You might remember when I posted about this book in a ‘recently read’ post. I finally had the chance to do the program with Brielle. I thought if you wanted to try it, you might learn from our experience. If you don’t, you’ll find this a rather boring post.
A summary of the method: Starting with a dolly that potties, you have the child teach the dolly how to pull down her pants and use the potty. You teach your child how to pull dolly’s pants up and empty dolly’s potty. You reward dolly with treat for having dry pants. You show child what happens when dolly has an “accident”. Dolly has to practice–“practice quickly!” all the steps involved.
All the while you’re giving the child as much liquid as you can get down her/him, so s/he will get a lot of practice. You give treats for “dry pants”, checks which you perform every five minutes. When child has an accident, you ‘practice’ 2 times from the scene of the accident, and 8 more times from random places throughout the house so s/he’ll get the idea that you have to run to the potty no matter where you are.
You can consider the child “trained” when they go to the toilet for the first time completely independently. According the authors, the average child requires less than four hours; children over 20 months averaging 2 1/2 hours.
The method is definitely more complete from the way I trained Aviana–I was still reminding her to go a week ago when I would see her do her “potty wiggle”. With this method, the child self initiates and takes care of all the clean up. With Aviana I finally had to take the potty chair out of the bathroom because I was constantly walking into the room to discover a pee-pee filled potty bowl, nasty under any circumstance, but completely disallowable with a baby as active and inquisitive as Brielle was.
A summary of how it worked for us: You’re supposed to focus one on one on the child you’re educating, so my sister was going to take Aviana for the day. I met her at a park, but it took twice as long to get there due to flooded streets, and then they couldn’t even play at the park because it was too wet. By the time Brielle and I got home, it was already 9 a.m. She usually goes down for her nap at 12:30 or so, and gets cranky if she’s delayed much, so I was feeling kind of crunched to begin with.
We did all the steps recommended in the book. Brielle had four accidents. She was doing really well actually, but would start to tantrum on about the third practice run. By that I mean she would drop to the floor, saying “Nooooooo!” and cry and wail. So I decided to alter it a bit and made her finish that practice trial and then put her dry pants on and continue with the next step.
When it was time to have lunch, she had been in the same pair of dry bundies for 2 1/2 hours, but still hadn’t even come close to self-initiating. I put a diaper cover over her bundies for her nap, and she woke up wet. She pottied after that.
It was about 3:30 and we needed to go pick up Aviana. She was going through the routine of pulling down her own pants, and wiping and emptying her potty chair independently, but I was still the one telling her it was time to go. I was feeling a little defeated because we were way past the ‘average’ of four hours, and I feel like my child is definitely not below average.
She stayed dry for the drive and at my sister’s; I took her to the potty twice.
Upon arriving home, Brielle said “Fish!” and ran into the bathroom. SHE DID IT!! I had been using goldfish crackers as a dry pants reward.
She self-initiated one more time before it was time for bed; I prompted her to go at bedtime, which she did. We put her in a disposable diaper at night, calling it a night diaper. She wanted to stay in bundies, but I wasn’t sure that was a good idea.
She woke up wet. (And way too early in my humble opinion, which would be any time before 7) I put her on the potty right away and she didn’t go. I put her in bundies with plastic training pants over them. Kevin took her 20 minutes later and she did. I stayed in bed until 8:30. During that time, Kevin said the two of them were out in the summer kitchen, and she said, “Potty!” and tried to get the door open, but she already had an accident by the time he realized what was going on and got her to the bathroom.
Then she had two more accidents for me. I thought about directing her to the potty when I thought it was time for her to go, but decided I’d rather have her learn to go independently. She cleaned up her messes and we “practiced” one time.
We went to town after that. Brielle and I went to Michael’s (I love Michael’s) and Kevin and Aviana went to American. I went to the restroom and Brielle went at that time. Later on in the store, she pulled at her pants, and said, “Dry!” and “Potty!” so we hustled back to the restrooms and she went!
I put a plastic diaper wrap over her bundies at nap time and she woke up dry. She has gone independently, except for once. She was tooting, and I asked her if she wanted to go to the restroom, and she said no. Then I saw her standing focused, quiet and still behind an end table, so I rushed with her to the potty. She did all of her business!
The book recommends to not keep giving them treats after the initial day, but I still am. Brielle is extraordinarily stubborn, and it’s just easier to have a treat in my arsenal of tricks.
I would say that so far, it’s a success! I let you know how successive days go. But not in this much detail!