Don’t be jealous, but my two year old is finally potty trained! And potty training only took six months. Just kidding, not really. Well kind of…I’ll share our story below.
This isn’t about how to potty train your child in one day, because I don’t believe that works for every child. I really don’t know if there are certain things you need to know for potty training to be successful. I barely potty trained one child, and am definitely not an expert. However, the one piece of advice that almost every person told me about potty training turned out to be true. I was silly enough to ignor it at first because I thought it wasn’t important. That piece of advice – don’t give up. He needs to know that the new expectation is that he goes in the potty. He needs to know that there will be no more diapers.
When my son was about 20 months old, I thought it was time to potty train. I scoured the internet for tips and tricks for potty training. I pinned countless articles about potty training readiness. When my son started to bring me a diaper and wipes when he would poop in his diaper, I knew it was time.
It went horribly. Every time I would check his underwear, they would be wet. He would look right at me and pee in his underwear. Yes, I also tried letting him be naked. He loved being naked because he could freely pee on anything he wanted and not get pee on himself. It was a nightmare. I put him in bed as soon as I could that first day. I was exhausted. I think we lasted until lunch the second day before I gave up. I was at my wits end and I couldn’t constantly watch him when I also had my six month old to care for.
We tried a pull-up, underwear, and naked. We tried sticker charts, marking a poster, and candy rewards. We bought a Potty chair for the ground and a potty seat for the toilet. We tried using the bathroom every hour, every 30 minutes, and every 15 minutes. I didn’t know what else to do. That was definitely not one of my supermom days.
A month ago I decided to try it again. This time, I decided to stop at Target and get a bunch of dollar section toys for his reward. The first day went really well. There weren’t many accidents, but I was setting a timer for every 20-30 minutes. The second day was the hardest. He was such a whiny mess and he kept asking for a diaper. I almost gave in, but I didn’t. I started thinking about how hard this was for them mentally. They are used to not even thinking about using the bathroom to trying to recognize when they have to go and to hold it until they get to the bathroom. I think he was mentally drained. This was harder on him than it was on me.
On day three, he woke up and was upset when I made him get his underwear on. But I calmly explained to him that we aren’t using diapers anymore. We will need to go on the potty from now on. He stuck his big lip out and let out a big sigh, and that was it. Literally. He was pretty much potty trained! He had a couple accidents that first week. But now, a month later, I don’t know that he has had a single accident.
I owe all the potty training success to not giving up. When he woke up on the third day and he was still expected to go on the potty and to wear underwear, I let him know that this is what we were doing from now on. This is the new expectation. Now I’m not silly enough to think that everything that worked for me will work for you. But if you were to ask me my one piece of advice for potty training I would say:
Don’t Give Up.
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