Sunday, March 7, 2010

Answers about potty training, time-outs, toddler beds, etc.

Jenni over at The Foster Family asked a series of questions on her blog today that I decided to answer in a blog format due to the length my response was going to answer these questions with your own experiences...please head over to The Foster Family and make a comment.

* When did or will you start potty training?   We decided to start potty training at 26 months. They were a little over 2 yrs old and it was a time when I planned to not have to leave the house for one week.  We had a talk with our girls letting them know that we were going to be making a transistion in to being a "big girl" when we decided that we were going to start potty training...all I did was put them in real "big girl" panties and let them know to tell me when they had to go.  Obviously they were going to have a couple of accidents but it was a very positive experience and they didn't like the feel of pee on their legs.  Within 24 hours, my girls were going on the potty during the day with a pullup at night.  It took them a little while to go #2 in the potty, which was fine.  They would go as soon as I put a pull up on them at night.  Then one day they just started going in the potty!  ***One REALLY important thing to remember is no matter how long it takes them to potty train...they can NEVER be in trouble for going in their panties.  It has to be a very positive experience or you can ruin them and they will have an issue until they are in their adolescence.  Every child will have a different potty training journey...just be patient!
Oh...and one more thing that we did that was very instrumental in helping our girls was I always kept a potty chair in the back of our Expedition.  With a large bottle of water to rinse out the potty chair, toss it out and go again.  This was so helpful because how can you expect a toddler that is learning to potty train to hold it.  I believe you confuse them if you put a diaper on them after they have started using "big girl" instead of doing that, we would pull over where ever we were and they could go in the back of the car.  There were some people that thought this was so rediculous, but all that mattered to me were my girls and that they were moving forward in potty training and not backwards.  This was a key component in that. 

* When did or will you move into toddler beds?  Prior to going to toddler beds we wanted to prepare the girls for when they were in toddler beds, so we decided to put the side of their crib down. This was an opportunity for them to be able to get out of bed and for them to know they weren't supposed to. This allowed us to be able to put the side back up if they were not listening. We did this as soon as they started potty training to indicate that they were now "big girls". We always told them that when they wake up in the morning with a dry pull up...this would mean that they were really big girls and that would be the day that we would put up their toddler beds. It actually happened when we were on before we even unloaded the bags out of the car, we had their cribs taken out and their new "big girl" beds put up. It made them so proud of themselves because the transition of their bed was made possible because of their accomplishments with potty training. It made them feel like they really earned it.

* What types of activities do you do to entertain your toddler?  When my girls were toddlers, I was always busy. I was really big into the mother of mutiples groups, we had yahoo toddler playgroups in our area, there were mom's clubs I was a part of as well as looking into the community and finding out what things they had available for kids on a weekly basis...look up your local First 5 group for more info on that. My girls and I were either in a playgroup or on a fieldtrip every day. It was a blast! Not to mention favorite website is and a lot of times you can get a free subscription to that magazine. Tons of ideas.

* When should we drop the sippy cup?  I was blessed to be able to breast feed my girls for the first year and a week. That was when they went to a sippy cup...never a bottle, just breast to sippy cup (I was proud of that lol). They were not on a sippy cup for too soon as they demonstrated that they could put their cup down with it still standing up and be consistent with that. We started taking the lid off of those little cups and would put very very little water in it. We would let them get used to this and then add a little bit more at a time.  For the person that said..."Don't cry over spilled milk"...they obviously didn't have twins!!  Expect spills and many of them. :)

* How do you handle time outs?   We once went to a parenting seminar with the woman who wrote "Positive Discipline from A to Z" (which is a great book that I recommend by the way). What she said was that Time-Outs are considered very negative and almost make them feel bad about themselves. The idea of a time-out is good but the actual way that time-outs are done make them ashamed of themselves. My girls were very little when we saw this woman speak so as soon as we started "time-outs"...we called them (and still do) "taking a break" is not a negative thing. They are allowed to bring a book or a stuffed animal with them...basically the idea of it is just getting them out of the environment or situation they were in for a moment to gather their thoughts and then they are fine. The time of the break would be a minute per year they are old. When asking them to take a break, we would make sure they didn't feel bad about themselves...but that they knew why they were in it. How we did that was that the break wasn't over until they came and talked to mom or dad (depending on who asked them to take a break). What I would do is ask them...why did you have to take a break? They would most of the time know but sometimes they would not know. I wanted them to know what they did that was causing them to have to take a break. Then I would say to them, what could you have done differently...and we would discuss other alternatives that might have solved the problem without them being in trouble. They are now 6 almost 7 years old and we still do this same practice and always have.

One more thing... is that we have them apologize to each other when they did something to the other that they did on purpose. After one of them apologizes, the other one will always say I forgive you. In the event that they did something by accident, saying "i'm sorry" would be fine...but when they do things on purpose, we want them to acknowledge what they did, what they could have done different and then apologize for it. Whoever they apologize to...always tells them I forgive you and then we hug.

These are just my suggestions and what have worked for me with my may not work for you.



  1. I am your latest follower from FF!!! Your blog is definitely informative, I will be hanging around for awhile.

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  2. Hey just stopping by to say Hi from Friday Follow!

    Happy Follow Friday!


  3. I came across your blog from "Friday Follow" and am now following you via Google Friend Connect. I look forward to reading more of your posts. Come on over and visit us when you get a free moment. <3

  4. Happy Friday Follow! I'm your newest follower! I love finding new blogs to read. I have a 19 month old daughter so these tips are SUPER helpful! Thanks!

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    Have a great weekend!