Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Potty Training Saga ~ Episode I

After changing one dirty diaper too many, I decided it was time to start potty training Dolly. I had been procrastinating on doing it because 1. I had no idea how to even start (I'm still not sure if there isn't a better way), 2. I was waiting for Dolly to be 'ready', and 3. I wasn't really up to the consistency I knew it would take to accomplish the job.
Sunday afternoon when Dolly woke up from her nap I changed her diaper and put a pair of underwear on her. She had slept late so it was already after 6pm. I set my kitchen timer for 30 minutes and when it went off, she had to go sit on her potty. Of course, nothing happened. By bedtime, still nothing had happened so, I put a diaper back on her and put her to bed.
Determined not to give up before we got started, we started over bright and early Monday morning. 8am. Every half hour the timer would go off, and we'd dutifully head to the bathroom. Then at half past 9, something happened! And there had been no accidents prior to it either. I was proud and Dolly seemed slightly amused.
Suddenly I realized that I didn't have a reward system set up yet. Quickly we built a 'potty chart' on which earned stickers could be placed and of course it didn't hurt to sweeten the deal with a bit of candy. Then we did a photo shoot and documented the potty training setup.
Every half hour the timer went off. Lunch time came and went and then.... there was an accident. I didn't notice right away... in fact I didn't notice until the timer went off and we headed for the bathroom. I reset the timer, discovered the puddle and got it cleaned up in time for naptime.
After naptime there were two more accidents. Our ratio was 1:3... a 25% success rate. I was beginning to get discouraged. Finally it was bedtime. I put Dolly in a diaper and got her dressed for bed. Then she had to drink her milk. Halfway through her milk the timer went off again. By this time we were down to every 10 minutes due to the number of accidents that had occurred during the afternoon. Happy to get away from drinking her milk, Dolly willingly rushed off to the bathroom. And to finish off the first official day of potty training, she actually went potty! I was very encouraged. Our success rate had jumped from 25% to 40%!


  1. I'm sure glad those days are over! Want some Smarties? Or pickles?

  2. Hooray! Go Dolly (and Ioi!) You realize that I'm watching closely and taking notes for when it's my turn... =)

  3. I used to wonder whether it was the child or the mommie who was being trained. Eventually they both learn, at least by the time they go to kindergarten. Maybe every hour is often enough for the timer to ring?

  4. Dear Dolly,
    In case you need a little help with the going rate for candy rewards, tell your mommy that about 5 years ago, your friend Ellie got 1 gummy bear for dry panties, 1 for #1, and 2 for #2. If you time it just right, you can end up with a good sized fistful of gummy bears!! Keep up the good work!!
    aunt Anna