All parents know how difficult potty training can be for both you and your child. There will be times where you want to give up and try again later and I agree with those methods, because if your child is not ready to use the potty then they won’t, no matter how much you try. I first attempted to start “little man” when he was 1 1/2 years old. I tried everything in my power… I brought Pull-Ups, I tried bribing him with special surprise’s even snacks, but at that age he was not focused enough to pay attention to the lesson I was trying to teach. So I decided give him more time and to try Potty training again later.
Round One of “The Potty Wars” goes to “Little Man.”
6 months later, once our son was two we decided it was time to start-up again, but this time I had a game plan. Even though we had waited 6 months to try again we used that time in between to familiarize him with sitting on the potty. Everyday first thing in the morning I would sit him on the potty for about 10 minutes. Sometimes he would go sometimes he wouldn’t but it all worked out in my favor because by the time he was 2 years old he knew what the potty was for and why we wanted him to use it, now it was time to implement our rules. These are the steps WE took to completely potty train our son…
First we would read together. If anyone knows me personally as a mom, you know that I love to read to my son, especially when teaching him lessons. So one day we went to Target and picked out a few “potty books” to help him understand and relate to the characters in the stories. His favorite “potty book” is “Daniel (tiger) goes to the potty.” This book taught him the importance of always using the potty if he needs to go, and also how to flush and wash his hands after he is finished. I always keep this book inside his bathroom to remind him once he is on the potty what he needs to do.
Its was also important to Sing and Praise our son every time he sat on the potty. Doc McStuffins is one of his favorite shows so I would use the “Time for your checkup song” and remix it for the potty:
“DO DO DO, you know its good for you, the potty going to help you feel better! PEE PEE PEE, that is good to me, just relax and let your body be free!”
OMG it was a hit with him! He loved it. He would clap and sing along and if he peed or pooped we would do an extra silly dance for him. We also included several rounds of applause and praise once he had done his business.
Another trick we realized was that if we gave him a surprise, he was more likely to remain consistent. So first we started by rewarding him with a sticker every time he used the potty. That worked. Then we switched it to him getting a special sticker at the end of the day if he had no accidents. That worked. Finally we switched it to if he had enough stickers or tally’s (if you run out of stickers) on his potty chart by the end of the week he would get to pick out a toy from the store. (You can print out a potty chart online or make your own.)
Now this next thing may have seemed drastic but its necessary and it works! We Threw out ALL of the diapers. It was very uncomfortable for our son to potty in his underwear. He hated it and that was the magic switch that changed everything. He absolutely could not stand his underwear being wet or dirty. I believe skipping the Pull-Ups is the way to go, because the padding reminded him of having on a diaper and every time he would wear them he would have an accident. Now the only time I allow him to wear Pull-Ups is at night when he is going to bed, because were still working on trying to have no accident’s throughout the night. Do any of you parents have any suggestions on how to stop accidents at night???
The Dookie Diaries:
Not every parent has to deal with the whole poop drama. Some kids learn how to poop and pee in the potty with no confusion… well that was not the case for my son. It got to the point when the only times he would ever have accidents was when it was time to do the do. He struggled with sitting down to poop. I’m guessing that because he was so used to pooping standing up when he was in his diapers.
One time I actually caught him getting up off the potty just to stand up and poop, which ended up on the bathroom floor. I knew something had to change. I started watching out for the signs that he may have to poop, then I would sit him on the potty and play the old-fashioned “wait game,” and while we were waiting for the poop I would explain to him why he needed to poop in the potty and that his underwear needed to stay clean and dry at all times.. Soon there were no more accidents at all.
Overall it took him about a week and a half to fully potty train. Yes he still has accidents sometimes but he is finally at the point where we can leave the house without an incident. He knows that there are bathrooms to use the potty everywhere, and he does not hesitate to let me know when he has to go! The Key to potty training to me is Time and Patience. Parents you have to be willing to put in the extra time needed to teach your babies about the potty… they are not going to teach themselves.
The winner of “The Potty Wars” is Everyone. Everyone benefits in their own special way from this. It feels great not to have to buy diapers anymore!!