I think I wrote awhile ago that we're potty training Sakura and I'm sad to say that it's not going as well as I had hoped. She just doesn't care if she pees in a diaper, training pants, underwear, on the couch or in the toilet. About half of it is my fault because during the summer vacation we were all over the place and I wasn't being consistent with her but the other half rests entirely on her stubborn little shoulders. She's all for going on the potty because she gets a candy and she is also able to sit on big toilets without her training seat if we're not home but sometimes she's just having too much fun at whatever she's doing so she just goes in her training pants. She'll even come and tell me afterwards like "Oops... can you change me?".
Since part of the problem was me I knew I could at least fix that. I thought about it all last week and on Saturday I switched her to panties. All day, every day, panties only. She knew there would always be a safety net so I needed to take that away. When I was potty-training Emi I realized that this is one of the first experiences in life where children have the power to make the decisions. I can take her to the potty as much as I want to but at some point the decision has to come from inside of her to take it to the next level and always use the potty of her own initiative. Basically discipline doesn't work in this area so I haven't been getting mad at Sakura if she doesn't use the potty, but bribery and praise both work really well so we've been doing a lot of that. I knew that she understood what was expected of her so I bumped her up to the next level (she loves her Dora panties) and crossed my fingers that it would work.
On Sunday she pee'd literally on the church ten minutes before I had planned to take her to the potty so I cleaned her (and the floor) up but I hadn't brought any diapers or other underwear on purpose to change her into because I didn't want her to think it's that easy. At first she didn't seem to mind but as soon as we got home she asked for more panties so I could see that it did bother her a little bit. On Monday she pee'd on the couch while Chikara was watching her so that was a good lesson for both of them! But other than that there haven't been any other problems. I was most concerned about nighttime but that's where she's done the best. She appears by our bedside in the morning when she has to pee and then she goes right back to bed. In general, I've been impressed but we'll see how the next few weeks go.
I've also made a change with Natsuki this week. One thing she has done that her older sisters never did was take an extra nap each night. Usually she wakes up at 8am, has a nap from 10am -12pm, another nap from 2pm-4pm and then a nap from 7pm-8pm after which I wake her up for a bottle and then she goes right back to sleep until the morning. Her sisters never did the 7pm nap but I think she's just overwhelmed by all the noise and commotion at that point and needs a break! I started noticing that sometimes she didn't really sleep and then a few times last week she was wide awake after that nap and didn't want to go back to sleep right away so I surmised that it was probably time to drop that nap.
So the new plan is to keep her up until 7:30pm, then give her a bottle, change her clothes and then put her to sleep whenever that is finished, around 7:45pm. I'll follow that schedule for a few weeks and then push the whole thing back to 8pm. We did this with her the last two nights and she did great. She wasn't overtired, she drank all of her formula, she was quiet when we put her down in her bed and she slept until the morning without waking up. Probably next month we'll be dropping her morning nap but so far she seems to need it and she still sleeps great in the afternoon so I'm counting my blessings and sticking with it!
Personally I am not liking having to wake up early in the morning again. 7:20am is too early for me but I am enjoying spending a little time alone with Emi each morning. Both of us aren't morning people so we move at the same speed which makes it a nice start to the day.