Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Training Time!

Yep, training time. Unfortunately, I don't mean physical training, which is what I should be doing to get myself into better shape right now. I don't mean athletic training either, which is my former profession, but one that I am no longer certified to do legally as of the end of 2011. Bummer. I'm talking about potty training and sleep training. Oh yes, ladies and gentlemen, that is the exciting life I lead now as a parent of two little boys! ;)

As Ethan is quickly approaching his third birthday next month (um, wasn't it just Christmas?!?), we decided it was time to start getting serious about potty training. When Josh accepted the offer for his new position in September, and we knew that moving would be coming soon after that, we decided to hold off on any attempts at training at that point. Now that we have settled into our apartment here in Tennessee, we felt we could move forward with encouraging him to use the potty. As much as I love changing diapers and all, it's not exactly the cheapest form of fun out there. There are so many methods to accomplish this ultimate goal and we had to decide which route we wanted to take. Currently, we haven't been super strict about making sure he sits on the potty very frequently, but instead we're trying to rely on him telling us when he needs to go. I'm a believer that kids need to decide they are ready before it's really going to happen. Unfortunately, right now he has good days and bad days. Some days he will tell us up to two or three times that he needs to go, but the next day he might not tell us at all. Sigh. We're also still using diapers all of the time, though he has picked out some big-boy undies that he liked. We need to decide when we want to give those a try. Due to the amazing properties the new Pampers Cruisers diapers possess, it is hard for kids to feel any wetness at all now when they pee. Perhaps if he felt wet if he peed in undies, it would motivate him to want to use the potty more?? We are also trying out a rewards system for him. We keep a calendar posted in the bathroom with room for him to put a sticker on it every time he does #1 or #2 on the toilet.

Every time he racks up five stickers, he gets a new Hot Wheels car! We thought this would help since the boys lives for cars. Seriously. Check out some of my FB pics if you don't believe me! He got to pick out the cars while we were at the store, as we thought this might help motivate him as well. Due to the lack of #2 happening in the toilet, we have also told him that he will get a car every time he does that. I wish that was working better! :/ Why do they love to go hide to do that? :(

Any suggestions from other parents who have successfully trained or are currently potty training their little ones?

For now, I'm seeing a lot of this...hehehe! When did he get so big??

The other kind of training going on at the Seeley household right now is sleep training. Don't get me wrong, I love my dear little Noah. He really is a great baby. But I love sleep too and he wasn't letting me get enough of it; uninterrupted that is. I guess that boy wanted to make sure that I got my money's worth out of the nice, comfy chair I bought for the nursery before he was born? ;) Yep, I spent many nights sleeping in that chair when he was a newborn and I continued to log many minutes in it during the wee hours of the night up until this past week. That is when I turned into tough mommy.

Yep, that's the chair. It really is a very comfortable chair that I bought at Babies 'R Us. Fortunately, they offer 20% off coupons quite frequently and I used one for the chair and one for the ottoman too! :) I wanted one without wood, so that it would go with both the nursery furniture or our bedroom furniture, if I decide to move it there at some point in time.

So, at his four-month check-up, I was told that we could start thinking about sleep training, because little Noah shouldn't need to continue to eat every two to three hours throughout the entire night at that age. When he reached the six-month mark and he still wasn't making it through the night without waking, I started thinking more about this. From a physical standpoint, he should be able to go 12 hours without food at night. He had doubled his birthweight and had been eating solid foods twice a day for a few weeks.

I must admit that I am probably partly to blame for the issue. It was easier to just pacify him at night when he started wailing by giving in and nursing him, at which time he would promptly go back to sleep. I am pretty sure he had me trained. :/ And overachiever that I am, well-trained I was. He would wake up and cry and I would promptly get out of bed and rescue him. Enter tough mommy. I now let him cry. Yep, you heard me. Alert the press. For the past week, if he has cried at night between the time we put him to bed and 7 am (that means 10 to 11 hours of sleep), I have let him be. Surprisingly, it doesn't take much crying and he is back to sleep! Imagine that, those experts really do know what they are talking about sometimes! ;) When we started, he was still waking at least two or three times throughout the night, but the crying was lasting only three to five minutes each time. After just a few nights of that, he stopped waking up! So what had become a habit for him, was easily broken by just letting him put himself to sleep like he had recently learned to do at night and nap time. So, I'm crossing my fingers that we are in the clear now - that we have taught him how to sleep through the night. It has been amazing for me, that is for sure! Since sometime in the middle of my pregnancy, I had only had maybe two nights of uninterrupted sleep (he had a couple lucky nights when he was younger)? I have been feeling like a new woman! Yay!

And here is one of the best sights for a sleep-deprived mama...

Yep, that is my little Noah sleeping soundly in his crib. Just like his big brother, he's a tummy sleeper. Once he mastered rolling from his back to his tummy, there was no stopping him during sleep time. I still continue to put him down on his back, but within seconds, he has flipped himself over to his tummy, whether he is awake or asleep when I put him down. Too cute. :)

So what kind of training are you up to lately? ;)

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