Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Me, John Rosemond, bed wetters and Potty Training 101

Since the picky eaters blog entry seemed to go over well, I'll go on to the other kid issue that seems to torture parents: potty training. I muddled through my first 2 kids (you'll remember that I had 4 in five years), my oldest two trained around 24 months with several weeks of messy underwear and soiled spots on the furniture. I still used diapers at night until around 30 months until they were consistently waking up dry. It wasn't torturous, but I do remember being very frustrated at times. I didn't give in though; when I made the switch from diapers to underwear, I didn't look back. And we made it.

Then #3 came along. And # 4 was born when #3 was 18 months old and I just didn't want to buy diapers for two. About that time I saw a John Rosemond article in our paper entitled, "The $75 and Naked Potty Training Method." I was intrigued. I like Rosemond; he's an old-fashioned, common sense child psychologist here in the South. I had read some of his material and had heard him speak, so I decided he must have the answer. Here's what he said to do:

At about 18 months of age, strip your little one naked from the waist down and put the potty chair where the can easily access it.  Tell them that they need to go poo and pee in the potty and that you will help them when they need to go. This is presuming you have already talked to them about the potty and explained how things are going to work. (An 18 month old understands far more than you think they do!) Then let them go. He explained that the child would urinate on the floor no more than 3 times before they "got it," and that, contrary to popular belief, it is not a wet diaper they don't like, it is the feeling of the mess running down their legs. The $75 was to clean your carpet after the 3 days was up. I was pumped! My husband was skeptical. We compromised. I put up baby gates so that sweet-pea was only allowed in the two rooms without carpet. I stripped him naked (it was summer and he LOVED that part) and showed him the potty. Having 2 older siblings, he was quite aware already. Then I let him go. He peed one time on the floor. I didn't make a fuss, I cleaned it up and told him to use the potty next time. He did! And that was it. It really worked! I was soooo excited. I couldn't wait to share my victory with my husband. Since this was working so well, I decided to just leave him naked for a few days. I was home- it was hot. No problems.

The problem came 3 days later when I tried to put pants on him. As soon as the pants were on, he would pee in them. As long as he was naked, he would go in the potty. Rosemond hadn't mentioned this! But...we did get it all worked out in a few days and he did a fabulous job. When #4 was 19-20 months, I did the same thing, except that I only kept the pants off for a day and it worked like a charm.

We did have one who was a wetter at night. It wasn't a consistant problem, just every so often. When the child turned about 6, I was getting concerned and my pediatrician recommended a product called "Starry," a sleep alarm device that wakes them up when they start to go. It did the trick and was well the worth the money. You can order it at

Hope this helps! What worked for you??

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