Even those hazy, sleepless first nights of having our firstborn…

Even those hazy, sleepless first nights of having our firstborn home are nothing compared to trying to potty train that first child. Especially a boy. I’ve been using tips from blog posts — from Simply Modern Mom and These Are The Days — to get us started, and as we got deeper and deeper into potty training, I found more tips from It’s ALL Good in Mommyhood and from a blogger friend’s wife, who recently potty trained her toddler in 3 days.

Here’s what I’ve learned so far:

—If you have a svelte child, go for the Gerber cloth training pants, which you can find at Target. We initially bought the Babies R Us type, but they were so baggy and my son totally hated wearing them. The Gerber training pants say they’re for kids 28-32 pounds, but they fit Mike (who is 26 pounds) nicely, without being too loose or too tight. —Buy a combo potty seat — the type with a removable seat and that can be later be used as a step. We have a Baby Bjorn potty seat that’s just sitting in our living room, gathering dust now. Hopefully, Chris will put it to good use when he’s ready. —Most guides are very specific on the use of punishment and spanking during potty training. I’m not going to say that Mike is any more stubborn than other kids, but he’s just at that point where a swat on the legs underscores “No pee pee on the floor!” much better than trying to run him back and forth from the accident scene and the potty 10 times. —One of the difficult things about potty training boys is trying to get them to sit still for a relatively long period of time. Early on, he whined and cried a lot with my husband. Later, when I sat with him, I fired up YouTube on my iPhone and found potty-related videos for him to watch. That kept him still for much longer, and I think if we’d done that earlier, maybe he would’ve relaxed enough to do a #2. —My husband and I followed the advice of These Are The Days pretty closely, but I would add that you should also ply your child with fresh fruit, so as to encourage a bowel movement. Gross, I know, but pooping in the potty seems to be a whole other monster to tackle.

We were hoping to get further on Day 1 than we did — Michael managed to trickle out some pee after two accidents, had a good pee after getting spanked following another couple accidents, and another trickling pee before dinner — but you have to roll with the punches. Tomorrow, we’ll be staying home from church to try to reinforce the potty training. While we will be putting Mike in diapers at night for now, we will be sending him to daycare in training pants. Dun dun dun…..!