The dreaded yet anticipated milestone we set out to accomplish in hopes of getting our toddler out of diapers (and saving money).
I have successfully potty trained my last child. My youngest of five children. My only girl. My Princess.
Some “heads up in advance” experiences that I would like to share with any Mommy (or Daddy) that is new to this challenging task.
If you are currently curled up in a fetal position on the bathroom floor feeling like a failure and wanting to give up please read on. You are not alone. Get up. You got this.
If you lack patience (like myself) then I suggest you pray to God to give you some, his and maybe everyone else’s too. Ask your friends and family to borrow theirs. You are going to need all you can get.
Be prepared to spend lots of time in the bathroom with your little one. Lots.
You may find yourself asking random potty trained adults if they need to go peepee. This also applies to older children in the home and husbands. Do not be ashamed of this. You are going to ask your toddler this a lot. Like, every 10 minutes of everyday.
Do toddlers really understand the difference in pullups and diapers? I’m going to say no. It looks like a diaper. It feels like a diaper. I’m guessing in their minds, it’s still a diaper. If it makes you feel like you have accomplished a small step in potty training then by all means use them. I do. They are perfect for bedtime and long road trips. They are also very useful for the hundreds of inconvenient times your toddler will need to go peepee. You will be tempted to say “You have a pullup on. Just pee in it.” Don’t do this. As tempting as it will be, Just don’t.
Don’t bother asking “Why?” when your toddler has an accident. The conversation between my daughter and I went like this:
Why did you peepee in your pants?
I really think that she feels like “cause and cause why” are legit answers.
Wouldn’t it be funny if toddlers replied back with “I’ve been peeing and pooping in my pants my whole life. WHY is it a problem now?”
Expect shopping trips to take a lot longer when your potty training your toddler. I can promise you that when you get to the furthest point in the store away from the restroom, your little one will need to pee. Don’t be surprised if this happens more than once during the what should have been a ten minute shopping trip. We will just run in, get what we need and get out. Wrong. On a positive note, you can get your shopping and workout done at the same time. Throw some lunges in during those trips back and forth to the bathroom. Go Mommy! Multitasking at its best.
Bribery. Sweet bribery. I will admit it works somewhat. However, do toddlers really understand the whole idea of bribery? Maybe in THAT moment they do but, long term? If you go in the potty, Mommy will give you a piece of candy, or a new toy, or a new car. My point is, my 2yr old daughter has yet to ask me for that new car I promised her. Maybe she’s waiting until she’s 16.
Do not be frustrated if your toddler gets to the potty and insists on taking off every piece of clothing she is wearing before getting on the potty.
Every. Piece. Of. Clothing.
I do not know why they do this but, from what I’ve heard and experienced myself, it’s a normal thing. A very time consuming, make Mommy want to say bad words, frustrating thing but, a normal one.
Be prepared to sit and wait while your independent “I do it myself!” little one puts every piece of clothing back on… tick tock tick tock.. I did mention you need lots of patience right?
As I said before, be prepared to spend lots of time in the bathroom. You may just go ahead and move the TV in there. Maybe a comfy chair. A mini fridge. A good book or a few magazines.
There is no age deadline for potty training. Do not let anyone tell you otherwise. I mean, if your child is starting school in diapers because you said screw it, I give up, then okay, that might be a sign that something needs to be addressed. Otherwise, if the seemingly perfect Mommy in the neighborhood is bragging about her toddler being potty trained at age 2 and yours is knocking on age 3 and still pees all over the house, don’t sweat it. It’s been my experience, that when she is ready, she will just start going in the potty, like all the time. It will be as though she has known what to do all along and had just held out to see you do those goofy dances of praise or see how many new toys and pieces of candy she could get, or maybe even cars.
Now that I’ve shared some of the frustrations of Potty Training you will probably (more than likely) expect, please let me also share with you that….
All the frustrations will be worth the pain when your toddler finally starts getting the hang of it. You may even find it a little sad when you find her in the bathroom going on the potty without you. Not a lot of sadness, relief will be there mainly, but a little sadness is expected.
The happiness in your toddlers’ eyes when she sees how proud you are of her for making it to the potty. Praise her. Praise her hard.
Expect to have your own personal potty cheerleader when you go to the bathroom (because we all know a mom rarely gets a trip to the bathroom alone. Did I say rarely? I meant, never. My daughter will say “Good job Mommy!” and clap her hands. She also offers to wipe my butt. A task she has yet to accomplish doing for herself. I guess I could let her practice on me but, not today and not with the two little square sheets of toilet paper she’s planning to do it with.
You will not be perfect at Potty Training your Toddler. You will get exhausted and frustrated. You will feel that what little sanity you have left is slowly slipping out of your brain. That’s okay. You are okay. She is okay.
She will get it. I promise.
They grow up way to fast.
Don’t rush it.
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