Saturday, January 3, 2009

Potty talk

Probably not of interest to non-parents.

K has been stuck at the same place in potty training since last summer. She's quite reliable with pee if she's not wearing anything on her butt. As a result, as long as we stay home all the time, she can go without diapers without much of a problem. She's even stayed dry all night a couple times.

The problem, of course, is that she can't go commando when we leave the house or when she's at daycare. I had originally bought some cloth training pants for her to wear at daycare, but the cheap Gerber versions did nothing to contain the wetness after a single accident (which is the whole point of training pants - not as thick as diapers, but thick enough to catch an accident so you don't have to change pants as well as underwear), and after a week or two of arriving every day to pick her up and finding her in disposable pullups, I gave in and started buying them to send to daycare, and to use when we left the house.*

Yes, yes, I know pullups are lousy for actually accomplishing toilet training, but the point wasn't to encourage her to use the toilet, it was to prevent having to change her pants three times a day at daycare.

But they're a crutch, and I've decided we need to go cold turkey. So I explained to K this week that we weren't buying any more pullups to use at home. I bought some for them to keep at daycare, but I don't care how many pairs of wet pants we go through, we're not using them at home. I think the only way we're ever going to achieve dryness when we leave the house is to push her a bit.

So far today, the tally is three pairs of wet pants, but while playing pantsless this evening, she marched right over to her potty and pooped in it, which is a big step forward. So all we need to do is figure out how to help her remember to use the potty when she's wearing pants. Nagging produces resistance and incentive plans have never helped. Ultimately, it needs to come from her. Hopefully she'll just figure it out with enough practice.

*K loves the different designs on the various brands of pullups, so I tend to vary what brand I buy, and get both boys' and girls' designs. I'm a little fascinated by the gender encoding - Disney Princesses and Cars on Huggies are pretty much par for the course, and Dora and Diego on Pampers make sense. Toys R Us brand has dinosaurs for boys and hearts and flowers for girls, which made me gag a little. They couldn't even put something more interesting like cats or butterflies on the girls' pullups?

But it's Target brand that really mystifies me. They have pirates for boys, and you would think the girls equivalent would be princesses (which I would love, because K loves princesses and Huggies are hella expensive). But instead, they're... lesbians. No, really. Two different designs of two girls holding hands or enjoying ice cream together, with hearts in the background. Theoretically, the design is meant to be "best friends," but I would only believe it if it was said with a knowing wink.

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