Monday, October 20, 2008

Revisiting The Potty Struggle

It's been a full two years since we first tried to introduce the idea of using a potty to Cordy. We've tried nearly every technique to get her to use the potty, and while she will use it and stay dry at school now, she still resists at home and won't do it at all on the weekend.

I was offered the chance to review the old favorite Once Upon A Potty from Parent Bloggers, and decided that it was worth a try. The book has been around for years, and I think nearly everyone has heard of it, but we still didn't have it.

The book is actually two books - one designed for a boy, and one designed for a girl. The girl book follows the story of Prudence, as told by her mother. It tells of how Prudence has always used diapers since she was a baby, but now she's been given a potty to use and at first is very confused. But with a lot of patience and a lot of sitting, she eventually figures it out.

I really like that the book begins with a very brief and age-appropriate anatomy lesson of where each bodily excrement comes from. It was also nice to see that Prudence was allowed to play with the potty at first while she tried to figure out what it was, even wearing it as a hat in one picture. The images are simple but clear and get the point across easily.

Cordy enjoyed reading the book, listening all the way through and then asking to read it again over and over. She especially loved the part where Prudence sat and sat and sat...she giggled and repeated it with me as we read an entire page of "sat and sat..." And she showed a lot of understanding about where everything comes from.

She didn't recognize the potty in the picture at first, insisting that it wasn't a potty and it didn't look anything like her potty. The potty in the story is a little old-fashioned looking - it looks more like a Victorian chamber pot than the plastic potty you might find in a store. I also changed the words a little when reading it to her - the book refers to Wee-Wee and Poo-Poo, but I preferred to call them pee and poop, since those are the words we use.

Has the book helped at all with her potty training? While I'd love to report she's completely potty trained, that still isn't the case. But it has shown her that sometimes she has to sit for a while before anything happens, and she'll now give it a minute or two before declaring she's done and asking to leave the bathroom. And more importantly, her little sister Mira has been following along as well, and now follows me into the bathroom to sit on the potty (fully-clothed, but still) every chance she gets. I think Mira might be potty trained faster than Cordy.

The book also comes with a CD, including the Joshua and Prudence Theme song, The Potty Song, and a read-along of the book. The songs are very jazzy in nature - not bad at all, but Cordy also wasn't very interested. She did like the read-along, though.

There's a reason Once Upon A Potty is one of the most read potty books over the years - it's clear in message, it explains the process without pressure, and it helps make the idea of the potty less frightening.

Want to win one? If you have a boy, or know someone with a boy of potty training age, leave a comment below to win the boy version of this book and CD. One winner will be selected at random after Friday, October 24.


Mel said...

Well, it will be a while before Adam needs any help in this department, but I vaguely remember this book, I think when my mom was potty training my sister. It'll be neat to see the new one.

Liz said...

I have a boy and he will be soon to that age. I would love to get him out of diapers. I already have another baby and it would be great to only be changing one set of diapers and not 2. Sounds like a great book and I am totally clueless to how to potty train. I need help. :)