Using the word adventure in reference to potty training is forcing myself to look at the bright side. Sometimes the best way to cope with the frustrating parts of parenting is to learn to look at the bright side right? If we are being honest, the more accurate words for potty training for me were patience-testing, deep breathing, and forced smiles.
Now, you might be thinking "you just potty trained when your child wasn't ready." Let me assure you that isn't true! My daughter is two and a half. At about two years old she started complaining about her diapers being scratchy and constantly took them off.
We sized up, and always made sure that her straps were very delicately placed. Soon enough she started taking them off in the middle of the night and doing her business in her bed. Let me tell you what, nothing starts a day off worse than discovering that mess when you get your kiddo out of bed!
I didn't want to do it, but there was just no avoiding it. So I spent one weekend reading about the "three-day method" and then jumped in. I didn't take any time preparing her to be potty trained. I just assumed that because she hated her diapers and because the internet told me the method would work wonders, that it would work like a charm. HA HA HA HA. In the middle of day two, we quit. I was literally losing my mind and my patience,
so my sweet husband blew the whistle and said we would try again later. I don't blame my daughter at all...I really approached the whole thing terribly.
I knew we would need a few months to recover before really trying again, but also knew that the preparation needed to start right then. These things and tips helped us so much!
We obviously needed to talk about learning to go in the potty a lot. I knew that my little lady already loves and responds well to books, so I figured that could help us find success.
I ordered three different books immediately and we started reading them every single day!
Soon she asked for the books at bedtime, and started talking about "going to pick the potty at the store," and "we pee in the potty, not in our pants." The wheels were turning!!
Who Goes in the Potty?
One of my daughter's little friends had just been potty trained, and that helped us so much! She started noticing when he had to stop playing to go to the bathroom and would mention it or ask to go sit on the potty too!
Since I saw how interested she was in that, I started milking it for all it was worth. We talked about how mom and dad,
mimi and papa, aunts, uncles, and cousins all went pee-pee in the potty.
Unfortunately for them, she started asking them all the time if they needed to go pee on the potty, but it was helping get the idea in her head! I also learned that she would want to sit on the "big potty" like mom and dad rather than the small one we had for her. So we got a training seat
for the normal toilet!
Slow and Steady
Since we had tried the quick "no-fail" method and failed, I wanted to approach it differently when we did it again.
So, after a few months and much better preparation, we approached the task again! We started by just wearing undies in the morning right after she got out of bed until we left for our play dates or errands. That was the perfect way to start positively for us. She almost always peed on the toilet when we put her on there right after she woke up. So, we immediately got to praise her for going in the potty!
We already knew that she typically always pooped in the morning too, so it was perfect to watch her during the slow part of the morning and get her to experience the poop on the potty as much as possible. Then when we left the house, I would put a diaper or pull-up back on her. We still went to the bathroom while we were out, but we also avoided a lot of accidents from the both of us forgetting that we were potty training.
Slowly but surely we spent longer portions of the day in undies, and had more and more success each day! Am I saying that this is the only way to potty train? Nope!
I just learned the hard way that not every method will work for every kid, and that preparation before beginning the training really helps things move smoother. When we first failed, I felt like I had failed. Then I re-centered, approached it a different way, and it was a much better experience for everyone!
So, if you are out there thinking you have failed at potty training because the method your mom and sister and co-workers used, I have been there too! Don't hang your head or guilt yourself. Try another method, give yourself time, think of it as a process rather than something that should happen quickly and easily. Even when you do get to a point where you feel like the training is done, there will be accidents, that's just part of the process! Eventually the peeing in the pants stops and you are on to dealing with another phase of parenting! You've got this!