How many of you have struggled with potty training? I’m guessing every hand is up right now huh? Potty training our toddler has turned out to be one of the most exhausting, difficult things I have ever done. I’m sure it sounds like I’m exaggerating, but I truly dislike it! I started potty training my son when he was two years old. When we first started, I would leave my son with out a diaper. This proved to be incredibly messy! He would pee all over himself. I would find wet spots all over my living room. A few times he would remember and sit down on his potty and I would think, yes, success! But then later on, he would forget and out came the mop again. After a few weeks, he would refuse to use the potty completely, so I would stop and wait until I thought he was ready again. When we tried again, I would give him a lollipop after each pee or poo he did in the potty. This only lasted a few weeks as well. Next, I made a potty sticker board. Every time he went potty, I would let him put a mickey mouse sticker on the day he used the potty successfully. He really enjoyed it because he chose the stickers he liked and it showed how well he was doing. I really thought that was it and he would be completely potty trained soon. It lasted a few months and again he started doing his business in his pull ups.
I have read a few blogs and articles stating we should not pressure our kids to use the potty because they will become discouraged if they feel pressured. I would continue to keep an eye on my son and rush him to the bathroom or his potty when I saw signs he needed to use it. This became extremely time consuming and tiring. Especially when he was start crying and running away from me because he didn’t want to use the potty. I let him be and continued to simply explain to him why he needed to stop wearing pull ups and how much of a big boy he would be once he was potty trained.
Victory finally came when my son turned 3 years old! He started telling me “mommy, I need to use the potty” or “mommy, I need to do pee-pee”. He became very vocal and he even started doing the “potty dance”, you know when your kid is standing there doing a little shuffle with his feet! It was great! He turned 3 in January and now in March, he is completely off pull ups. He wears big boy underwear all day long, even to sleep. He’s only had one night time accident, which isn’t bad. When we go outside and he needs to use the bathroom, he tells me and we rush to the nearest public restroom. I still carry an extra set of clothes with me, in case he has an accident, but he has been doing very well, and so far I have not needed to use the change of clothes on him.
If I can give the mommies and daddies out there any advice, it would be to “be patient”. It really does take time. I hear from family and friends, that girls are faster to potty train then boys. I don’t know how true that is, but either way, just be patient and encouraging. If you want to make a potty sticker board, or give them a book to read on the potty or give them a small prize every time they use the potty, then do that. Whatever works for you. But just remember not to be too hard on them. This is new to them. Many toddler’s don’t do well with change, and will try to keep things the same, because they feel safe and secure that way. So be kind and encouraging and try to keep the frustration at a minimum. Trust me I’ve had my share of frustrating moments and I know my son has seen it on my face. We are only human. It is a learning process for us as well as them.
Happy Potty Training!