No More Gates, Diapers or Stroller!

My quadlings are nearly three years old and the time has come to fully embrace the arrival of potty training.


Ever since last weekend—and continuing on with fervor this weekend—we officially began our potty training campaign. Spearheaded by the husband, no less! I was perfectly fine to let the kiddos stay in diapers a little longer, but he was all motivated to start the process and, in turn, motivated the rest of us. We haven't read a single book or talked in depth to any other parents about any particular training process. Instead, we just sort of...started. We'd had a gradual introduction of the whole potty thing over the past many weeks. We had two small ones in the downstairs bathroom that they used of their own will from time to time and we'd purchased underwear and let them wear it whenever they showed interest. They accompanied us on our own, um, visits to the bathroom and we often began discussing how big kids use the toilet and so on.

So last weekend—in place of dressing up in green gear for St. Patrick's Day and venturing out to a bar to indulge in plenty of green beer, as was our former life pre-quads!—we pulled out the pint-sized undies and announced to the kids they'd all be wearing them and using the potty. They were excited and we also had a few disgruntled moments, like when Harrison insisted he wanted to wear a diaper, but we always won out and rewarded successful trips to the toilet with M&M's....because I have no shame in bribes when it comes to serious matters like this! There were several accidents over the weekend, as to be expected, and the kids were certainly unhappy when they happened since underwear doesn't absorb like they're used to with their diapers. But we've maintained our sort of leisurely approach to training and are making continual progress and improvement.

Kailey is 95% trained and Harrison and Logan aren't far behind her. Trystan is still dealing with constipation so we're working through that and giving her a little leeway with pull-ups as needed. We use nighttime diapers at bedtime and pull-ups for naps and some of our outings, and will incorporate undies for outings more frequently as I feel more confident. It was a big deal for me to become comfortable taking the quads out so much by myself, and I'm not willing to sacrifice all my "freedom" with that so pull-ups help me get by so I'm not scrambling for dry pants or worrying about how quickly we can get into a bathroom. Though anytime we do go anywhere, I have the kids use the toilet right before we leave the house, as soon as we arrive at our destination, right before we leave to head home and again as soon as we arrive at the house. I also keep a potty in the back of the suburban for emergencies and situations when a bathroom isn't available—it came in very handy during our visit to the park the other day!

Thanks to a fellow quad mom, I ordered this potty stool and this toilet seat to aid in our efforts and both have been invaluable! I highly recommend them, especially the toilet seat since it keeps you from constantly having to take a removable toddler seat on and off the toilet.

Moving away from toilet talk, we've breached other major milestones in our house! There are no more baby gates on the play room!!! The kids are loving it, even though they'd had a lot of freedom in the house already and we didn't use the gates much anymore. Just having them off the door frames makes the whole area seem so much more open. And we adults are enjoying spending more time in there with the kids now, as I added a recliner for extra seating and a lamp and magazines on the DIY wood crate side table I made on the fly.

We've left our DIY magnetic chalkboard cover on the fireplace for now but will likely relocate it to a nearby wall during the next winter so we can use our fireplace. It'll be a cool wall hanging the kids can continue to draw on and play with their magnet. Here's a closer look at the spring mantle I put together in there...

And since we are potty training we did away with all the diapers and took the changing table out of the kitchen. Not needed anymore! (Still looking for chairs around the table in there, dining room chairs are standing in for now.)

I got each of the kiddo's their own folding kitchen stool—all purchased from Marshall's—so they can join in on cooking or watch what we're doing on the counters in the kitchen. They take them very seriously and tote them around the kitchen frequently. I had to laugh when I walked in the other day and found them all lined up!

The quads took their last ride in the quad stroller, more for memory's sake than anything else. We'd pulled it out of the garage to clean up and list for sale—hopefully another quad family will be in need—and the kids insisted on climbing in and asked dada to push them. They're so heavy all combined that it made the brakes grind on the wheels! We continue to use our two Combi twin strollers for outings as needed, but find we need them less and less.

And the highlight of this current weekend was meeting our good friend's new baby. The kids loved getting to see him, especially Kailey! She was a natural and cuddled him on the couch, giving him his pacifier when he cried, shooshing him and patting his head. It was the sweetest thing. I cooked dinner for all of us and we all eight sat around the kitchen table to eat. Logan smiled and said, "We're all eating together as a family!" Definitely a special and memorable evening.

More tales to come! Happy weekend!
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  1. Wow - several huge milestones in the Bell family! Congratulations! It must feel so much easier when going somewhere with the kids and also when at home. Time truly flies by sometimes - at least when just a reader. Love how you and your husband lead the family and teach your sweet children!!! Way to go!

  2. Way to go!! No more diapers, Sooo nice,for mommy and I would imagine the pocketbook also.
    It is a little sad they have grown soo quickly,you can be proud you have done a great job helping and guiding them to each milestone.
    Thanks for sharing:)

  3. I'm all about that low stress potty training approach. I'm glad you like the potty seat and stool. I think they are genius. I just wish we didn't need potty seats too..I've got major gag reflex when cleaning them.
    I love the gate free openness. I hope everyone is respecting that new freedom.

  4. Yay! Way to go mom, dad and little Bells.

  5. I am about to be a primary time ma this fall. i'm terribly active and would love the stroller to require my infant (when he/she is huge enough) for walks in!


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