with traveling with us for a while.
6. They get excited to “pick their panties” in the morning from Elmo to Mickey to polka-dots & butterflies, it’s the little things! They also know there are some things they can do as big-kids that babies wearing diapers don’t get to do, so I try and emphasize that.
All-in-all, I can’t complain. I’m relieved and exhausted–but another milestone hurdled! Thanks to all who helped along the journey!
Thanks to Aimee for sharing your experience with us! Please stop by It’s Their World today and leave a comment! Keep checking back for more potty training posts each Friday this month!