Thursday, October 27, 2011

Day 4 Blues

Preston is three and about to turn four.  He has been daytime potty trained now for quite some time.  We were fortunate enough to catch that window of time when he was ready.  As for nighttime potty training, that’s a different story.

Preston has been wearing a pull-up at bedtime for a while now.  At first we didn’t really work at it.  As he turned three, he still wanted a cup of milk before going to bed, and we allowed it.  At about three and a half, we began noticing that he would wake up dry, so we started noting it.  We cut out milk before bed, and it seemed to work well.  There wasn’t a consistent pattern, but there were dry pull-ups.

Early in the summer, Preston saw a commercial on television for the “bear workshop” as he called it.  “Mama, I want to go there, again!”  He had been there for a friend’s birthday party, and he loved it.  Right then I saw an opportunity to strike a deal.  “Okay, Preston, we will go to the bear workshop if you can be dry five nights in a row!”  He thought it was a great idea, and we shook on it.

When we struck the deal, Preston was consistently dry two or three nights in a row, and then he would be wet again.  We thought we would quickly be making a trip to the bear workshop, but that’s when we began to notice Day 4.

Day 1 – dry, Day 2 – dry, Day 3 – dry (We’re getting close!), Day 4 – uh-oh!  Let’s start again.
Day 1 – dry, Day 2 – dry, Day 3 – dry, Day 4 – uh-oh!

We began a daily incentive of chocolate milk.  Chocolate milk has always been a treat at our house rather than the norm.  Once we saw that Day 5 was very difficult to get to, we decided to offer chocolate milk.  On days that Preston was wet, he would be devastated, not only because it wrecked his plan to go to the bear workshop, but also because that meant he didn’t get chocolate milk.

The day finally came that we beat Day 4!  All that was left was to make it to Day 5.  We were thrilled!  Preston was so excited!  We made such a big deal over it, and Day 5 finally came, but Preston was wet.  Preston and I both lay in his bed that morning and cried.  We were so close.

About two weeks later in late September, we finally conquered Day 5.  We celebrated that morning and made big plans to go to the bear workshop that night even though it was in the middle of the week.  Preston was excited, and it was worth it.  He picked out his special bear, placed his heart in it and fluffed him up.  He then gave him a “shower” (Preston’s favorite part), dressed him and thought up the perfect name, Black Bear-y.

We wondered how long that stretch would last.  Would Day 5 be the end?  No!  Preston made it to Day 13.  We’ve been so proud of him.  Our journey isn’t over yet.  We still count the dry days, but we are getting there.  

Do you have ideas on how to defeat night time potty training, once and for all?

Julie Swink is a Sr. Marketing Specialist for Texas Health Resources and mother of two.

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