Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Adventures in Sleep and Potty Training

I know most people might think we are nuts working on these things with our girls with a baby due to arrive any day now, but they will be a process regardless.

As far as Cecilia's sleep, I must say the curtains have done wonders. We also made her bedtime about a half hour earlier. The little girl who used to wake us at 5:45am declaring that "The sun is up! Time to get up!" will now sleep until past 7 almost every morning. That is one problem solved.

Felicity's sleep is a bit more complicated. Since she prefers a bed to a crib, we have set up a twin bed for her in Cecilia's room. But ... new bed, new bedding, new room, new everything makes for a big transition. She didn't take right to it, as they say. She sat and played a bit in her bed for a bit, lay down a couple of times, had her foot slip and fall between the bed and the wall twice and then proceeded to just try to get out of bed. I removed her from the room so Cecilia could go to sleep. Upon our leaving, James apologized to Cecilia for how much of a disturbance Felicity had been while she was trying to go to sleep. Cecilia's response was, "Too much noise! I'm trying to rest!" So, we will try again at naptime today when we won't have to worry about it disturbing Cecilia and we will put something between her bed and the wall to prevent further foot falling. It will take a little time, but it has begun.

When they aren't going to sleep, they love sharing the room together and frequently swap beds to sit and lay in.

Cecilia has been a bit too smart for her own good when it comes to potty training. We tried the reward for going in the potty trick. She would wear a pullup until she wanted a treat, then use the potty, claim her treat and get back into a pullup. Yeah. So that no work. If she wanted a treat and didn't even need to use the potty she would try, run back out to get a drink of water, try again, repeat and repeat until she could do it. Ever wonder if your kids are smarter than you are? So, how to make her want to use the potty more than when she just wants a treat? Well, we changed the rules. Now if she goes all day without peeing in a pullup (she isn't comfortable enough yet to do the other) she knows she will get a special treat after dinner. It hasn't motivated her enough yet though it did have some good results yesterday. So we added a sticker chart for her to put a sticker on each time she uses the potty. Yesterday it backfired when she got a hold of the stickers and went to town with them all over the chart. Today they are out of reach. It does result in her forced attempts to go though just to get more stickers. Again, I think it will just take time.


  1. Hahaha... yes, Cecilia is VERY smart! What a stinker. ;)

  2. Wow, you are brave!

    We took a different route on potty training. After agonizing and agonizing over it and reading about all sorts of methods I' finally decided there is no one right way, just what works best for you and your kids. At first I was appalled at the let your kids run around without pants approach. Still am. But then somehow I talked myself into something only a little less radical. We skipped the pull-ups altogether (except at naptime and nighttime, of course) and went straight to big girl underwear. We used a reward system of getting a piece of chocolate out of the jar-- at first every time she sat on the potty because B was really reluctant to do even that. Later only when she actually used it. Then, we phased it out. (It helped when we ran out of chocolate and there were only jellybeans left which she doesn't like as much.) Now she asks for a treat maybe every two or three days.

    Going straight to underwear meant quite a few accidents in the first couple of weeks. But I found that to be a huge help in motivation. For the first couple of days it didn't seem to be working and she didn't seem all that uncomfortable getting wet and had a hard time getting the idea of stopping to use the bathroom. Partly I think she just didn't quite understand how to control those muscles yet.
    But as soon as Bella mastered the physical control aspects, she seemed to decide she really didn't like having wet underwear and pants and so had a huge motivation to learn to hold it and run to the toilet when she had to go.

    Now we haven't had a waking-time accident in a month I think. My big struggle is to get her out of the pullup and into underwear as soon as she gets up otherwise she just pees or poops in it.

    Just a thought, that if Cecilia is too comfortable with the pul-up then maybe underwear might give her a bit of motivation to get over the next hump. If you're willing to put up with having to do the extra wash and clean up the messes, which I'd totally understand if you weren't with all the other changes.

  3. domesticaecclesiaJune 17, 2009 at 4:45 PM

    It is wonderful Bella has done so well with potty training! We did try the underwear only approach and for peeing in the potty Cecilia had no problem whatsoever and only a few accidents. The problem we ran in to is that she would get so anxious over pooping in the potty that, after a few times doing it in the potty without realizing what she was in fact doing, she would refuse to do any anywhere resulting in 4 days of constipation, mineral oil and juices and a lot of crying and misery. I'd have no problem taking away the pullups and coping with any messes if she would poop in the potty but if she refused to, then we are back to constipated misery, pullups, and square one. So right now I have to allow the pullups even if just so she will not get constipated. We even have a rule that she has to drink some form of juice with breakfast in the morning just to make sure she doesn't get backed up. I don't know how to make her more comfortable pooping on the potty though. We've tried videos, books, promised huge lollipops, etc. to no avail. She says it is "tough" and won't even try.

    Part of me wonders if I just should never have introduced her to a pullup - that she is simply too comfortable in it and it is different enough from a diaper - that she isn't overly motivated to get out of it. I don't think I will introduce Felicity to pullups and see if that might make a difference. Public toilets scare Cecilia as well which doesn't help either - especially those auto-flushing ones. She will open the bathroom door before I'm ready just to get away from those toilets before they flush. So I also have no brilliant ideas on how to handle a potty break when not at home.