Now that we are out of the woods (for now) and I can write this post with a clear head, I have to document our first attempt at potty training! It is definitely one for the books!
Cale had been showing lots of signs that he was ready to PT. He was aware of his body and when his diaper was wet or dirty, and he had been showing lots of interest in the toilets at our house.
So, although he was not quite 2.5, and he is a boy, I thought I would give it a go and just see how Cale would respond. I did think it would be nice to only have one child in diapers at a time, but I was holding it all loosely!
PT Day 1: When Cale woke up that morning, I broke out the big boy underwear and talked to him all about the big day ahead of us. I had different treats that I showed him, and explained that when he sat on the potty (regardless of if he actually went to the bathroom or not) he would get a treat! He was very excited....until it came time to sit and try. I pumped him full of liquids, sugary ones and all, and then it came time to try. He was very nervous at first...so much so that he started crying as he started to feel more of a need to go. We sat there and talked him through it (thankfully, Adam was off of work that day), and eventually, he did go pee-pee (or "peep" as he called it). He did not like the sensation of letting it all loose in his little potty, but when he saw how excited we got, he got excited too. He had a few accidents that morning, but we continued to praise him each time he tried to sit on the potty, and did not make a big deal of accidents. At nap time, we put him in a pull up and he went to sleep. When he woke, we had a few more accidents, and a few successes! By bath time, we were feeling like Day 1 of PT was overall successful...and then it was time for bed. We put a night diaper on him before bed (like we have every other night in the past), and it didn't seem to phase him, until we had tucked him in and closed the door. Before we knew it, he was crying and standing up in his bed - very unlike him. When we went it to make sure all was okay, he told us he needed to "poop", and although we were fairly confident that he did not, we told him that it was okay because he was wearing a diaper. He laid back down, and we kissed him goodnight again. And, so started the craziness. For the next 2.5 hours (until 10:30pm), we had an out-of-body experience with our child and his nighttime sleep. He started screaming (screams of terror), getting out of his bed (which he NEVER does), and coming out of his room (which has never happened). We kept taking him back to his bed, and he kept crying and screaming about needing to go to the bathroom. We were completely at a loss of what to do. Finally, he calmed down and went to sleep, out of pure exhaustion.
PT Day 2: The morning was much for successful, in the sense that Cale had no accidents!! Every time he needed to go to the bathroom, he told me! I was SO encouraged, and even had friends who had done the whole PT thing telling me that they were jealous of our experience (oh, if we only knew what was to come). Nap time rolled around, and I changed Cale into a diaper, and tucked him in. Then, the crying began. Although he did not try to get out of his bed, he stood in his bed and whined about going to the bathroom the entire 2 hours. I went into his room over 45 times, and by the end of nap time, both of us were exhausted! I decided it was time for a Target run to get out of the house. Cale stayed in his underwear, and did awesome at Target. We headed home, and had a normal evening. Cale was reluctant to go to bed, but we did the normal routine, with the normal night time diaper, and left the room. The crying/screaming ensued, and we spent 3 hours sitting in the hall, taking turns putting Cale back in his bed (over 150 times - no exaggeration).
PT Day 3: I called Cale's pediatrician first thing in the morning, concerned about Cale's sleeping patterns since starting the potty training. She told me that it was normal to have sleep disruptions with training, and to try a reward chart, but to hang in there. So, we did, and Day 3 went almost identical to Day 2, and we were all pulling our hair out. But, no accident on Day 3.
PT Day 4: I began to notice that no matter how much liquid I gave Cale, he was not peeing as often as I thought he should. I began to worry that he was holding it all in (never good), and when nap time was met with anxiety and crying/screaming and no sleep, I called the pediatrician again. It was a weekend, so I had to call the pediatrician on call and explain our situation all over again. As I was explaining what the last 4 days had looked like, she stopped me mid sentence and said, "Stop everything. Immediately. Put underwear away, but his potty away, and go back to diapers, pronto." She went on to tell me that she thought Cale was having anxiety about sleeping, because he was putting pressure on himself to not have any accidents, regardless of how we were responding to his accidents. Because he was fearful of having an accident, he was not going to sleep, because he knew that if he fell asleep, he would lose bladder control, and wet his diaper. She also mentioned that if we continued to push it, it could potentially turn into an anxiety disorder. Oh man. So, after nap time, we went into his room, told him that Mommy and Daddy had decided to put his big boy underwear away and try again another time. We put him back into diapers, and hoped he would forget the last four days!
Well, he didn't forget so quickly. Our boy, who had been falling asleep on his own for the better portion of his life, was now so anxious about sleeping that we were having to throw everything out the window, and were doing whatever it took to get him to sleep. That included holding his hand next to his bed until he fell asleep, sleeping on a pallet in his room all night, sleeping in the hallway (on the hardwoods) with his door open, and finally being able to all sleep in our own beds again, but not without 2-8 waking each night. We felt like we had a newborn all over again! Finally, after one entire month, his sleep patterns went back to normal.
So, the potty will not come out again for a while. I'm not crazy enough to try and potty train a toddler, and have a newborn, all at the same time. We'll wait until the new year and try again...eventually! :)