Potty Training Tips

I can't wait to potty train my kid...

Said no one ever!  I've been putting off potty training Mason for a couple of months.  He wasn't really showing interest.  I also wasn't in a rush to have accidents all around the house.  I don't have time to read any of the potty books, and to be honest I've read ZERO books on parenting.  I'm not an expert.  The majority of the time I'm just winging it, trusting my intuition, and going to my mom friends for advice.  

I'm going to share what we did and what worked for us.  Again, I'm not an expert but so far what we are calling "Potty Training Bootcamp" or "Intuitive Potty Training" has been working well. 

Warm-Up

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For months we had one of those potty training seats to put over a regular toilet along with a step stool.  Mason would give it a try, sit on it, and then just hop off.  About a week before he started his Potty Training Bootcamp we bought him a toddler sized toilet.  We just put it in the living room so he could check it out on his own.  On a Saturday morning he had his normal diaper on, and said "I want to potty" then just went for it!  We definitely made a big deal out of it with jumping, cheering, high-fiving, gave him 2 dark chocolate chips, and more obnoxious celebrating so he can see how amazing peeing in the toilet is.  The rest of the day we didn't put a diaper on him, he was totally naked and he just went pee on his own until the early evening.  He already pooped early that morning with a diaper so we knew he would be fine.   The next day it was the same thing.  After that we decided that following Wednesday we would commit to a 5 Day Potty Training.

Day 1

Once Mason woke up we took his diaper off and hid all his other diapers.  I placed his toilet right in the living room so it was easy for him to get to.  I gave him a lot of water to drink so he would be hydrated enough to have to go.  Every time he would pee I would give him 2 dark chocolate chips, and I told him if he pooped in the potty, he would get a cookie.  I heard from a lot of parents that there kids would hold their poop so I fed Mason very fibrous meals.  I sprinkled flaxseed to his dishes and fed him foods with healthy probiotic in them.  I was told to set timers but that didn't work for us.  I would just end up going on his own, and I felt like I was pressuring him when I would ask.  All of a sudden I heard, "Mom, I pooped in the potty!" and there it was, a perfectly shaped poop!  We celebrated every pee and poop like crazy.  Like very over the top excitement, it was exhausting haha!  The first day went really well.  Because of the high fiber meals, he actually pooped multiple times but omg, it was like cardio going back and forth to clean up the pee and poop from his toilet.  That evening we put him in a pull-up.  He actually woke up the next morning with it dry but by the time he walked downstairs to his toilet he wet the pull-up.

Day 2 and 3

We asked Mason if he wanted his toilet upstairs or downstairs.  He chose upstairs so now he had to really make the effort to stop what he was doing and walk over to the potty.  Day 2 and Day 3 were very similar.  He went to the potty like a champ.  We did end up having 2 accidents after nap time.  The next 2 mornings he woke up with dry undies and peed first thing! 

Day 4 and 5

The last 2 days felt pretty good!  He was going on his own, and at times forgot that he needed a treat after his bathroom trip.  

Potty Training Tips:

Only start when your child is ready:

Mason was showing interest and using his potty on his own for about 5 days off and on before we started his bootcamp.

Be prepared to stay in:

Commit at LEAST 3 days to stay in the house.  Don’t plan on leaving so do all the grocery shopping, meal prep, plan activities, games, and have your reward snacks in stock.  We stayed in for 5 days, and of course my husband was out of town for work so I went a little stir crazy but it was worth it!

Just like Mommy and Daddy:

We lead by example.  This may seem silly, but to make going in the potty super positive for Mason, we would let him see when we went to the bathroom and celebrate it.  We would cheer eachother on for using the potty haha!  The days leading up to his bootcamp we showed him what's in our toilet.  So weird I know, but it was funny when he would say, "Oh wow you made poop, want a cookie?!"    

Go shopping!

The days before bootcamp started we went to Target so Mason could pick out his own underwear, got all his favorite  treats for rewards, and Amazon primed a TON of other stuff.  I'll have everything we purchased at the bottom of this post.  We made sure we were prepared as much as possible with a step stool, potty seat, potty toilet,  potty training watch (that didn't really work for him, but he liked to play with it), washable waterproof bed pad blanket, travel potty seat, and disposable seat covers that help ease the anxiety of public bathroom germs!  

Fibrous Meals 

Along with drinking a TON of water, Mason had nutrient dense meals that allowed him to have a regular bowel movement.  I heard from a lot of moms that their kids would hold their poop and get really constipated.  He pooped in the potty the first day, and has every day so far.  Here was Mason's meal for the first day:

BREAKFAST:  Scrambled eggs with lots of leafy greens and corn cooked with coconut oil.  Sprinkled a tiny bit of ground flaxseed with a side of ketchup.

SNACK:  Mikey's Paleo Onion Muffin with Kite Hills Chive Cream Cheese

LUNCH:  White rice, ground chicken, red peppers, chopped onion and garlic, corn, sprinkled flaxseed

DINNER: Daiya Vegan Mac and Cheese with zucchini.  

DESSERT: Siggi's Vanilla Yogurt with Delighted by Hummus Brownie Batter

Ditch the diapers and pull-ups!

Diaper technology is sooo good that it messed with Mason.  Diapers and pull-ups were the same for him, so we decided to ditch it all together.  We actually hid them from him. 

Child’s Preference:

We wanted Mason to feel accountable for his potty training so we asked him where he wanted his potty, if he preferred to wear underwear or just be naked.

Success!!  

I hope these tips helped. Maybe we got lucky, but this whole process went a lot easier than I though it would. Do you have any tips or questions? List them below!

Happy Potty Training!

You got this, Dad!

 Photographer: Kat of  Indvisual FIlms

Photographer: Kat of Indvisual FIlms

I recently went to a yoga workshop, and bumped into a pregnant friend that was in her second trimester.  She totally had that pregnancy glow and I couldn't help but reminisce on how much I loved being pregnant.   A lot of the attention goes to the mom and baby, so I wanted to make sure I congratulated the soon-to-be dad too.  I asked him how it was going for him, and if he found those pregnancy apps useful.  He was excited and open to any advice.  A handful of things stood out in my mind that I quickly shared with him.  Obviously there are many more tips out there, but these were what Matt and I struggled and succeeded with the most.  We didn't have help during those early infant months.  We had to figure a lot of it out on our own, and had plenty of late night Google searches.  Every family is different, and what works for one family, may not work for another. 

I think these will be useful for a new dad, and a good reminder for any other dad out there.   You're welcome, moms ;)  

Okay listen up, Dad.  When the baby comes it's going to be overwhelming.  It's a lot.  So when things get a little crazy, take a deep breath in and out....take another one, and remember these 5 tips:

1.  Keep mom hydrated.  When she is nursing or pumping, bring her water or whatever beverage she likes.  Do this every single time.   I remember getting extremely thirsty during each feeding session.  Feeding a child from your own body is draining.  The thirst is like no other.  I would get thirsty-angry - thangry!  Hydrating fruits and vegetables are a must if the water isn't cutting it.  Give her fresh cut strawberries, watermelon, grapefruit, pineapple, spinach, cucumber, celery, green peppers, tomatoes, etc.  Pretty much all the wet or watery fruits and veggies--these hydrating foods are made up of about 90% water.  

2.  Feed mom first.  Make sure she's eating, and make sure you are eating too.  Let her eat first when the food is hot and fresh.  After all, ladies first right?!  I swear my son would wake up to the sound of my fork touching my food when I was by myself.  It was so hard for me to eat with him.  When my husband was home from work it was always nice to know I would be able to enjoy at least one hot meal.  Bonus Pro Tip:  Pack snacks in the diaper bag if she is going out with the baby.  

3.  You WILL bond with your baby.  Be patient.  New babies only know mom, and all they want is mom.  Especially, hungry nursing babies.  Mason wouldn't take a bottle, and that did not make Matt feel like "Dad of the Year".  It was hard for him to not be able to participate in feeding the baby.  He found other ways to bond with Mason, like bath time or tummy time.  Mason eventually started to recognize Matt's voice, and his first word was "Da Da"!  Now they're best friend goof balls! 

4.  It's the hormones!  There is such a huge flux in hormone levels for the mother after she gives birth and breastfeeds.  If the gorgeous mother of your child says some crazy shit, just let it go.  It was the hormones talking.  Be prepared for some crying spells too.  Rollercoaster hormones and lack of sleep are not a good mix.  And just a heads up, when mom starts weaning baby from breastfeeding expect the same hormonal changes.  Every mother has their own postpartum baby blues experience.  Just be ready to be extra understanding and compassionate.  

5.  "Can I get anything for you, beautiful?" A simple question like this goes a long way or better yet, be proactive.  When your man does things without being told it's the sexiest thing ever.  You want to be sexy for your baby mama, right?  Acts of service, my friend.  Change the diaper, wash the bottles and breast pump parts, offer her a cup of coffee, or give her a massage.  Do something kind for her.  She'll love it.  Matt made up this Diaper Deal.  Since I am mostly a stay at home mom while Matt works during the week, he promised me that on the weekends I change zero diapers.  It's a pretty sweet deal.  The small gestures really do matter, and you'll come out a total hero.

That's it!  That's all you need to know to be the world's greatest dad!  Just kidding, start with being a good partner, and the rest you will learn along the way.  And Dad, you may not get all the recognition, but trust us moms, we acknowledge and are grateful for your support...even if we don't always tell you.  Enjoy this new ride.  Drink coffee.  Good luck, and you got this!