Diary of Laurence – a potty training boy aged 2½

Laurence Potty Training Day 1Friday 6
Potty Training Diary Day 1.  A sunny day in late spring.  Laurence spends a lot of the day naked running around the garden.  He has been fully briefed on what is happening – that he is going to be going to the toilet like a big boy from now on; that he will be wearing big boy pants during the day, and pull-up nappies at night time for sleeping.  He has a range of equipment that has been kicking around now for a month or so, including : a floor potty and two toilet training seats, two step up stools for hand washing and a ‘potette’ for out and about.  We also have maternity absorbent sheets on the sofa, as well as kitchen towel, Dettol spray, wipes etc! Through the day Laurence seems to do OK.  There are more accidents than potty visits and he has not got the hang of telling us he needs a wee or responding to our asking him.  Lucky that it’s sunny – the hosepipe is getting some use for cleaning up.   Lucky too – no poo today.

Laurence contemplates the pottySaturday 7
Swimming first thing – luckily his swimming trunks have integral nappy so we don’t have to worry about an accident clearing the pool! Lots of reminders every 10 mins or so.  Interesting to note how often he has a wee sometimes just 10 mins apart.  A bit hit and miss about half in potty and half accidents.  Nonetheless, lots of praise and enthusiastic congratulations.  No poo all day again – for a boy that usually does at least one a day, he clearly has poo fright.  Fingers crossed he does it overnight in his night time pull-up nappies.

Well done Laurence!Sunday 8
Still no poo!  In big boy pants – very concerned about potential item arrival.  We have put a maternity absorbent mat under him when he sits on sofas for protection.  But our social forward planning is not quite what it should have been – we have a long standing date with friends over for lunch.  Is this foolish on our first potty training weekend?  Luckily they are good friends we holiday with and their son is 4, our daughter’s age, and maybe a boy will provide a good role model for Loz.  The kids play nicely in the garden and eventually they are all getting naked to copy Laurence.  Loz enjoys showing the older boy he can wee in the potty.  Some wee shoots out the front as he hasn’t mastered pointing it down, but we are still impressed.  We are making sure we ask him very regularly if he needs a wee or a poo.  Finally the poo arrives in the middle of lunch – our long suffering friends make a great show of being impressed as he proudly tells them of his success – but it’s in the potty, we are pleased as punch.  Later that day poo number 2 also makes it to the potty.  We are all really chuffed.  Loz most of all as he gets a chocolate for his success.  Not to mention big hugs and congratulations all round.

Laurence's toilet trainer seat and stepMonday 9
Busy day and Loz is out and about.  Think it’s harder for all to keep their mind on it.  Plus, flushed from yesterday’s success we were starting to wonder if maybe we have potty training cracked.  Then Laurence poos in his pants.  Bugger.  Also mixed success with wees – some in potty, some in bushes, some in pants.  Need more pants, getting through them now.

Tuesday 10
Ditto.  Must get more pants.  Washing machine on the go a lot.

Wednesday 11
Another day, more potty training fun.  Gym class for Loz today in the morning – can’t risk an accident in the lesson so into pull ups briefly (no pun intended).  Didn’t want to confuse with the pants/pull-ups but unavoidable – sometimes with the best intentions you can’t always go by the book.  Laurence seems fine about it and slips into pants afterwards.  Better day, nearly all wees hit the potty today.  He also seems to be finding a routine, requesting a wee first thing in the morning after waking and just before going to bed.  He seems happy using the toilet training seat as much as the potty.  Also, he seems to be able to notice when he needs a wee, and tells us – just not always with enough time to get his pants off.

Laurence in big boy pantsThursday 12
Laurence poos in his pants again, no warning – silent and deadly like a sniper in the grass – suddenly it was there.  More pants in the bin.  We take Loz to buy lots more big boy pants
– he gets to choose : 5 Thomas and 5 Monster pants.  Think we are going to need them.  We get home and try the pants – on our heads of course.  He likes them and is very territorial over the pants with his big sister.  ‘My Pants!’  Still doing well on the wee front – he is letting us know in good time and gets on and off the potty and toilet seat with no fuss or bother.

Friday 13
Friday the thirteenth – unlucky for some – will it be for us?  Laurence is attempting to do some standing up wees now when out and about – it is not entirely successful as inevitably seems to end up spraying pants anyway at the end…..think we will stick to ‘Potette’ – our outdoors travel potty thingy which Laurence seems to like.  Towards the end of the day Laurence manages to do a poo on the potty after repeated badgering from Mum questioning his need to go.  Looking forward to progressing those number twos to the toilet training seat.   Good job we have plenty of cleaning equipment at the ready.  Feeling good about things…

Potty Training cleaning equipment!Saturday 14
Both kids ill with coughs and colds – lots of whining and whinging today.  Not a particularly great potty training day.  At one point Laurence has big emotional fit about something unrelated and does a massive wee all over the floor while screaming. Clearly it is harder to control your bladder when you’re in the middle of a total meltdown tantrum.  No one ever said training was easy!

Sunday 15
Loz had a bad night’s sleep and is not his usual self this am.  Two wee accidents today.  One mid tantrum at home the other while out having fun at the playground.  Most of the time at home Laurence seems to be managing to do wees in the potty reasonably well.  He more often than not will prompt us that he needs to go.  He helps pull his kit off (big boy pants and loose fitting trousers or shorts).   However he doesn’t seem keen on poos.  He hasn’t done one since Friday now.  He shakes his head a lot when asked about pooing in the potty.  Towards the end of the day Laurence has a strange look on his face.  We ask him if he needs one. Denial.  No goods in the pants though.  He is in the garden and sort of hides for a while.   His sister exclaims there is a smell. There is a monster poo in his big boy pants and trousers.  We try to stay calm, but have to somewhat hold him down to avoid him running off.  Laying him on a bag of compost for comfort we deal with the mess (nasty).  Mum is better than Dad at remaining chilled about it. We try to move on quickly and not make a fuss, telling him it’s really important that he does his poos in the potty or toilet. We throw the pair of Thomas pants he was wearing away and tell him that’s what we had to do and that’s a shame.  Loz isn’t happy about that but seems to understand that he needs to do poos in the potty if he wants to avoid losing more of his Thomas or Monster pants.  That evening we wonder if we have started him too soon and whether he is ready for the training.  We agree we have to give it another week and then see where we are then.

Washing hands after potty trainingMonday 16
Better day.  Laurence is feeling a fair bit healthier and is back on form telling us he needs to go for a wee throughout the day.  No accidents, but no poo to speak of.

Tuesday 17
Surprise.  Laurence has done two poos in his potty today.  Each time he has gone to the potty in the kitchen without being asked. It seems he prefers not to be pestered about it and doesn’t really respond well to constant questioning about his need to go or not.  I suppose neither would I…

Great potty training Loz!Wednesday 18
Woah big day today.  While Mum was showering and Dad was upstairs, Laurence decided he needed a poo, got his pants and night time pull-ups down to his feet, sat in the potty on his own and did a poo.  Then waited until Mum came to wipe his bottom. Admittedly his sister Jenny shouted enthusiastically about what had happened prompting a quick shower exit.  Heaped praise on Loz – what a star.  He remembered the first weekend’s chocolate button reward and asked for one.  Button deservedly awarded.  Major step forward.   All wee requirements also successfully executed on the potty or toilet seat.  Feeling good – have we cracked it?!

And even more potty timeThursday 19
Hummm – he did another poo in his pants this morning.  That’s another pair of Thomas pants in the bin, just can’t face trying to save them.  He was out and I think he forgot, must redouble efforts again.  Later the same day, another number two in his pants while playing in the garden.   Maybe we haven’t cracked it just yet.

Friday 20
Nothing much to report.  Weeing in the potty.

Saturday 21
Here we go again.  Another poo in his pants at lunchtime.  Evening and overnight at granny’s house – fingers crossed there are no accidents.

Monday 22
We set out on another week of potty training hopefulness…we decide to try not to hassle him too much thinking that could be having the reverse effect. Laurence poos in his pants again. There won’t be any Thomas pants left at this rate.

Laurence pulling up pants

Tuesday 23
Laurence wees in potty or toilet almost every time now. Most proficient at that. But he doesn’t like doing poos in the potty or toilet. I think he is getting a bit paranoid about all the constant reminders to poo in the potty not the pants. He seems to be bottling it up. Today waits until his night-time pull-ups are in place then does the business. At least he won’t lose another pair of big boy pants today and he’s happy about that.

Wednesday 24
Laurence is out and about and forgets he is on a potty training mission here. He poos pants, they get thrown away, he is not happy. Dad decides to throw everything at it and outlines a new reward system in the evening. The deal is ‘Five poos in the potty or toilet = 1 fireman book’. Laurence loves firemen, he wants to be one when he grows up, he even practises daily with the hosepipe in the garden. Now we are talking. We draw up a chart and he seems keen. His sister also gets a ‘helpers’ chart too. You never know it might work.

Good jobThursday 25
We remind Laurence about the ‘deal’ in the morning. At lunchtime we hit paydirt! He delivers the goods in the potty after saying he wanted to do a poo. Massive celebrations, high fives etc – more importantly Laurence gets his first star in the allocated star chart box number 1. He is happy, we are even more happy. Fingers crossed.

Friday 26
10am – poo in pants, oh dear. We are back to square one. We don’t make a big thing of it and tell Laurence he is no further towards getting his book; mores the shame, he has now lost his original star and still needs 5 stars. Not sure removal of first star is wise – hope it doesn’t backfire so to speak.

Laurence's seatSaturday 27
We are away for the weekend with relatives and decide to do the 3 hour car journey in pull-ups. Laurence is fine with this and seems to show excellent bladder control, waiting 3 minutes after requesting a wee on the road for us to find somewhere kerbside to stop. Nice. All other wees in potty or toilet. However, does a sneaky poo in pants.

Sunday 28
Another sneaky one.

Monday 29
Big morning chat with Dad about poos and potties. Session with Dad demo’ing in the toilet. Laurence tells us he needs a poo while in garden and actually waits until he is on the potty to do it. Good stuff – Star awarded! We have 4 days to go until summer holiday abroad – if he hasn’t cracked it, this could be a problem. Perhaps he is getting the message – lets see…

Tues 30
Alas, no poo today. He seems a little ‘hassled’ about the whole poo thing now – think he is bored to tears with the poo ‘issue’ and is holding back.

Essential step up stoolWed 1
No poo by lunchtime – we are getting worried – maybe he has decided to never poo again. Wait a minute, suddenly Laurence needs one and tells us. He does it in the potty to rapturous applause. His sister tells him he only has 2 days to go but still needs 3 stars, says he is going to need to do lots of poos every day. We have also been saying that if he doesn’t do it he might have to go back to nappies on holiday – this seems to be motivating him. Dad realises there will be a big problem if there is no fireman book if he succeeds and orders this one on Amazon about Firefighters! Will it arrive before the holiday though…

Thursday 2
Following his sisters pep talk, Laurence does 2 poos in the potty today. Shock and Awe. He only needs 1 star now. He could seriously do this thing!

Happy boy with big pantsFriday 3
Early morning Laurence is missing from the garden but is to be found in the bathroom doing a poo on his own in the potty. Woah there – that’s what I’m talking about!!! Massive high fives and praise – he has done it – 5 stars = 1 Fireman book. Thirty minutes later the postman arrives with an Amazon package (I jest you not). This is magic. Laurence is stunned and opens his parcel. He loves the book and heads out to the park clasping it tightly to his chest. 1 proud boy, 2 very proud parents.

We’re going to need to make it 10 stars for the next book!…

Edit : Later addition
Directly after this success we went on holiday. That did cause a little difficulty as he was used to his equipment and routine at home, but after a few days he continued the good work and did not look back. We did set up a 10 star reward chart which seemingly continued to motivate Laurence (the prize – a small fire truck was all it took!). During the holiday Laurence needed to use the toilet without a training seat and he quickly mastered that. It looked like he would fall in, but for the most part he stayed out, only once losing concentration and dropping in to the bowl to get stuck there – ouch! After a successful 10 star chart we were forced to take up a 20 star chart – yawn. But Laurence did eventually got bored of asking for his sticker reward to be put up on the chart and realised at this point that doing poos in the toilet like a big boy and wearing pants was reward enough. Pretty soon (about 3 weeks from the last entry above) Laurence wanted to wear pants rather than nappies at night as well and we somewhat nervously went with this request. Laurence had a few night-time accidents but for the most part remained dry. As long as we remembered to make sure he did a wee just before bedtime and didnt drink too much last thing at night he was fine. Occasionally there was still a wee accident in the bed for the following 3-6 months, but I think that is to be expected. There was never the unmentionable – a bed poo incident. It is remarkable to see how potty training your boy can develop their confidence and self-esteem. It is not easy but if you do it right, have the right attitude, and get the right equipment it can be done relatively quickly and to a degree, painlessly…