So you decided to start potty training, huh? Yeah. I remember when I was that bright-eyed mama ready to embark on that journey with her toddler too.And then potty training happened and it smacked me right in my sweet little face. Mama, let's be real with each other, potty training is not easy. In fact, it is down right hard, and in a lot of cases, dirty. Like, so dirty.
Since I am very newly introduced to the world of potty training a toddler, I decided to put this little post together to help dispel a lot of your hopes for getting your kid to use the toilet, as well as a little bit of support when things just aren't going your way.
TimeThe cold hard truth is that you might not have a child that potty trains in 3 days. *sigh* I hoped, I dreamed, I PRAYED that we would be that family that has a blissful potty training experience for a few days and then...voila! Alas, we are now a month or more into our journey and this week was the first time our son went #2 on the throne. BUT HE WENT! Just remember that no matter how long it takes your child to get used to going exclusively on the toilet, they probably won't be headed to second grade in a diaper. It might take longer than you anticipated, you may have more accidents that you ever dreamed, but in the end, the stars will align and you will have a child who confidently goes!
CommitmentOkay, so something that I didn't realize, probably because I have no sense of reality, is that you have to be on. top. of. your. child. And I don't just mean like, have a general idea of where they are and what they're doing. Oh no, mama. You have to be beside them basically at all times of the day when you're starting out. They want to sit in their room and play legos for 2 hours, well guess where you're going to have to be? That's right. Build a nice little castle and make yourself real comfortable. You're also going to have to get used to asking if they need to use the bathroom on an annoying regular basis. Our first couple of days, I asked my boy every 10 minutes, and by the end of those two days, my son would scream, "NO!" every time I asked. We were basically enemies. He was sick of it. I was sick of it. Hopefully he will repress the memories of those days and we can live a happy life together. Stick with it though! If you're like our family, and it was not only time for your little one, but they had a ticking clock of preschool looming over your head, then you needed to get the job done! So don't lose faith, keep plenty of caffeine and flushable wipes on hand, and remember that this storm will pass!
MethodEveryone is going to tell you the PERFECT-SUPER-SECRET-ABSOLUTELY-MUST-DO method that worked for their tot, and let me tell you...it probably won't go that way for your kid. Typical. I am one of those mamas who fell for the trap of thinking that setting up an adorably colorful and inviting sticker and treat chart would entice my child to poop in the toilet. Well, it took a month, and I had to use a Paw Patrol action figure to get there, so not all dreams come true. Just keep in mind that even if you have your heart set on a certain way to train, your child may shatter your heart and decide that he wants to learn a different way. We switched it up a couple different times throughout the month and seemed to get good results with #1, and just worked our hardest to encourage and support him throughout. All while wanting to pull out my own hair and book a 1-person room at the nearest hotel with decent room service.
AttitudeMy biggest bit of parenting advice when it comes to potty training is don't stress out your little one just because you are stressed out. Remember that you are basically teaching them an entirely new skill that up until now they had zero reason to learn. So it's irrational for us to be upset, angry, frustrated or any of the above when our kids aren't perfect at it right away.
Take a deep breath, remember that it's a small window of time, and get him a new pair of underwear. No not those. He wants the Chase ones. Our kids can pick up on our attitudes more than just about anything else, so remember to stay positive and even when they have accidents, or you wish they hadn't gone #2 in their pants during their nap that you love them and that you're going to be SO EXCITED when they finally get it right. Our kids are counting on us to coach them through this tough skill, and honestly this past month has taught me more about parenting than having a newborn ever did. Let your tot lead the way, but have yourself prepped with the patience that you will absolutely need to make it through this next stage with them.