I feel like with each milestone my child goes through, each one gets harder and harder, seriously. We go from rolling over, to walking, to… potty training. I was so scared of potty training. It just seemed to be a daunting task, at least from stories I have heard from fellow mommas. Now that I have experienced potty training, I am ready for our next milestone. Potty training has been… a breeze, to say the least.
Sure there are hiccups, but my daughter is accomplishing so much (in such a small amount of time). Now keep in mind, she is a late bloomer. She is three years old, but that is such a great accomplishment as I know a few children that are older that still needs assistance. Each child goes at a different pace, but I am glad we are at the final stretch of potty training.
My fiancé had the chance to be home some this summer, so he really got the ball-rolling. The one-on-one work with my daughter did help tremendously. It was just sticking with the routine in the evenings, and even out in public. Keep in mind, my daughter is not FULLY putty trained, as she still wears a pull-up to bed. She is at the level of wearing big-girl undies all day, and out in public for a long duration of time. How did I keep my sanity while potty training? Here are six things to remember while potty training.
- Rewarding is okay.
I always debated if I wanted to reward my daughter with something if she went number one or number two on the toilet. I have heard everything from mini m&m’s to a sticker on a chart. I originally started with one mini m&m if she went number one, and two mini m&m’s if she went number two. This did not work. She thought she could get a mini m&m any time of the day. We then pushed away other ideas, and went full force. We just simply explained that if she got potty trained within a week or two times, she would be rewarded with a toy. Sure enough, she was where she is at now within a two week time frame. Crazy, right? Different methods work for different children. I have heard numerous stories of how a sticker chart worked for their kids!
- You start when they are ready.
A good way to tell if your child is ready to potty train is if they start pulling and tugging at their diaper. They begin to hate the feeling of being wet. And for some, they are intrigued by the toilet, so they must try it out. My daughter was the tugger. She would pull and pull at her diaper, and some times just take it off. This would be the time to introduce the concept of the toilet. If your child does not show any interest, it is okay. Slowly introduce it to them; it will come in time.
- Accidents happen, really.
You cannot throw your child to the wolves. They will not know what to do. Starting potty training is foreign for your child, so take it easy on then. I know, I know, it can be hard at times. Accidents happen, and that is okay. You may be walking down the aisle at your local grocery store, and your child starts crying because they urinated. This would be a time to remain calm. I always have an extra pair of undies in my purse for my daughter, for when we are out in public in case. If your child has an accident, remain calm and explain to them that accidents do happen, but they need to try to use the toilet.
- Smalls steps will lead your child to big goals.
Setting goals with your child will do multiple things for them. The biggest thing that setting goals will do is drive your child into accomplishing things in life. Start with the small goals, then work your way up to the bigger goals. Some small goals can be going an afternoon without using the restroom in a pull-up. Then progress into going all day without a pull-up. Then accomplish it all with going out in public in undies. Progression is key for potty training. It will not click over night. It does take time, momma.
- You need to assist your child from the sidelines.
In order for your child to properly potty train, you have to cheer them on from the side lines. With you assisting their every move, they will not learn that they have to do it all on their own one day. Sure, you will more than likely have to follow behind with more toilet paper if they took a nasty poop, but overall, let them do it. Occasionally my daughter needs assistance, but I like to see her try. I have seen many mommas make signs of what the child needs to do when using the bathroom. It would state “put the seat up, use the potty, wipe, flush, put the seat down, wash your hands, and dry them off”. Whatever works best for your little one, go for it!
- You need to show excitement.
I never knew with being a momma, I would be jumping for joy when my child took a number two in the toilet. Butttt here I am. When my daughter first started potty training, she would always give me a thumbs up as she needed the a-okay from me or something. I would always scream in excitement for her. Being excited for your child shows them that you are there for them, and it honestly would encourage them to keep going. A child will not grow if you just shrug your shoulders and say “Great, you peed.” Do you see what I mean?
Children go through so many stages of life, and this is a tough stage. Some children potty train like a breeze, while others struggle for months or more. To keep your sanity through this time, and to encourage your child, keep these six things to remember in the back of your mind. I hope potty training goes well for your little one, and always remember, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. No more diapers to change!! Yay, right?
Hang in there,