Tuesday, July 15, 2008

No More Diapers

I believe I can officially declare that we are done with diapers!

Jensen has been accident free for two full weeks, both during the day and at night. He decided about three weeks ago that he wasn’t going to wear a diaper to bed. I was nervous, but thought, “And so it begins.” The next day he had a bazillion accidents and I thought we were in for a long haul. But the following day he had two accidents, and then the day after he had one. I was surprised at the lack of effort I had to put into potty training this child. He didn’t even use a toddler potty. He wanted nothing to do with that thing. I had one of those that turn into a stool, so you guessed it, it is now a stool.

Each of my kids has been so different to potty train…

Jake showed some interest in potty training when he was about 18 months old. I knew we were getting ready to move, and didn’t want to have to be potty training as we were driving the entire length of the country, so I didn’t push the issue and he quickly moved on…seemingly never to have that desire again. I say never because he never really showed much interest in potty training after that. He had a diaper and that was fine with him. When he was two and a half, I started the “Let’s use the potty now” request with little luck. He just wasn’t interested. “Aren’t all children potty trained by now? Isn’t my child too old to be in diapers?” I would ask myself. I battled with him for several months until he was completely #1 potty trained, but #2 was another story. As much as I hate reward systems, stickers worked for getting him #1 potty trained. I hate to say it, but I had to use bribery to achieve #2. We promised Jake that if he would go #2 on the potty, then we would buy him a light saber…you know, Star Wars. He was just about to turn three, Justin was getting ready to go on deployment, and I was pregnant. We had to try something. Guess what…it worked! Unfortunately he had to do his big deed on a Sunday evening, at just about closing time. We ran all over town looking for a store that was open and had light sabers. Finally, Justin ran into a K. B. Toy Store (not the cheapest place, I know) just as they were locking up and asked if he could just get a light saber for his son. They agreed and he grabbed the first one he saw. Which one did he grab, you ask? None other than Count Douku’s saber…the cool red one with the bent handle. How much was it, you ask? A whopping $30!! He loved that light saber (which just recently died) and he was potty trained from then on.

I wasn’t pleased with the potty training method I used with Jake and vowed not to force potty train again.

Jolie’s story is a bit better and a bit shorter. She woke up one day when she was 26 months old and said that she wasn’t going to wear diapers again…and she didn’t. The end. She grabbed a sticker when she wanted to, but didn’t NEED the stickers like Jake did. She just wanted to go on the potty and she did. I don’t remember any real accidents, day or night. She had her mind made up, and there you go.

Jensen showed some interest before we moved (at about 26 months) and I thought, “Woo hoo, another easy one.” Well…after a few days the novelty wore off, and there was absolutely no interest. I ran to the stickers (believe it or not, they were the same ones I used with the other two). I started to tell him that he’d get a sticker if he went potty, but stopped myself. My mom always says that the kids won’t go to college in diapers, and she’s right. I put the stickers away, and waited for him to make the first move. He asked to go several times before we moved, but nothing much came of it. Three weeks ago, something happened and he decided he was ready…and so was I.

So, I won’t have to buy any more diapers (have you seen how much they cost!). I have stopped carrying around a diaper bag (I still keep a change of clothes for all of us in the van just in case). I will still feel bad that we didn’t use cloth, but hopefully I can persuade my kids to use them (maybe I’ll even front the bill if I can).

If potty training has taught me anything, it reinforced that…
All children are different.
They each work on their own timetable.
Forcing children to do something will not help them to learn how to do it; forcing them may actually discourage them from doing it.
Relax and let nature take its course.

Guess what, they won’t go to college in diapers.

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