“Choo choo unapah” aka no more diapers

Carter is potty-trained! No, strike that . . . Carter is mommy-trained! Either way, we are now a diaper-free home.

Carter had been showing signs that he could potty train for a little while — waking up dry, going on the potty when I put him on it, and a serious love of underpants. I kept thinking that he was way too young to even consider it, but the signs were there so I decided to give it a try before school started. You know . . . just to see.

We went to the store to buy our supplies. Carter picked out some Thomas the Train underpants, M&M’s, and Bug’s Life stickers. We had to visit two different stores, in the rain no less, to find a Fisher-Price potty that played music when it was “wet.” The one we had with Raine was loaned out and never returned. I knew we needed another one with the same feature and it turned out to be worth the effort.

Our first afternoon had me convinced that I’d made a mistake. I’m not sure why I thought he would just sit down and go the first time he tried, but I did. Fortunately, I decided to “make sure” that it really wasn’t going to work before I gave up and I tried again the next day.

My method with Carter was different than with Raine. His fierce love of underpants led me to try the let-him-pee-all-over-himself approach. I put him in underpants as often as I knew I could keep him in a place where I didn’t care if he peed — in the backyard, in the kitchen, in the bathroom. When he had an accident all I would say was, “oh no Carty, your choo choo underpants are wet. Oh no!” I would put him in the bathtub and hose him down. Then I would put him in a pull-up and tell him he couldn’t wear underpants until he peed on the potty. He really wanted to wear those underpants so he would push a little harder the next time he sat on his throne.

Now he is at the point where he will keep himself dry as long as I put him on the potty every hour or so throughout the day. If he doesn’t go as soon as I put him on the potty then I know he really doesn’t have to go and can let him run off for another half hour.

That’s where the mommy-training comes in. He doesn’t tell me when he needs to go, but he goes when I put him on the potty. He stays dry during naps and night-time. He holds it while we are out and about. He will even use public restrooms if he needs to. I’m ok with being the pee-pee-timer if it means no more diapers to buy, so it all works out.

I would also like to state the obvious here for a moment: BOYS ARE NOT THE SAME AS GIRLS!

We’ve had a few incidents of wet underpants — and Momma’s wet shoe — due to positioning problems. With girls they just sit down and the pee goes into the potty. But with boys, you have to make sure the down-spout is heading the right direction or somebody is going to be wearing it!

Those splash guards on the training potties lull you into a false sense of security. The first time you get them on a full-size public potty it looks like one of those cartoons where the character gets sprayed by the garden hose as soon as he turns it on. Yes indeed, boys require a bit more care!

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