Potty training is not so bad. What frustrates me is Potty Training Part 2 as in #2. No, I am not talking about my second child. I could write an entire blog post on the challenges of getting your child to poop in the potty versus anywhere else–probably a whole blog series–maybe a small manual on it. By the end of it I would still throw in the towel and declare that my methods don’t work. They all get it eventually…some in a longer series of trial and error, bribing with candy and lego sets than others.
Don’t you feel like doing a happy dance when your youngest child is potty trained? Potty training is one of the most agonizing yet rewarding (and sometimes humbling!) experience as a mom. This is my small compilation of what I have learned over the years in potty training my three children.
1) Choose a time when you are at your best. Many books and websites advise you not to potty train a child at the time he or she is going through a transition such as seeing an older sibling go off to school or a baby entering the house. You also have to pick a time when you are not going through one either. If you suffer from seasonal affective disorder and winters are harder for you, your level of patience might be lower. If you are going through a job change, you are struggling in your marriage, or in a financial crisis–you might want to wait and focus on the current struggle. Your level of tolerance and patience is the catalyst that will make potty training an unpleasant or doable experience.
2) Measure success by staying dry. I noticed my kids were “getting it” not by how often they were going in the potty, but the length of time they were staying dry. With my last two children, I did not even use pull ups. I put them straight in underwear. When they were only having one or two accidents a day, I knew they were catching on. I did not use this method with my oldest. Which brings me to my next point…
3) There ares so many methods to potty training. Ask around, read websites, and figure out what motivates your child. If one method does not work, try something else. Or take a couple of weeks off and try the same method again. All three of my children were potty trained in somewhat different ways in differing amounts of time and at different ages.
4) Pick a week when you have extra help around. I intentionally potty trained my third child when my husband was on a “staycation.” I could focus on her while he could spend time with the other kids. Because we had been gone for over two weeks, neither one of us had a tremendous need to leave the house. I think potty train works the best if you can book a couple of days to stay at home as much as possible. Which is very difficult for us extroverted moms, but we can do it!
5) Be patient! I think this is the best piece of advice when it comes to potty training. We are used to being in control as moms. We cannot control our children going potty. We can only motivate and encourage them.