Let’s get real here. Parenting is not easy and so is potty training! I have read articles on how you could potty train over a weekend and some over the course of 3 days. It’s great to hear but what’s more important is to understand that it’s going to happen when the kid thinks it’s going to happen. You could only talk to them tell them, show them and wait for the signs!. Some children take days, while other kids few weeks!
I am a very expectant parent when it comes to certain miles stones related to children. You might ask me why? The answer is pretty simple ” you know that eventually, kids will reach the milestone.” It’s a matter of time. So I always make sure we are with the pack. Not too behind not too upfront. Just there, keeping tabs on where my kids are.
Ok, getting back to potty training. I always go back to thinking how my parents did it(I mean, anything! not just potty training). Was it such a big deal? Hell Yes!, but not in a way we do it these days. Why does everything have to be such an issue for parents of this generation? Simple we don’t want to spend much time. We want everything to happen at lightning speed. Be it online shopping, the speed of internet and for the matter of fact potty training :)!. Let’s be honest. Sometimes you might have secretly wished that your kid was born totally potty trained? :);)
Before venturing into potty training,
What Do You Need To Know Before You Get Started on Potty training?
Are you ready?
Before you decide if your child is ready to be potty trained, determine whether you are ready!. The last thing you should be worried about is your baby going to potty in his/her diaper or potty :) If it’s taking too much of your mind, let it be and come back to it when you are ready! Once you decide, make sure you are ready with your patience weapon. It might take three days or 3 weeks. You need to put the effort. Remember that it’s just not day time, you got get up in the middle of the night because when you are training them, you need to prepare them adequately.
Start the conversation
Start talking to your toddler about the potty! Introduce them to the words like Tissue paper, underwear, potty seat, flush, etc. But there is one important statement I have to have to make once you start the routine. “Don’t Ask your kid ” Do you want to go to the potty?” Their answer is, of course, a No!
You will get many suggestions whether you ask or not. You will read many articles not knowing whether it will work for your kid or not. Your goal eventually is to identify “What works for my child”? Candies, rewards, stickers, videos to watch, books to read. But I do suggest that you keep it simple. Don’t overwhelm kids and yourself with too many things.
Just to give you an idea, what I did was simple. I used Elmo’s Potty Book to read to my toddler and a potty training seat from Jessa Leona. I did not use any of the Potty training printables or Potty training charts, rewards, candies, or small or separate potty seats.
One of the advice I got from one of the parents was just to use the Potty training seat as there might be a case where transitioning kids to actual potty becomes another nightmare. I don’t want it to be a two-step process. Once trained, means trained forever. Well, not completely you still have to help them with the wipes for some time :D
So start with something easy and then figure out if it is working or you have to do something different. But again to make it work you have to be sure if you are ready(my first point). Willing to have the patience and to know that does take some time!
Be easy on yourself
If you are under stress and you are putting your kid under pressure when potty training, what is the point right? The chances are high that your child will have more accidents. So it’s important to identify when your child is ready and you will see that it only takes few days if they are willing. So if the potty training is not working the first week, come back and give it a try after few weeks and try it again. This way you are helping your child learn about potty training and this practice will not be a waste.
Knowing when your kid is ready:
So How do you know your child is ready for potty training? I would say watch out for the signs. One indication would be their diapers are not wet for more than an hour or two. This just one indication and you need to know that this alone might not make them ready for the training.The signs could also be anything from kids repeating the bathroom words(This might happen because they saw their siblings or friends or you might have told them), to kids talking about the potty words because they might have had severe diaper rash or some other experience. Once you find any of these signs, it’s time for you to start the conversation. Don’t be surprised if your child starts a conversation by themselves.
So here is,
What I Did I did not wait until someone suggested me that it’s time to potty train. I kept a tab on time. It helped me to figure out the intervals. I used Potty training seat that goes on a regular toilet. Best decision I had made(check below for more information). Started talking to my kid about Potty and other bathroom words. Read Elmo’s Potty Book. This book was a good read as it had words and objects which indeed introduces kids to all the different words like toothpaste, potty, washing hands, potty, underwear, etc. No pressure or stress on myself or kids! What I did not Do I did not use a separate potty training system or little kid potty (portable one). Beware if you choose to get one. It’s just another toy for kids :) I did not use any charts or printables. I did not give any rewards, candies or chocolates. Potty is something kids should come to know that it is a routine and not something which they should do for rewards. I did not use Pull-ups for my kids. Children tend to get confused between underwears and pull-ups Did not force my child to stay only in underwears. Did not ask “do you have to go potty?”. You know what the answer would be a”No.” So just take them.
Let me tell you My kids potty training wins and failures.
Before I start on how my 2-year-old daughter is potty trained, let me start by telling you how my older one(my son) got potty trained.
I was a working mom then, so the pre-school he was going to said that they would potty train my boy. I was so happy to hear that. I was like “Ah! One monkey off my back”! So I was just waiting for them to potty train him. He turned 3, and nothing happened. Finally one day as soon as he turned 3 a new teacher mentioned that he is dry and he can be potty trained. But really if it was that easy!. I can guarantee that all the parents would enroll their kids in preschool just for the sake of potty training.
What the school meant was You- the parent would need to put more effort when we tell you your kid is ready to be potty trained. But one help they did was to identify that the child is ready to be potty trained!
Once my son was ready to be potty trained, I potty trained him in a week. So I immediately said ok let me put him in underwears, and I asked the class teacher to do the same. Only during the nap time and night time, he would have the diapers on as he might not have the control to stay dry during these times and it comes naturally when you start potty training during the day.I never used pull ups for my kids. Again this was an advice from a mom, who told me that a child might get CONFUSED BETWEEN A PULL-UP AND AN UNDERWEAR, so I stuck to diapers only. At school, the teacher would take him for potty runs and at home as soon as we are back at home I would put him on the potty seat and give him a book to read.I would sometimes pick him up in the middle of the night and take him to the potty. Accidents did happen in the school and at home but they were very few.
I used a separate potty system(Little Kids Potty) for my son, but it did not help at all. It just became yet another toy for him and just added more work. I just got a potty training seat that went on a regular toilet. I just wanted to make things easy for me. It was super easy to use it. But I had a problem where it would slip or move when the kid was on it. So for my daughter, I just found this simple potty training seat from Jessa Leona, and it was just perfect. It fit perfectly onto the potty seat. It’s an anti-slip potty cover seat, and there was no fear of it slipping, and it eliminates the fear of falling. It’s super easy to carry around. I just had a separate bag for it and started taking it out for any of our outings. It also fit on any toilet seat without any issue.
So now, Here is How my daughter’s training went or is going on.
Week 1 and Day 1
A day before, I started reading Elmo’s potty book to my daughter. Got the conversation started. On the “Day1” I put my daughter on the Potty Seat. Again as mentioned above I just used potty training seat from Jessa Leona no separate potty seat system(Makes a mom’s life easy). No charts, rewards or candies. I used Elmo’s Potty book to read. By the way, I read the same book for my son. I saved it since then :). Please don’t expect any miracles on day 1 or week1 for that matter. Keep your cool and potty train :) My son was super happy to see his sister read The Elmo’s Potty as it was all related to potty and bathroom(Gosh why do boys have so much fun talking about these bathroom words? Is it Just my boy? Hope he is not!)
So I sat down and started reading the book without any luck!. So I got her out of the potty and told her no diaper and that she will wear underwear. She identified the color, and she was excited to wear. It took us almost half hour on the potty. Just a few minute after wearing the underwear, My daughter started saying “mommy water, Mommy Water.” Obviously, my reaction was Oh come on!!!!! You were sitting on the potty for 1/2 hour!!
I kept a tab on time and every 30 mins after that I would keep her on Potty. Every time it was the same story. She would come out and pee on the floor or in her undies. In no time we ran out of underwears for her. I tried to keep her without the underwears but my older one was at home(Yep these are some of the challenges you would face), and I didn’t want to keep her too long without her diapers or underwear. So I put her back in diapers.
Super tiring day!. Made me think, is my toddler ready for potty training? Does she understand?. But I will keep trying.
Week1 Day 2
Same routine as Day1 and same result. She does not understand the feeling of wetting else kids usually would not be ok with it.
My daughter started talking about potty!. But she was more interested in flushing the potty and reading Elmo’s potty book.
I put my toddler back in diapers and would take here to potty for every 30-45 minutes. She started talking about the potty and reading Elmo book. My toddler was crying when I put her on the potty seat as it was super cold. My husband was not ready to see her cry!
This mama is all done. I doubt if I am ready? Should I give up? But I just kept with it.
A Surprise!Tired from week1 I just put her in diapers. But I still continued to take her to potty on regular intervals with no luck. When my daughter was 16 months old, she had severe diaper rash and diarrhea at the same time, so she had to go through a lot of pain. So she knows whenever she goes poop. But she never really comes and tells. She would finish off whatever she wants in her diapers, and then you would know :)( ahh you know how!).
But I had a little surprise in week two. My daughter came running to me and told me that she needs to go poop!! Wow, it was such an animated and haywire moment! I picked her up ran her to the potty. Yay! She went potty!!!For the next couple of days, she kept telling me whenever she is about to go for a poop, and I would lift here and run!
Huge achievement! No matter what, just hang in there. Change happens!
As I write, my daughter is in her 3rd week, and I saw a vast improvement. We are not completely off diapers. But soon we will be!. For a 2-year-old this is a huge step forward isn’t it ? or is it for mommy? :) Glad that I started the conversation and started introducing her to a concept and hopefully, we will see some light at the end the end of the tunnel soon.
No matter How you start to Potty Train, my advice is to keep it simple! You don’t need tons of things.