The Dawn of a New Day: Potty Training

by This is Carrie on November 5, 2010

It cost me $30 in Hot Wheels, $10 in child laxatives (& almost my sanity), but I feel it’s safe to say that after three weeks of hard work, patience, a lot of luck & help from a merciful God above, Baby Brother is potty trained.  Here’s to hoping the regression once the baby comes is minimal if any.

Thanks to Kage for forwarding me the Hot Wheels Potty Chart idea a long time ago. It was the PERFECT motivation system.

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Leisel November 5, 2010 at 11:42 am

You started potty training when you are 8 months prego? Brave Mama! We are working on potty training #3 right now, too. Fun times!

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This is Carrie
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I figured I had one small window to give it good, hard try because then I wouldn’t have the patience, time or energy until next Spring.

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Rachel Henry November 5, 2010 at 11:49 am

One question though, (I’m also in the middle of potty training by boy), at what point do you stop doing treats? Will it be an endless thing, or do they stop caring about getting a treat on their own?
Thanks! :)
Rachel

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This is Carrie
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We did the serious “Treats” (a hot wheels car every time he pee’d in the potty & a larger motorcycle toy for the first time he pooped in the potty) for the first 5 days (and yes, he only pooped once in that first 5 days–thus the $ spent on laxatives). Then it became a couple m&m’s for pee and a hot wheels for poop. Now he gets an M&M when we’re home and I think about it. But he doesn’t expect a treat. A high-5 works just as well at this point.

Good luck to you! Just remember all kids are different. The trick is finding out what works best for your child.

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Shanna ~ My Favorite Everything
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November 5, 2010 at 12:21 pm

Much congrats and kudos when you are just about to pop! Pretty sure you are my hero!! I didn’t have it in me, but I know I need to start in the next few weeks…considering doing 2 at the same time My first is 2 years 8 mos, and my second is 20 mos this month – thinking they might feed off each other and go for a two-fer…we’ll see!

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This is Carrie
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Good luck! I can’t imagine doing 2 at once, but you’re right, maybe it will actually be easier that way.

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Lynet November 5, 2010 at 12:21 pm

wait, you rewarding him for going pee with a hot wheels? wow! all I would give my boy was a praise and a high five…
i can’t really tell by the pic, but did you put all the hot wheels on the wall and have him open 1 up after he peed?

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This is Carrie
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Yep. $30 in Hot Wheels. It was totally worth it. I found out from daughter #2 that rewards they REALLY, REALLY want make a big difference in potty success in this house. I taped all the cars to a piece of foam board and propped in on the toilet. He’d go in there all the time scanning his choices and picking which car he was going to get with the next “pee in the potty”.

But the toy rewards were only part of the strategy. The other parts were: 4 days of cold turkey training – no diapers, or pull ups even during naps or at night. This meant we basically stayed home 98% of that time and I did a lot of laundry. Accidents weren’t scolded, they were treated as learning experiences. I never asked if he needed to go potty but told him about a million times a day “Tell mommy when you need to go potty”. And we constantly asked him “Are you dry?” and every time he answered “yes” we would cheer and dance and give him high-fives. We also called grandma, grandpa and daddy numerous times so he could tell them about his success. He also loved telling the neighbors.

It really took over a week of complete attention to him and potty training for all the kinks to work out. Todd thought I should give up at one point because the little guy was just miserable from holding his poop in. We felt so bad for him and his was a terror to be around. But we were too far into the process to turn around so we pushed through and I’m so glad we did.

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carey November 5, 2010 at 1:49 pm

It is funny to me how different kids are! My daughter got a sticker for a reward for the first two or three days of potty training, and was done by the time she was two, but I can already tell my son is going to be a whole other can of worms. I appreciate this post and the hot wheels idea!!

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This is Carrie
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My first daughter was so easy to potty train. #2 daughter was very stubborn. #3 just needed the motivation to care.

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kage November 5, 2010 at 3:19 pm

My #1 was easy peazy and #2 required an entire reward system (after trying EVERYTHING else). The catch for her was if she had an accident she had to put her prize BACK…so that was motivation for her. She could have been trained MUCH earlier, she knew exactly what she was doing…so the accidents stopped once she knew her prize that she had earned from peeing was going to be lost as a result.

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This is Carrie
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THanks for sending the Hot Wheels chart link. There is not much he loves more than his cars (and motorcycles). It’s so cliche :) .

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Kristianna November 5, 2010 at 5:36 pm

I did hotwheels a day the morning after a no accident day (not night) to get my son back on track a summer ago when he regressed after a 3 week trip… it did help him to remember that he had to stay on top of it.

Why the laxatives? That one lost me. :) Congrats, though!

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This is Carrie
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The laxatives were because he decided to hold in his poop for days rather than go on the potty. He was a miserable mess. Once he had a few opportunities to go (when he didn’t have the choice anymore to hold it in) he realized it wasn’t that bad.

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Amy November 5, 2010 at 7:26 pm

Would you be able to forward to me or post the link to the Hot Wheels chart you are talking about? I’ve Googled and I can’t seem to come up with anything. My son LOVES his cars and I think it would help him tremendously.

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This is Carrie
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I couldn’t find the original link to the idea either (which is why I didn’t include it), but it wasn’t complicated at all. Just a big piece of foam board with rows of Hot Wheels or Matchbox cars taped to it. In our house, every time he went pee on the potty, he could choose one off the board to open. You can fit about 24 cars on one board. We put three special motorcycle Hot Wheels at the top because those were the most coveted and were the rewards that got the process going. Good luck!

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Amy November 6, 2010 at 2:27 pm

Congrats on the potty training! My little girl wasn’t remotely reward motivated…..she is very procedural and she wasn’t really talking much at the time! We also potty trained while pregnant. We really didn’t see any regression. She wanted to wear diapers for a day or two, and I let her. I figured she’d change her mind after a few days and she did. My mom had a brilliant strategy for regression after the birth of a baby: you have the accident, you clean it up! She figured we had the accidents because we wanted attention and having to clean it up ourselves eliminated the attention! Good luck!

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Mia November 13, 2010 at 7:46 pm

hot wheels for a poop…this is what my life is coming to.

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Katrina Arthur November 21, 2010 at 8:51 pm

It is nice to hear that we are not the only ones who had to flat out bribe our little guy to get potty trained. I also undertook it at 8 months preggo and we are still doing well. We did m&m’s for every pee and then a matchbox for every poo. The biggest push for him was getting big boy undies! A big deal shopping trip and then some skype time with the grandparents to show them off. Once he got it down we moved to all day no accidents you get a car and so on. Slowing pushing day the required time. After our little Miss was born we had to bring back out the m&m, now jelly bean jar and that seemed to keep him on track. It took us from 20 months to 2 years to get it all said and done. Hard work but worth it! Good luck with your newest arrival! I know how hard it is to wait and wait!

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