I mentioned briefly here and there that we started potty training C. Woo hoo!
Y’all with kiddos approaching potty training or with second kids on the way like me maybe hoping to not have two in diapers have all shown interest in what we’re doing.
I plan to blog about our actual experience with it, how we started, why now, etc. We’re still in the very early stages of it though, so I don’t quite feel ready to give any “advice” just yet.
I did want to talk about potty training though and provide some hopefully insightful nuggets of wisdom that I’ve gathered since we embarked on this oh-so-messy journey.
Edited to add: This post is not an advertisement for when you should or shouldn’t potty train your own kid. I have no preference on how or when this is done for your children as I don’t know them or their situation. I hope you treat me with the same respect that you don’t know what is best for my child or our situation. I’m not posting this looking for advice either.
For whatever reason, potty training seems to be a hot button issue for many parents. This post should not be taken as advice on what you should/shouldn’t do. I am simply sharing what I am doing because everyone seemed so interested. What I decide to do for my child may look drastically different than what you would or did choose. I don’t believe there is any one right way to do anything in parenting, potty training especially.
1 // Potty training is more about you than it is about your kid.
Think about it. Your child has only known diapers. To suddenly ask them to be responsible for a bodily function that – yesterday – was not their problem is a lot to ask of any toddler.
Potty training is about you the parent taking the initiative. It’s about teaching. A toddler, no matter what age, is most likely too young to “get it” unless you’re really lucky or you’ve waited until they’re over three. It’s really on you.
2 // Potty training is the first major milestone that parents compete for.
And it’s downright weird. Sure, crawling, walking, and talking are all major milestones for kids. But kids do those on their timeline.
Potty training is on your timeline as a parent. And there seems to be a mad dash for parents to get to it first or they feel horrendous guilt for not starting it sooner. Once I joined the realm of potty training, it was somewhat like when I first became a mom: suddenly I was part of this secret club I had no idea existed.
Upon entering this secret club, you will hear all the horror stories, see silent nods of encouragement, and get advice you don’t want. This is your life forever as a parent. Enjoy!
3 // Potty training while pregnant really is awful mostly because you can’t drink.
4 // There is no such thing as “one day” or “three day” potty training programs.
I used Oh Crap! Potty Training, which advertises a “three day” plan. Go on Amazon and read the reviews. People legitimately claim that their kid was “basically potty trained” in three days. What that actually means can be so different from person to person (and I have a feeling a lot of those people wrote the review well after potty training was done and they don’t really “remember”).
Part of the method in this book does take 3-4 days. It does not equal a kid who can go to the potty themselves, unprompted, wipe themselves, flush, & never have an accident after 3 days.
Before starting potty training, I really thought that if I “did it right,” my kid would catch on so quick, we’d get over some hump, and it would be “done” with. This is not how it works. And why would it? My kid has been using a diaper since the day she was born, two years ago, and knows nothing else.
Potty training is 100% a process. It takes time. It’s about making progress, not about an immediate switch from diapers to 100% potty trained with no accidents.
5 // ALL you and your spouse will talk about is potty training, poop, how your kid did that day, etc.
The book I read promises this goes away and someday you get to think about normal things again. I am still waiting on that one.
6 // There is absolutely nothing great about ditching diapers at first.
It seems like the slogan for potty training is “it’s so much better than diapers!” OMG no it is not!
Pee all over your floor, soaked pants, constant wiping and watching of your kid – how is that easier? A diaper is so much easier. You put it on, don’t think about it, and can even put off changing it ASAP sometimes if you’re really that lazy. Potty training requires immediate attention at all times, whereas diapers don’t.
Sure, when you have a (fully) potty trained kid, it may be nice to cut down on the cost of diapers and not having to carry that stuff around. But you’re trading that in for trips to the bathroom every time you go out, carrying around extra changes of clothes/underwear, & having to worry about everything getting peed on. Some trade off!
7 // It isn’t actually that bad.
So far, everyone I’ve talked to says they dread it. Maybe it’s because we hear so many stories of it going wrong or kids being so unwilling and it taking years to potty train. I’m not really sure why, but I also dreaded it. Mostly because I’m pregnant and because of #3, but still. I dreaded it with a capital D.
It’s not that bad, though. The first few days were a huge learning process for us. I did have a mental breakdown about it on day two (but maybe that was just from lack of wine).
Overall, it’s been just one more process I’ve had to go through as a parent. No, it’s not easy. But it has to be done at some point anyway. Going into anything with dread is a terrible route to go.
So if I had any advice for y’all at this point: stop dreading something that has to happen. Dread just makes everything worse. And the child you need to potty train will pick up on all your vibes. So try to have good vibes instead of crappy ones. There is enough crap in potty training as it is 😉
Questions for You:
- Any BTDT parents with potty training success stories?
- What are you looking forward to this week?