Last week my daughter proved that we are not done potty training. In a awful moment my super clean conscious child decided to poop in her pants and then paint with it all over our babysitters bedroom while she was "napping". This is commonly referred to as potty training regression and it sucks but with the help of Pull-Ups, I think I have a plan that can hopefully help you too.
We made a couple mistakes potty training this little princess. First we put her back in diapers periodically when it was inconvenient for us. We broke the cardinal rule folks, never put a diaper back on a potty trained kid. Second, because she wanted to wear panties we just put those right over the diaper so as not to fight the angry peanut anymore. Finally we were also putting her in diapers for naps and nighttime. Can you say lazy parenting. Yup it happened and yes I completely realize that this is part of the issue we are dealing with. She went from her "Big Girl" mentality to going around saying "I am baby" and refusing to be a big girl, having several accidents and being outright nasty.
After that awful day with the babysitter and the painted poop we knew something had to change. Telling her that she was a big girl and not a baby was not going to fly with the sassy princess and she was going to continue to be a gross poop smearing kid if we didn't figure out something. I talked things over with my babysitter and some of my coworkers and came up with a plan.
- Take away the baby diapers forever: The stubborn child related diapers with still being a baby and clearly needed to go.
- Move her from a crib into a big girl bed: She was napping in a playpen and instead of yelling that she needed to use the potty she decided that she would "paint". Combine that with the fact that playpen's are for babies we needed to change this quickly.
- Use positive reinforcement: Any training should be positive and rewarding, whether it is with praise, stickers, candy or whatever, give the child something to feel proud of.
- Have her earn things she loves: The girl loves Frozen so we awarded her with watching the movie, wearing Frozen panties and other clothes and even earning back her frozen doll that she had an accident on. We would say that she could wear the panties or stay the night with grammy if she had a good potty day.
- Reaffirm that she will always be the baby, but that it is ok to be a big girl and use the potty. This was critical. I had to tell her over and over that she is always going to be my baby, just like her brother is and the buy in was that her brother would help and say that he was my baby and he used the potty.
- Use Pull-Ups instead of diapers only at night and naps as needed. Our household is not ready for bedtime potty training, so we needed an alternative to diapers.
I realize that nighttime potty training is partially a brain connection that needs to happen to allow a child to wake themselves up to go potty. I also know you need to cut off liquids. Well in our house the peanut sleeps pretty hard and in addition has no business stumbling around our house with stairs in the middle of the night to potty. Also she is stubborn as all get out so trying to cut off her sippy cup of water is not happening just yet. We are just not ready for this aspect of potty training and truthfully I am going to wait a while until we start pushing this issue. She has never woken up dry even on times that I successfully cut off liquids and made sure she went potty before bed. Clearly we are not ready and that is ok, that is why Pull-Ups are great.
Luckily we only live about a block from our local Family Dollar and they have a great sale happening right now! If you text CARE to 28767 you will get a message back with a coupon for Pull-Ups for only $8.50! In addition the Disney designs are a favorite and similar to the ones on her panties so we just try to tell her not to get her padded panties wet. It does help that the Disney characters are on them because she likes them and tries to keep them clean. She gets pretty upset when she is wet, especially after a nap.
Potty training is no easy feat, and one that I will be glad to be done with. Until then I will continue to support my child and use Pull-Ups to help us be confident and successful. Make sure to check out Pull-Ups at Family Dollar for more potty training tips and tricks.