Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Potty Training Week 1

[This post is on potty training our 18 month old daughter. If you'd like to skip the nitty gritty details, come back tomorrow :) ]

Well, we've been at it a week.

I've learned a few things in the past week, the most important (in terms of training E) is that the kid doesn't pee when she's awake. E is a great eater, and she always has water available in her sippy cup. She asks for it if she can't find it, and I've never really given her drinking habits much thought until this past week. However, the first three days of training, she'd only go while awake about 3-4 times a day which made it really difficult for her to figure out what was going on.

This was only made worse by her latest sleeping habits. Last month we switched our runs to the mornings rather than the evenings. Running as the sun comes up is glorious, and it is a great start to the day. I highly recommend it! I'm miserable for the few minutes that I'm trying to wake up, but then the rest of the day I'm so thankful I did. I love getting my work out completed first thing, seeing Chou before he leaves for work, and getting an early start to the day. But this post isn't about running...

When we switched to morning runs, E's sleep schedule blew up. Seriously. She had been sleeping from midnight (I know, I know) to 8 or even 9am and taking a 1-2 hour afternoon nap. However, we get up before 5am to run, and she started waking at that time every day, whether or not we were running. This means she's now ready for a nap by late morning and will sleep 4+ hours without stirring at nap time, and then be ready for bed closer to 10 or 11pm. [Since she's never consistently napped until about two months ago, I really hate to wake her while she's napping. That time to work, clean, or veg is just amazing! Compounded with the fact that if I limit her to a two hour nap time she wants a second nap at 7pm. No good can come of that.]

And then out of nowhere she started waking for the day around 1-3am. Unfortunately this started on a week that we had another kid staying with us and we were unable to use E's room, because it was occupied by our sleeping guest. In the past, we'd put E in her room if she woke and wouldn't settle in the middle of the night and then 15 minutes later she'd be ready to settle down and sleep and we'd have no more issues. This time, though, we couldn't use her room when this started, she got in the habit of waking and not wanting to go back to sleep, getting worse as the week progressed instead of better. Ironically and utterly frustratingly, this meant we weren't in any shape to get up before 5am to run. 

For those of you who are more visual, E's days now look like this:

So now it's time to potty train, and we only have the pink areas shown above to work with while green areas are working against us since E's awake but in diapers. Inevitably she only has to go maybe once in between waking and nap time, and then two or three times between nap time and bedtime.

In hind sight I should have fixed the sleeping schedule before trying the potty training, but what's done is done. Instead I've been trying to decrease nap time, but inevitably for every 15 minutes I take off of nap time she seems to want to go to bed a full hour earlier, and then she's up even earlier in the middle of the night. Sigh... I've also been working really really hard to get her to drink more when she's awake. I spent the first three days of potty training trying everything to get her to drink. I tried milk, tea, homemade orange julius, and anything else I could think of. Nothing tempted her. We've drastically increased her salt intake and she now will occasionally drink watered down kombucha [fermented tea that we make], but only if it's in a coffee mug. Some days she'll drink black tea with honey and milk, but not always, and of course she won't go near it unless it's in a mug like mine. Needless to say, I didn't do much but clean up puddles of pee and tea for the better part of last week.

E's been a trouper through it all and didn't seem to care one way or the other when we started. She enjoys the extra attention and generally enjoys her little potty. We sing, play games, and dance while waiting for her to go, and she routinely brings her stuffed animals and dolls for their turn on the potty. Yesterday she protested her diaper at bedtime and she's been more adamant about taking it off the minute she wakes up, so I think she's starting to get used to the freedom and dry bum.

Most importantly, she does finally seem to be getting the whole potty thing. Yay!!! She had one accident when she woke up today (which is typical since she's been awake but wearing a diaper for hours at that point), but we caught everything else in the potty. For now we're going to stick it out a few more days and hope everything sticks before venturing out diaper free. I'm still not 100% sure we're going to be successful this round, but I'm increasingly optimistic. Wish us luck :)

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