Andale, correle!!

Orale mi gente! Aqui again, second post of the day, we are on a roll jajaja. La verdad es que I’ve had so many ideas on what I want to share with you, pero lo que me falta is the time!! It’s been busy, and as much as I wanted to just skip Javi’s teeball game last night and catch up with this stuff, I couldnt. Jajaja, Adoro being there to cheer him on and spend time with Mireya en el parque. Tambien, our familia y amigos joined us last night so we had a whole cheering section jaja. So fun. Bueno, hoy vamos a chismear en Potty Training! This idea came to mind anoche leaving el parque porque Javi of course had to pee. Correle, andale!! Al arbol! Yup, Javi peed behind a tree at the park last night. Judge all you want, pero I wasn’t about to make him pee his pants either. Ademas, that moment brought back so many memories about potty training and how far we’ve come jaja. I have to share how we did it, and welcome your suggestions, tips and strategies in the comments below for Mireya, porque we’re still in it. Tengo Pizza con salsa valentina, vamonos!

P-O-T-T-Y — T-R-A-I-N-I-N-G. 101. Jajaja just kidding, I really am no expert at this milestone, pero I do have some experience. Como los chamacos don’t come with instructions or a curriculum to follow in order to make sure you’re on the “right” track, it’s always a challenge for me. I thrive on knowing what is expected and what I need to do to get there. Pero con los chamacos, even if you’ve had one, or five – it’s always a very different experiencia. We’re constatamente questioning ourselves, Cuando do I do this? Como do I do that? Porque my chamacos does/doesn’t do this or that? It can get pretty draining if you’re constatamente questioning and doubting yourself. Por supuesto you don’t want to do the “wrong” thing. Uuufff, I hear ya mama.

Lo bueno is that our chamacos are the perfect guide. Si, ellos mismos will let you know when they’re ready for new and bigger things. Claro they’re not going to just start talking and telling you everything, pero tu sabes what I mean. Ellos te van a decir by their actions, their interest, their reactions and through your and their level of comfort and confidence. Los chamacos can feel, read and feed off of your own energia. If you are unsure or nervous about algo, they will be too. Intenta approaching things with confidence and assure yourself y ellos tambien that it will work out.

Cuando empezar? It depends how you want to approach it, and what works para ti y tu familia. Para mi, we started potty training Javi at 6 months old and he was fully potty trained by 2 years old. Si, bien chiquito. It wasn’t anything I planned for or intended on doing, pero asi paso. I was inspired by Erica Mendez, wife of the famous boxer, Danny Garcia. Ella y yo were pregnant together, in labour together y our chamacos are one day apart. No, we’re not reaaaaaaaal amigas, pero I follow her in the ‘gram jajaja We’ve talked though!! Lo mejor ever. Jajaja. De todos modos, I saw on her IG that she had started potty training her chamaca as soon as she was able to sit up on her own.

Obviamente they can’t tell us when they need to go, so it’s more about timing. Con Javi, he would always do his poopoorupoo at the same time every morning at 11am. En vez de verlo do his business in his pamper and then have to clean him up, empece a ponerlo en el potty. I would notice his squat and perhaps a grunt, and quickly bring him to the potty. Some may opt to have a plastic portable potty nearby, which worked well for us later on. Pero a ese tiempo, we had bought him a potty seat for the real toilet. Ahi lo sentaba and he would go on the toilet. This was amazing for us porque en primero, I didn’t have to do poopy pampers anymore, y en segundo, Javi was so used to the toilet and never feared or felt uncomfortable with it.

Cuando Javi could actually tell me “poopoo” it got a lot easier. We then purchased a portable potty seat to put on top of public toilets, y asi he could continue his potty training even outside of our casa. Obviamente, there were times where he had to do his poopoo in his pamper, pero it was so rare and when he did, he felt really uncomfortable so he was beginning to understand the purpose of the potty.

Mas despues, when Javi could walk (9months old, too soon, ya se) we placed our portable potty nearby in the living room. Esto gave Javi the opportunity to approach the potty on his own when he needed to go. This also aided when it came time for us to get him there faster as the peeing part was a lot trickier. Speaking of which, we left the peeing training until he was about 18 months, porque we knew it was too much for all of us to try and tackle at that point. Nadie was ready yet.

When the time came, we had all the preguntas. Do we make him stand to pee? Sit to pee? I don’t want pee all over everything, pero I want him to learn properly. ???? All the questions. Pues, para mi familia, we decided to train him sitting down at first, unless he was outside and then he would just stand. Si, let the opinions continue jajaja We let him pee in the backyard when we were training, to avoid an accident. Maybe even some parking lots too beside our car.. Maybe even in your flower pots… just kidding jajaja Te juro we didn’t go that far jaja.

Primero, sitting. Despues, standing. Javi learned to do his peeing while sitting. We would make sure he was intaking lots of liquids, obviamente so that he could and would want to pee y despues we would time it as well. Cada hora we would bring him to the potty, even if he didn’t do anything. We made sure he went when he woke up, before naps, after naps, before leaving the house, upon leaving places, arriving a casa, y finalmente before bedtime. Wheeeeewwwwwf, ya se, it’s exhausting. Ademas, so nerve wrecking jajaja Nunca sabes if he’s going to pee or not.

Cuando Javi started getting the hang of this potty training business and was more consistent with letting us know, ahi es cuando we started showing him to stand. Esto was around the time he was 20 months old. *Side note* The spark that really got him telling us was all gracias to Daniel Tiger. jajaja En verdad! His potty training episode and clever, catchy song of “if you have to go potty, stop, and go right away!.. Flush, wash and be on your way!” <– If you sang that in tune, you are mi gente!! jajaja* The standing while peeing began mainly porque when he would tell us, it was always last second – entonces ahi vamos corriendolo to the bano and there was no time to get his seat in place, remove his bottoms and plop him up on that seat. He would have peed on me de seguro. Entonces, when we would get in there, we would get him to stand. Aim at the agua!! Jajaja Por supuesto, there was always pee all over the toilet and our floor, hasta our walls sometimes. It’s part of the process, or at least ours. Jajaja. Usamos los Cheerios method, where they try to aim at the cheerios. Eso le ayudo, pero ultimately, it was with time and practice. Hasta hoy, he sometimes needs reminders.

Pack extra clothes. Tal vez you continued to do this from when your chamaco was only an infant, pero I know that I let it go after a while. Pero cuando empece with potty training, you will need extra clothes just in case. Not just pantalones, digo the whole closet, one of everything: a camisa, pantalon, undies, socks even shoes. No te imaginas how messy it can get when they pee themselves jaja.

Cuando Javi would sleep, we kept a pull up on him. Cuando sabes when they can go without one? ← Actually have an answer to that: when they consistently wake up dry. Te digo, los chamacos will guide you and show you when they’re ready. Be patient.

PRAISE PRAISE PRAISE. Taaaaaan importante is all the praise you give your chamaco, and yourself – let’s be honest! Celebrate those small accomplishments of making it to the potty, even if it’s solamente una vez al dia. Big it a big deal, porque lo es!! We always cheered, clapped y would tell Javi how proud we were of him. Despues, con los pees, we tried doing a sticker reward (so Maestr@ of us, ya se), pero la verdad, it didn’t really stick with Javi <– see what I did there, jejeje! We decided to use something he LOVED and didn’t get often. Chocolate. jajaja Bueno, we used those mini M&M’s and he would receive ONE of those tiny chocolates when he would pee in the potty. La verdad, we only had to do this for a couple dias, and he really got the hang of it. No queriamos que it would turn into a habit or expectation, entonces mi esposo ate the rest of them and we told him they were finished. All done. *This was at almost 2 years old if you’re wondering age*

Be consistent. Once you decide to start, be committed, consistent and no te rajes! Consistency will make the process go faster and less challenging. Esto significa that you have to get your team trained too. Whoever will be participating with the potty training needs to be aware of the techniques, schedule and strategies that have been instilled and successful. Tal vez your partner, your suegros, your daycare maestros, whoever it may be – ellos tienen que saber. This is when teamwork becomes dreamwork jajaja, I cannot think mi suegra enough for her support and efforts in helping with potty training mis chamacos.

Pottry training mi chamaco was a lot easier than mi chamaca. Supongo porque con Javi he could pee wherever and whenever he needed to. Con la chamaca we don’t have as much freedom. Bueno, not like it’s normal for Javi to be doing it either, pero tu sabes what I mean. I can’t imagine squatting Mireya behind a tree to pee (as a toddler) jaja that’s just a huge mess waiting to happen, no gracias.

Con Mireya, I didn’t start at 6 months como lo hice con Javi. I tried to, pero I couldn’t maintain consistency being on Mat Leave with a toddler and an infant. Fue demasiado. This is how I can attest to the importance of consistency. Jajaja. Mireya I would say probably started at 1 year old. Ya podia caminar, and her poo symptoms are always the same: grunt, squat and push. Jajaja. I used the same techniques que con Javi, and would use her cues to get her to the toilet with the potty seat on top. She didn’t take to the toilet as easily as Javi did. Tal vez porque I started later with her and she was more aware of her surroundings and something different happening. Mas libros, videos and shadowing Javi y yo when we would go. Pero igual, con tiempo she got used to it. Since then, it’s rare for her to do her poopoorupoo in her pamper.

As for the peeing, pues it’s still a work in progress. Mi suegra is the one who is mainly doing her potty training as she is the one who cares for her during the day from Lunes a Viernes. She is using the same strategies as we did with Javi: keeping hydrated and getting on the potty every hour. Mireya still wears pampers to sleep in and pull ups during el dia. She is not quite there yet to attempt the no pull up business. Cuando she can keep her pull ups consistently dry, we will get her into the undies stage. She does demonstrate an interest in going to the potty, and reads her books, sits and talks, sings, lo que sea to pass her potty sitting time. Jajaja It’s pretty cute actually, pero a lot of work.

Ahora with dos chamacos and extra curriculars, these milestones take a bit longer to accomplish. Pero I know we will get there in no time, and we are not in a rush. Claro, it saves us money when we’re not buying pampers all the time, pero igual we don’t want to pressure or make the process stressful for our chamacos. Ellos son muy inteligentes and when the time is right, it will click and they’ll have it down pact. Vas a ver.

No importa what stage of potty training you’re in: in the midst of it, about to empezar, finishing up – just be patient and consistent. Know that accidentes will happen and it’s not a reflection of you as a “trainer” or as your chamaco as a “trainee”. It’s simply a process. Research different approaches and choose one at a time to test out. Tu y tu familia may prefer or experience success with one over the other. Let your team of caregivers in on the game plan and have everyone committed. You’ll also be thankful when you need to turn to them for support tambien. Y finalmente, share!! Share what’s worked for you y tu familia, what didn’t work and all the funny stories that happen along the way, porque you never know who else may need a suggestion, tips or a good laugh to get them through this big milestone. Rooting for all Mamas!! Buena suerte & animo!!

PS. Happy National Potty Training Month! (US)

*Pic from IG @andapalpr follow and grab some cute merch.*

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