Wow, how time flies! About 6 months ago I wrote a post outlining how we had gone about potty training with Stella. She has been “awake” potty trained since following the first three steps below when she was between 14-17 months old. (click on the post to read more details)
- Step 1: Sitting the kid on the toilet before bath time every night.
- Step 2: Naked from the waist down whenever we were home on weekends (Fri-Sun).
- Step 3: Consistency at Daycare, Nana’s House, and Home
I mentioned in that post that I would update with how we did Steps 4 & 5, but I never did! Part of that is because we have not yet attempted Step 5.
- Step 4: Daytime (out & about time) without Diapers
- Step 5: Nap & Bedtime Training
Backing up to Step 4 though, Courtney just asked me to outline a bit what we did for this part because they’re about to embark on potty training, so I figured I’d share some tips for step 4 and then ask for YOUR help, kind readers, with step 5. 🙂 I’m sure most of these tips are pretty obvious, but maybe you’ll find a little gem of helpful information in here!
Tips for those first few weeks out & about without diapers on:
- Always have the kid sit on the potty before you get in the car / leave the house in the stroller / etc. Make it part of their normal routine. Just like you need to put on your shoes and coat to go to the park, you also need to go potty first. Repeat this every time you leave the restaurant/store/grandma’s house/etc – even if the kid just peed 20 minutes ago. The worst feeling is being 7 minutes from home and 7 minutes from grandma’s house with a frantic little girl in the car seat who needs to pee.
- Don’t be afraid to pull over on the side of the road to avoid a potty accident. Some people travel with a portable potty, some just hold their kid in a seated/squatting position (me) next to the car. It’s way better to do this than have an inconsolable, wet child crying in a soaked car seat. Take it from me. *Ahem*
- Don’t let the toddler have a sippy cup of milk/water right before a car trip or during the car trip. This isn’t forever, but just until they learn how to hold it better. We probably had a month or two where we restricted fluids in the car / right before trips.
- Always bring a spare set of undies & pants with you when you leave the house. Accidents happen. Don’t get cocky.
- Know ahead of time where the bathrooms are located in every store, park, and restaurant that you frequent. Time is of the essence when your toddler announces “I need to pee!”
- Be aware if the public restroom has an auto-flush toilet. One at the local hot springs scared the ever living tar out of Stella, and she almost regressed back to diapers because of it. Keep a packet of sticky notes in your purse to put over the sensor to keep it from flushing while the kid is on the toilet.
- Utilize the power of group trips to the bathroom. Stella and one of her friends were potty training around the same time, and if one needed to go, the other would always want to go with. Go with it & be stoked they’re practicing their pottying skills!
Okay, so those are my tips for step 4. If I forgot to address a concern of yours, feel free to ask in the comments and I’ll help out if I have any clue.
Now on to Step 5 – Nap & Bedtime Potty Training. AKA – how the hell do you do this?
Stella is 26 months old, and about a month ago we took off the front of her crib for a couple of weeks and converted it to a toddler bed. We ended up putting it back on – not so much because of her wandering out of it, but moreso because she started throwing HORRIBLE fits about putting a diaper on to go to bed. I have zero idea what the correlation is there, but sure as shit – we put the front of the crib back on, and no more meltdowns about putting a diaper on and laying down for nap/bedtime. Weird, right?
However, the new problem is this — she’s often taking her diaper off in the crib. If she doesn’t fall asleep almost instantly, she ends up talking to herself, singing, and telling stories to her baby doll. That is totally fine with us, but eventually she is calling out to us because (1) she needs to pee/poop, or (2) she already peed/pooped and has taken her diaper off because she can’t stand being in a wet/dirty diaper.
I feel like the only way around this is to take the front of the crib back off, put her in undies, and tell her she can get out of bed to go potty if she wants. I’m just incredibly worried that will create more problems than it solves.
Thoughts? Ideas? I am SO TIRED of stripping a pee soaked kid out of her jammies in the middle of the night, changing her sheets, and washing extra laundry every day. We even tried putting her back in a cloth diaper since I’m doing CD laundry again. She left that diaper on, but peed through the diaper… so we still had the same issue of a soaking wet kid & bed.
If your kid was night time potty trained while still in a crib, how did you do it? Did you restrict fluids in the evenings / at night? What other tips do you have? How old was the child?
If your kid was not night time potty trained while still in a crib, did you struggle with the diaper removal issue? Short of using duct tape, how did you deal with it?!
Stella still has milk with dinner (about 6:15) and bedtime is about one hour later. Sometimes she asks for water in bed, and if she does, we give her a sippy cup with 1-2 oz of water in it (it’s really dry here in Colorado, even with a humidifier running in her room all the time). She always pees before naptime/bedtime, but her diaper is still soaked by the time she wakes up, so I really don’t think she can hold it all nap / night long. Maybe I’m wrong, I don’t know?