*Parenting Disclaimer: This blog is all about poop, so be ye warned who read here.
For months we have been working seriously with Hazel on learning how to use the bathroom. When she was 12, 13 months old we started letting her mimic us using the toilet and let her actually flush the toilet to dispel any fright she might have experienced at the loud noise. After a slightly confusing and bumpy start last summer, she started to regularly use the bathroom for the #1 around Thanksgiving or so. She now has that down about 99% of the time, with occasional accidents usually happening while she’s sleeping or if we are in the car a long time, times like that.
Where we have had some major issues were with using the potty for poop. She had a scary accident on the floor early on in the potty learning, and I really think that freaked her out about going without a diaper on, regardless of whether she was on the potty or not. And so we have struggled with it, trying virtually EVERYTHING. Stickers, making her just sit forever on the potty, ignoring the potty altogether. About a month ago we started on a new plan of attack which incorporated both lots of “big girl” talk, centered on her becoming a big sister very soon, and we talked about how it would be her job to teach Julia to use the potty. I know that responsibility talk doesn’t work for every child, but it does for Hazel (she’s MY child, after all!). We combined that with timing her on the potty. She gets 10 minutes on, 10 minutes off to play, and so on. At first it was taking us about an hour, and then she would go in her diaper anyway. So then we let her play without a diaper, and that was successful a few times, but mostly she would hold it for hours more until she took a nap. So I did more research and came up with this guy.
Behold Mr. Sun. So many parents suggested that we do one of two things: first, that we give her little rewards, specifically candy, and second, that we allow her to run around naked. I liked the second idea, but I was afraid that she’d have another accident on the floor and be more freaked, so that’s a no go for her. And we do not reward her all the time, because we believe it leads to an adult who expects rewards for doing regular things (studies have been done, people) AND we do not use food as a reward, because it’s not. So, I thought, I am okay with her being rewarded with pride in herself and our pride at her behavior…and so I came up with Mr. Sun. He’s a badge that we let her wear if she poops in the potty – he has nothing to do with pee-pee. We told her that she could wear it and show everyone, that everyone would know she is a big girl who goes poop in the potty. And since giving it to her she has gone FIVE WHOLE DAYS in a row! We have also upped the ante with allowing her to wear underwear for 15 or so minutes after going in the potty, and that has really fueled her desire to be a big girl. I think we are very close to total potty control, with nighttime being the next frontier.
I thought I’d share because this is a parenting miracle for us! I have been so hopeful that Hazel would basically be out of diapers before Julia arrives, and I think that we have a really great shot at it.