Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Thanks to Super Nanny, we're potty training

My wife has been saying for months that Oliver was ready to start potty training. But I hadn't really been on board with it, as I know that it takes boys longer to get potty trained than girls. When we had tried it before, he had a lot of accidents. Since I didn't want him to have too much failure, I kept saying that maybe he isn't ready.

One of my wife's guilty pleasures is Super Nanny. If you haven't seen the show, the premise is that each week, the Super Nanny shows up at a house that is an absolute train wreck, shows the parents what they've been doing wrong as parents, and fixes the problems. I think it qualifies as a guilty pleasure because these families are the ones that you gape at as they have shouting matches on the lawn or cart screaming kids through the mall. There's also big measure of relief that we aren't those parents and that those aren't our children. But every once in a while, I see myself in the parents.

One recent episode had a line where Super Nanny told the parents that something that they were doing was a safety net for their child, but also for them. With a little reflection, it came to me that diapers were functioning the same way with Oliver and I. So we just decided to go cold turkey on day time diaper wearing. He wears a pull-up for naps and bed time, but he's in underwear the rest of the time. The key is disciplining ourselves to ask him every half-hour or so and before we leave somewhere if he has to go potty and then to march him in there. Sometimes he'll just volunteer that he has to potty.

In general it is working out well. We only have one or two urine accidents a day. Poop is still a bit of a problem, but we'll take the progress we can. We've had a couple of interesting incidents like the other night when we were coming home from a friend's house and he announced about five minutes out from home that he had to potty. That made for an exciting trip. We ended up at a Starbucks a few minutes away. Not much came out, but at least he's volunteering/

I don't know if I would have decided at this point to get into the swing of things, so thanks Super Nanny.


Blogger Karen S. said...

I was very frustrated as well with potty training. When I was researching potty training a common theme seemed to be praise and positive reinforcement. I came across a website called We hung it in the kitchen and named the little boy on the front of the package, Bobby. My son could not wait to go to the potty so he could push the button, hear the praising message, and get his chocolate reward from, Bobby. It really got my son excited about using the potty himself and it was fun for him. Because he became so involved, potty training was easy. So give it a try. Good Luck!!

9:13 AM  
Blogger Amanda said...

That's how we potty trained our boy. We waited until after little sis was born and then went full boar. Undies and every half hour which eventually went out to every hour and then to going by himself.

3:13 PM  

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