Potty training is one of those things you start thinking about when your child turns around two. Some of your child’s friends may be starting to potty train or are already potty trained or your child may be expressing interest themselves. For us, it was a little bit of both. Scarlett has been constantly showing “ready” signs for a couple of months and so we decided with the month off from school that we would try. Especially since it is warm and we have a few months before baby brother arrives. Some of the signs she was showing: she constantly asked for a change when she was wet or had gone #2, she would bring us a diaper to change her, tell us what she had done, and was going longer in the day without having to be changed as often. There are so many articles out there saying “to start” or “not to start” and I think it really is just dependent on what the parent thinks is best for their child. Others may insist your child is/is not ready, but you only know what is best for your child so just do what your heart says. We felt like she was ready to at least try and considering how good the timing was, we decided to take a monumental leap in parenthood.
So far, we are on day 5 and we are not potty trained. She is making progress, but I didn’t expect the 3 day method to work on her, and I definitely didn’t make it a goal. I think the goal here is to make it a positive experience and to be consistent. Consistency is so hard when you are trying to swing summer activities on top of potty training! After 3-4 full days, we still have a few accidents a day and she is showing resistance in wanting to sit on her potty. Which, seems normal. What we have noticed is that she sits on her potty on her own more frequently, says she has to “tee tee”, and will tell us a couple of times per day when she has to “tee tee”. For us, this is a win and sign of progress. I know it will take several weeks or months before we can really say she is potty trained, but I know now from talking to other moms that this is the case with everyone. I think the 3 day methods are highly unrealistic unless you just have a very ready child. There will still be accidents, training diapers involved, and messes to clean for awhile. That was just something we had to realize when we got ourselves into it.
From my point of view; starting potty training at the right time in our family life was key. As I mentioned we have 3 months til new baby is here, so that gave us plenty of time to practice with Scarlett all by herself. My husband is on a not so easy rotation, but we chose to “start” during the weekend of the month that he would be home the most and that really helped me mentally, ha! Being pregnant, this has taken more of a toll on me, but I am thankful that my husband was here during the brunt work and helped get us to a good start. Signing off and taking a break was great for me in those first few days. When my husband got home from work I’d run some errands and just get out of the house for a little bit to refresh that way I cam back ready to start again. I found that the time of year was good for us too, because that first two days we played outside naked a lot and I was able to shrug off the accidents and catch her pottying in time to switch her to the potty. I think I made more headway when I was outside. I made some sensory boxes to bring outside to keep her occupied too! When it wasn’t nap or night time we kept her in her underwear the whole time to get her used to that feeling and to hopefully have her recognize when she had gone to the bathroom. We only use the training pants during nap and night time. We have several more weeks until we know where we stand with potty training, but for now we are just going to keep trucking and follow Scarlett’s lead. I have no problem pausing potty training if I feel it isn’t a positive thing for her. I will definitely be sharing more in the coming weeks on our progress for those curious!
Some things we bought/did to prepare us:
1. Baby Bjorn Potty for the living room or to take when we are outside.
2. Mini Mouse Potty to keep in the bathroom at all times.
3. Mini Mouse underwear
4. Honest Training pants for at night and during naps
5. Gerber padded training underwear
6. Kickee Pants padded training underwear
7. Tank Tops so that we didn’t have to wear an entire outfit
8. M&M’s and stickers for rewards
9. Thank goodness for our Bona mop during this time!
10. And, if we make descent progress, we plan to buy Scarlett this Pajama Curious George stuffed animal 🙂
* The start up cost for potty training was a little more than we expected so I decided not to order any books off amazon and I just took Scarlett to the library to pick some out there. That was easier on us anyway, because we had an indoor activity, it got her excited to pick out books, and I just return or renew them at the end of the month! Books are a great idea because it will familiarize your child with the idea beforehand.
* We also had her come to the bathroom with us as much as we could the week or so before we started potty training to get the idea in her head. During diaper changes, if she went #2 then we would bring her diaper to the potty and flush the poop in there to give her a better idea of what she needed to do when it was time. This was exciting for her, so it was a positive way to introduce the idea.
We are not near the end of this process and are just at the beginning, so this is just our story and how we’ve been going about potty training a toddler! If you have any advice, tips, or personal experiences you’d like to share we of course would be more than happy to hear them! This is one of those monumental moments in parenthood where parents need to lean on each other for support and help, so I am all ears to lending and receiving advice 🙂