I have a few things to say about this process called “Potty Training”. I feel like I’m supposed to be the one giving wisdom and advice, but with this I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I’M DOING! We’ve been introducing it since our son was 21 months and 5 months later he’s kinda sorta showing some signs that it’s starting to catch on. I’ll start with questions, then move on to my own thoughts.
- How do these people supposedly do this in 3 days?
I started like this. It was a 3 day weekend, Martin Luther King Day to be exact. I thought we’d be “free at last” from buying and changing diapers. After reading about it on Pinterest we let him walk around commando for the weekend. The only thing we got were puddles and piles all over the apartment, so we decided to do pull-ups. It did make for some adorable pictures that I’ll be using as blackmail later in life.
2. Is using pull-ups counterproductive?
No matter how many times we say, “If you have to pee or poop tell us, so you can go on the potty.” The little star on the from of the pull up ends up blurred. I’ve read that putting them in diapers or pull-ups doesn’t work because if they have something to use, they will. It makes sense, but the pull-ups must work for somebody or else they would still be on the shelves.
3. Did we start too early?
When we started potty training, he was showing some of those signs that the list say, mean he’s ready. While visiting my parents during Christmas break he even brought me his diaper bag when he pooped. I thought that MUST mean he’s ready to learn, but we’re 5 months into this and although he’s making some progress it seems its happening way too slow. Is it happening slow because we’re forcing him into something he’s not ready for?
4. How to respond to or get rid of the extra opinions?
I’m talking about the old school women looking at me funny when my 2 year old that’s the size of a 3-4 year old is still being laid on a changing table. I myself think it looks weird. But I can’t help it because that’s how I was raised. All I hear is how I was walking by 9 months and potty trained before 2. So 2 seemed to be the cut off. Now I’m learning from other “modern” moms that every child learns at their own pace and he’ll do it when he’s ready. Who’s right? Am I missing my son up for life my rushing him too early? or Am I ruining him by not giving him the extra push and firm hand I was given as a child? I can hear my mom, aunts, and grandma now “That boy is too big for them diapers.” “You need to just put some underwear on his butt.”
5. How should I use incentives?
I’ve tried a couple of things, although not consistently (this is probably my problem). I’ve kind of set up a tier of rewards. He gets a sticker for pee pee and a small toy for pooping. I used to do M&Ms, but I didn’t want to get into the habit of food as rewards. Plus he got really upset when I only gave him a couple at a time. One thing that I always do is say “YAY! You Pee Pee’d in the potty!” And continued the celebration by singing the “Pee Pee in the potty” song, which every mom seems to know. As with most things with kids consistency is key so this is something I have to work on.
6. What do I do about travelling?
This is also where I think we fall apart. It just seems like such a burden carry the potty everywhere and he won’t go near the regular toilet. So when we leave for errands or go out of town potty training kind of takes a back burner. I’ve just got to get that breastfeeding mindset back again and get used to the inconveniences for the sake of my son. Sure I hated either having to find somewhere to pump or stopping to nurse, but it was necessary. So is this if any of the training is going to stick.
I have had some success with the training. When we started it only took him a couple days to actually “go” in the potty. What we’re working on is getting the point that he will tell us he has to go. I’d say within the past month he has started to tell us he has to pee, sometimes he actually does and others he doesn’t. But, I’ve let him know that if he says “pee, pee” he’s sitting on the potty so he better say it when he means it. He’s only pooped in the potty twice, and I’m pretty sure it was by accident. He’s gotten up while I was cooking and went in his room to go number 2 so its safe to say that he doesn’t want to do it in the potty. He will, however, tell us he has to poop after he’s done it. Now its just getting him to say it before and get it in the freaking pot! I worry that I’m doing things wrong. As with all the child milestones I want to make sure he’s on track and really my competitive side wants him to be ahead of the curve. I did the same for walking and I’m working on his talking. Once again, this is how I was raised. My mom taught me to read before I was in school. I learned most things quickly and excelled, so it’s only natural to want the same for my son. What I am learning is that I have to take my own experiences, knowledge, and my sons individual traits and come up with what’s best for him. Hopefully some determination and reinforcement of expectations will get him in the right direction. If you’ve been through this please let me know your thoughts. If your going through it right now share your story as well.