momfarts  asked:

Potty training tips please! My son uses the potty but has to be prompted. Any tips on showing him how to recognize the urge? He's soo close! (He's 3, and in cloth diapers)

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Alison says: Thanks for the question. I hesitated to answer this at first, partially because I don’t really know how to, and partially because I didn’t want to jinx Cormac’s so-far-so-good potty work. Superstitious, perhaps, but seriously.

Have you let him wander around naked/pantsless? We did this for a week or so with Cormac, and I think it helped him make the connection between the feeling and the immediate aftermath of that feeling. Something feels weird, then I pee on my leg. Once that happened a couple times, I think Mac started to understand that the feeling was connected to peeing, and from there he got it. I know that’s pretty run-of-the-mill advice, but it seems to have worked for us. But really, we never forced it, never pushed or anything. I wanted him to come to it on his own, and he did. He really responds well to positive reinforcement (clapping, telling him what a good job he did, etc.), and I think that also made getting there easier. Once he figured out mom & dad would clap for him, he was all about it.

Sorry that this wasn’t too terribly helpful. Honestly, while I’ve had many, many struggles with my boy (I mean, at almost three he still drinks a bottle, wakes up multiple times a night, and sleeps in my bed), potty training came fairly easily. Maybe one of the other GUL ladies has something to add?

Marci says: I always wind up with potty training questions so thanks for taking the lead, Alison! I agree on doing time in the nude or in “big boy underwear” when you can (we did a few “commando” weekends) because that definitely can help them get the cause and effect thing quick.

E was potty trained by 2 and a half largely through the use of role modeling (he went any time Daddy did and watched/learned), using a real toilet with the transition seat (search the potty training tag here, I know I’ve talked about it before), and using temporary tattoos as a way cool incentive (that could be lost for bad behavior).

One thing I did start noticing around 3-3 ½ was that his attention span for activities was longer and so sometimes he’d have “leaks” or just full accidents because he was so engaged in whatever activity he was involved with. Because I was at home with him then, we started doing set time potty breaks (upon waking, mid-morning/before lunch, after lunch, before dinner, before bed, 1 wake-up, etc.) just to get him in the habit of taking a potty break. That helped to set his, ahem, body clock so that the prompting, begging, and power struggles were less of a big deal. 

*Although I will admit to still occasionally bribing him with a jellybean just to go potty before we leave the house. I think we are both getting what we want so it’s all good.