Thursday, February 7, 2013
I have not really blogged about potty training Alex even though it has been on my mind for the past year. Three year olds are supposed to be potty trained, right? Boys may take longer, but I assumed that some sort of switch would turn on around the time Alex turned three. When we moved to Cupertino, I considered joining the local YMCA until I found out that Alex would be in the infant/toddler room for their child care while I worked out unless he was potty trained. One of the preschool/daycare options that I visited would have kept him with the younger kids until he was potty trained. As a parent of the three year old, potty training can become a big deal.
When I discussed this with Alex's new pediatrician, she said that only about half of kids are potty trained right at age three. She has not been concerned about the timing of Alex's potty training and gave lots of helpful tips. The preschool/daycare that we chose does not hold back kids based on potty training, and Alex's teachers have been very helpful in the process. I kept looking for signs that Alex would be ready to potty train. Some kids want to be clean, but Alex does not care about that. He likes to play in the dirt and would sit in a soiled diaper or pull-up. We tried sticker charts, rewards, and encouragement with little progress, but Alex had also been through a lot of changes in the past year due to our moves.
As we started the new year and Alex approached age four, I went back to the pediatrician. Again, she shared good advice but was not concerned. We started a new approach with the countdown of Alex's last big box of pull-ups. We started a new sticker chart. There was still only a little progress until the end of Janaury. One Sunday, I reminded Alex that he has a bunch of underwear. We moved it to its own special drawer in his closet. (My parents actually bought those plastic drawers at the beginning of college for my first dorm room.) Alex became really interested in wearing his superhero underwear. He's had minimal accidents during the past week and a half and now prefers to wear underwear over pull-ups. He still needs reminding and gets distracted, but he is doing a great job!
I took this photo a year ago, and called Alex "Captain Underpants" when he put the underwear on his head. He still thinks that this photo is funny, but I expect that may change in about ten years.