Think You Know How to Potty Train Your Toddler? You’re Wrong.
Potty training is a rite of passage; that final step kids take towards becoming a “big kid”. But what happens when your child just doesn’t seem to catch on? My toddler is that kid; here’s our story and experience with potty training so far.
When my daughter was 18 months old, I began scrolling through Pinterest to find articles about early potty training. I read all the tips and tricks and made a game plan. She accompanied me on a trip to Target to pick out a potty seat and some Pull Ups; she seemed stoked and I was confident. The first day we had her potty, she kept telling us she wanted to “be big”. I thought to myself, “this is going to be SO easy!”. She never actually went potty those first few weeks, but I was thrilled that she was showing interest in the potty at all. As her 2nd birthday inched closer, I began making potty time a regular occurrence during the day. She sat every morning when she woke up, after every meal, and before bedtime. I was certain that she would catch on soon and we would bid farewell to diapers. Boy, was I wrong. Then, right before her second birthday, she suffered an awful injury to her head. She fell from a kitchen chair onto a concrete floor and knocked one of her teeth out. After that incident, anything height related was out of the question; swings at the park, being picked up, and you guessed it…..the potty. As much as I tried to reassure her that the potty was safe, she refused to sit or even go near it. I was lost on what our next step should be, so I decided I wouldn’t push it. I stopped mentioning the potty and patiently waited for her to show interest again. Her 2nd birthday came and went, and there were zero signs of potty training any time soon. I decided that once she turned 2 ½, I would try to introduce the potty again.
One day, while we were out shopping, we walked by the potty training section of the diaper aisle. She shouted, “Mama! Big girl potty! I want a princess one!” Without hesitation, I picked up the potty seat she had been so excited about. We got home and she begged me to let her use it. Within 20 minutes, she had peed in the potty without me urging her to go try. This was it, I was absolutely certain this time! For the next few days, she went like a champ, but only when she was naked. Any time she had big girl undies on, she peed in them instantly. We had stayed home for days and had to get out of the house, so I broke down and put her in Pull Ups. Huge mistake on my part. After having the Pull Ups again, she wanted nothing to do with the potty. I tried bribing her with candy and toys and a sticker chart…..nothing worked. Again, I stopped mentioning the potty. I wanted her to be ready to use it and I didn’t want her to feel too pressured about going.
Third Time’s the Charm?
Just a few weeks ago, she woke up and said “Mama! I need to use the big girl potty!”. I jumped out of bed as fast as my pregnant belly would allow, and ran her to the potty. She went and I made a HUGE deal about it; she was jumping up and down with excitement, too. Then, she insisted on calling everyone and telling them all about how she was a “big girl”. She even made sure to tell the maintenance workers (who came to check on our house that day) that she went potty. Thankfully, they cheered her on and told her how awesome she was as well!
Still a Work in Progress…..
E is now officially day time potty trained, but we are still working on outings and night time. It is very much still a work in progress. The articles I read were full of tips, tricks, and good advice but at the end of the day, none of them fully prepared me for what I’ve encountered with my daughter. They made me feel like early introduction would ensure my kiddo would be trained before 2 years old. The “naked” potty training method was supposed to be fool proof. Candy and sticker chart incentives were supposed to instill excitement in my child; enough excitement for her to WANT to go potty on her own. But unfortunately, potty training isn’t one size fits all. Every child is completely different. You can’t rely on articles or other mom’s experiences when you begin potty training. You’ve just got to listen to your gut, understand your child, and approach it in a way that they will respond to. And even then, it may not happen when you would like it to. If you’re in the midst of potty training, hang in there. And if you’re about to dive in, buckle up and hold on; it may be a bumpy ride. Positive potty training vibes, mamas!
How has your experience with potty training been? Let me know in the comments below!