Today is Day 1 of my new revised approach to potty training my 3 and a half year old daughter. So far she has been pretty irregular in terms of when she actually has to go, especially with regards to bowl movements. Today I am going to get all of her clothes ready for her and continue on the “you tell me when you have to go” approach.  This time, however I am going to check her every 30 min like clockwork and note the times when she is wet.  Maybe there is a definitive time between her being wet, and if I can track that, maybe I can better determine when she will need to go. 

By the way, for those interested, I have included a list below of the things that have NOT worked for us in the past. At least not for long.

  • Giving a small treat (like an M&M) whenever she went – it worked briefly but over time that effectiveness waned.
  • Giving a small treat (M&M) when she sat on the potty and more of the same if she went at the same time, even more if she was dry. 1, 2 or 3 M&Ms – again, success at first and then she gave up.
  • Going back to the issues with my 2nd child (OCD) and the fact that nothing motivated him enough to go, until we gave him a toy car ($.20 or so each car), we decided to try the same with my daughter.  In her case it was a fairy or fairy related item.  We bought a set of jewelry items that came with 3 fairies and she could only earn 1 fairy a day, but the rest of the items were available anytime she used the potty – this was so successful we went through almost 3 packs of fairy items…then we upped the ante.
  • Flush with the success of the previous method, I informed her that she would only receive a fairy item if she went without me putting her on the potty. – For 2 weeks straight, one and a half at home and half a week in our RV (on spring break) she stayed dry (except for BMs). She was dry in a diaper and dry in underwear, she was doing great! Then we got home and she regressed.
  • The incentives stayed the same, but after a week of not going and nothing but accidents, I moved to a more aggressive approach. Naked time…all the time. Being that it was still snowing and quite cold at times, outside didn’t really work, and I didn’t want to destroy every square inch of my carpet, I put out a towel for her to sit on and kept her naked from the waist down.  We played games, read books, ate meals, but wherever she went she had to sit on that towel – it didn’t work.  She frequently wet the towels as I switched them out one by one and by the end of the week (when most people I hear see success, she soiled the towel :(  So much for that approach.
  • Which brings us to now. She wears underwear everywhere she goes except at night when she wears a diaper to bed. I protect her clothes as best I can and the rest of the house by putting plastic pants over her underwear.  Sometimes she goes, sometimes she doesn’t, some days there will be 1 maybe 2 accidents and other days she’ll go through every pair of underwear she has. And of course me not putting her on the potty has just meant that she doesn’t use it at all.

I wonder how this next approach will work.  I’ll be sure to keep you all posted as I continue my efforts in potty training :)