Nothing strikes terror in the heart of parents quite like these two words: potty training. Any sort of change is challenging and even downright scary for a toddler, but you add poop and pee into the mix and you now have a recipe for disaster.
Can you tell I’m not a big fan of the potty training stage? Ugh. I hate everything about it–the constant messes and “accidents”. Money wasted on “big boy” and “big girl” pull-ups. The stench of it all and the uncanny ability to poop the moment you sit down and grab a bite to eat.
I’ve successfully potty-trained six kids. Six kids. I’m still waiting for my gold medal. It was never easy. Not one of my kids “practically trained themselves”. I had one child delay going in the potty until he was nearly 4 years old. At a certain point in our parenting, we had three children in diapers!
Mom, what are the three things you’re doing right now that are sabotaging potty training your child?
You rushed it. It was all too much too soon. With potty training, you really have to wait and be patient for true signs of readiness.If your child can’t climb onto the toilet seat without assistance, it might be too early. If they can’t reach the bathroom door, it might be too early. Potty training too early might cause bed-wetting, bladder infections and constipation issues later on. Let your child’s behavior guide you in this process–it will make it much less of a headache for you. Be prepared to have a late potty-trainer in the group–some kids just have a different time table than others.
You didn’t plan ahead. When potty-training begins, parents need to reserve a few days at home without any plans so they can focus on potty training. It’s too stressful–for both parent and child–to be out and about and have to worry about your child having an accident. We would commit to training diligently for one whole week and it was a relief to know we didn’t have to leave during this crucial training period.
You couldn’t resist temptation so you bought some disposable “underwear”. Pull-ups or disposable “underwear” are the devil. Most parents buy them under the guise that they’ll help their child transition from going in a diaper to a pair of real underwear. But this couldn’t be further than the truth. Your child will just continue to pee/poop in them and you’ll be flushing money down the drain. To put it simply, they don’t work.
I decided to go old school and bought a pair of waterproof training pants, just like the plastic underwear our mothers used. The beauty of the waterproof training pants is they are very inexpensive, they help prevent messy accidents and your child will get the sensation of being uncomfortable and wet. Worked like a charm.
Of course, every child is different. I promise, your child won’t be in diapers forever, even though it feels that way.