Wednesday, May 30, 2012

I've got a question...

So, if you've been reading along in the past few weeks, you know that we are in the throes of potty learning with Ethan.  He has been in underwear during awake hours since the beginning of May, and has worn underwear to bed for the past three nights (after waking up dry every morning for a little more than a week).

As far as "big picture" goes, that screams success.  For Ethan to go from wanting nothing to do with the whole process, to wearing underwear 24 hours a day in three weeks time is huge, and I don't want to diminish that at all.


I can't help but feel like things are a little off balance.  As far as effort goes, I'd say we're about 90-10, with me and Jeramie putting in 90% of the work (asking him, reminding him, physically taking him, etc.) and Ethan adding the additional 10% simply with the act of going.

Again, I know that's no small feat considering he was holding his, um, deposits for 12 hours at a time just three months ago.  He has come a long, long way!

But, here's my question.  Given that we're three weeks into this, am I expecting too much by assuming that he should be doing this more independently by now? I am keeping in mind that he needs assistance with the dressing/undressing part due to the anatomy of his left arm, but should he at least be taking the initiative more?

I really think if I didn't ask him if he needs to go (to which he always says "no"), and take him every 3 hours or so, he would hold it indefinitely.  (OK, maybe not indefinitely, but I can count the number of accidents he's had in three weeks on one hand thanks to his bladder of steel!)

So, what would you do? Continue taking him at regular times, but encourage independent thinking - and how? Or, wait for him to initiate going on his own? And, if you're a child development expert (coughRachelcough), what should we be doing?

We would love to hear your thoughts and ideas on this!


BlessedMommy said...

I would let him spend a day at home in underwear and just see what happens when you don't remind him. Keep a potty in sight.

He will likely wet himself once or twice, but it makes the correlation between sensation/result click... or, he'll just potty on his own!

Shelley Smith =) said...

I would first check with Ethan's pediatrician to make sure that letting him not of for a long time will not cause bladder problems etc. .... if not I agree with BlessedMommy

mossfamily said...

okay you know I can't give an answer without more questions, right? My first question is whether he has EVER told you on his own that he needs to go? If he has, then you know he gets the connection. If he hasn't, then he still needs to learn to go on his own vs you always taking him. I will say after potty training my own 2 boys that this phase lasts a long time. My kids hated to stop playing to go to the bathroom. I still feel the need to make potty-before-we-leave-the-house requests. But there is a difference in him being trained & you being trained to always take him. It sounds like you are both "trained". (It takes one to know one, trust me! :)

I agree with BlessedMommy that you need to try one day of no warnings/ notifications/etc. Don't ask him if he needs to go at all. In fact, if he always says no, then what is the point anyway? Change it up & say, "Ethan, we are getting ready to have lunch, let's take a potty break before we sit down." or "We are going to the store, so we have to go potty before we go." Don't make it a question. If you see him prancing around or holding himself while he is playing, then simply say. "It looks like you need to potty." If he says, "no, I don't." Then either drop the subject or say, "I will hold you car for you (or whatever) if you want to go try" This might make him feel more control of the situation. We know he likes that! ;)

My only concern with no warnings & no mention AT ALL is that I don't want you to have a repeat of the anxiety. I think after a day of trying it though, that you will know if no mention helps or causes anxiety. If it causes anxiety, I say, change up your language about it all. If it doesn't cause anxiety & he goes on his own or has accidents, then he will learn from that.

I don't know if i have muddied the water or helped, but I hope it helps!

Jennifer said...

Seems like it to Brayden quite a while to tell me if he had to go (at least at home...who knows what happens at school!) I do still make the request before we leave the house or go to bed, etc. I agree with BlessedMommy...give Ethan a day to prove to you (and him) that he can go own his own. If it doesn't work, then go back to what you are doing now for a while.

Brayden is also still sleeping in pullups mainly because I can't make myself pull the trigger. I just don't want to have to change/wash sheets with everything else I have going on right now! He has been dry for like 2 months in the mornings...I am the hold up on this one. Good for you for going for it so quickly!

Good luck!

Stefenie said...

I agree with Neysa that you should try one day when you are home all day and try letting him tell you when he needs to go. It seems like with both my boys it was 2-3 weeks of me asking them/taking them to go and then after that they did a pretty goosd job of taking it over themselves....or I would notice their pee pee dance and would ask them if they needed to go. He might have a couple of accidents but it will help to make the correlation.....sensation of needing to go and then actually going.

Tara said...

Great post and advice! I am secretly wondering this as well with Liam...The times I have forgotten and not taken or asked him, he has had small accidents...not many because I try to stay on top of it! lol but he has asked to go before (and even taken himself a couple times early on)...I also noticed when he doesn't feel good, he has accidents at night time...I guess it may be harder to hold it when they aren't feeling well.

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