Friday, July 13, 2012

Feeds and Toileting, No Big Whoop

Since life is not hectic enough, I've decided to add on toilet training Leepo.

He is a very lovable child, but once he sets his mind to something (or I should say against something) it takes a tough-as-steel parental decree to get him to do otherwise. I was avoiding doing that because everyone kept telling me that boys need more time to make the transition out of diapers, and he still has a few months until he's at the average age for toileting among boys. Yesterday, however, after changing his diaper of what can only be described as 'man poop,' I'd had enough. I figured he's going to spazz out a few months from now or he's going to spazz out now, so why don't I just get all this over with while I'm on maternity leave and have some control over the situation?

There is this factor of having a newborn who likes to feed every 1-2 hours, which complicates things just a little. What can I say? I'm a glutton for punishment, like most doctors, frankly.

Lo, the decree has been made!

Last night I turned to Leepo and said "This diaper change is your last one during the daytime. You can wear diapers at night, but tomorrow you're going to wear big boy underwear." He didn't like that one bit. He knelt by the sofa, placing his face in his hands (he has a touch for the dramatic, what can I say?) and every time Tim and I tried to comfort him he'd say: "Don't! I don't want you to talk like THAT."

I should explain right now that toilet training was not sprung upon him for the first time just then. We did have build-up to this moment. There was a lot of talk about making this transition, even some earnest attempts to train him in the past, but the moment I've just described is the official 'there's no going back' starting point.

And we're not so cruel as to deny him a reward. Or two.

We told him he'd get cookies. His eyes lit up. Shrewd business man that he is, Leepo said "I'm getting cookies and a big working truck from Goodwill!" -Like how he slipped that last part in? We couldn't help but agree to the terms.

So this is day #1. I know people are divided over their love/disdain for the Itzbeen, but I dragged this out to handle both Beanie's needs and Leepo's toileting.

My system:
Diaper = Time since toileting Leepo
Bottle = Time since pumping milk (lets me know when to put it in the fridge)
Zzz = Time spent sleeping, also indicative of when Beanie needs a diaper change
* = Time since breastfeeding 

The rest of my gear includes the following:

  • Child toilet seat with handles
  • Training underwear
  • Construction-themed PJs and book. This is a combination of negative and positive reinforcement (thank you, psychiatry rotation!). Leepo does not want to soil his PJs because they are so cool. He is also starting to look forward to toilet time because that's when I read to him all of his ridiculously long books about building things.
  • Chux pads. After years of treating incontinence in the elderly, traumatic brain/spinal cord injured populations, I've come to trust these. I ask Leepo to sit on a Chux when he's playing on the rug or sitting at the sofa to avoid a clean-up disaster.

I've also been reading up on this process all over the place, more recently looking at these tips (located through Pinterest, of course). **Nerd alert!** I admit to using some of my education on 'central' incontinence, as well. -Namely making use of the 'gastrocolic reflex' that assists bowel movement within an hour of eating (helps to time things) and making diet adjustments for more predictable patterns of voiding. 

Thing is, as wacky as this appears, adding toilet-training to the postpartum period has provided a nice opportunity to create "just us" time with my firstborn. Leepo gets my undivided attention when we're in the bathroom, which may end up being his favorite spot in the house afterall. 

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