Diaries Magazine

The Potty Training Dilemma

By Parentingsmh @parentingsmh

We all have to suitup at one time or another, but how we play the game is usually alwaysdifferent.  I have heard so manydifferent potty training stories, and well, nightmares from parents.  Each experience is different and some peoplehave a harder time than others.

When wedecided it was time to potty train Master M, we had no clue what we weregetting into.  Naturally, like most newparents we took to the literature.  Oneof the best potty training books we read was "Mommy I Have to go Potty" by Jan Faull, M.Ed. 

This was our go toresource when it came to potty training.It helped us understand some of the resistance we got from M.  It was also great in helping us to reallyunderstand the signs of potty training readiness.
The biggest dilemmaabout potty training is knowing what your child needs.  It's kind of like being a manager.  You have to learn what motivates youremployees in order to get the results and productivity you desire.  Same principle applies to kids and pottytraining.  Apart from that, here are someof my tips for getting your child potty trained.
Start themyoung.  Sounds a little crazy but I thinkit was helpful.  Now I don't mean reallystart them, but at least begin the potty introduction.  We started this at around 18 months.  We began to introduce M to the potty byexplaining what it was and what he was expected to do with it. 
Get a goodbook.  Or two.  Not for you, them.  Think about it.  You got a book to help you through it, sowhat makes you think they don't need one.We read potty books to M nightly and after a few times he started torequest them.  His favorite was "A Potty For Me" by Karen Katz.  Heasked for it so much he knew all the words.
The Potty Training Dilemma

Location.  Location.Location.  In real estate, this isthe one of the highest tenants.  No onewants to buy property near a power plant.Similarly, your kid does care where they "go".  Our first spot was to put the potty in what Ithought was a logical place, the bathroom, which yielded absolutely no resultswhat so ever.   We finally put the pottyin M's room and that's when things really got started.

Practice MakesPerfect.  Set aside time for pottytraining.  Create a routine of when youwill have your kids practice going to the potty.  This just means they sit on the potty.  DO NOT expect results from this.One of the biggest mistakes we made wasexpecting results from practice sessions and getting frustrated when M wantedto play.  We didn't understand this wasnormal and was supposed to happen.Basically, the practice sessions are just for your child to get used tositting on a potty and understanding what they are supposed to do.  Playing is okay, it means they're comfortable.
Ditch the crib.  Once M was reasonably able to determine whenhe needed to "go" we decided to turn his crib into a daybed to make surehe could get in and out of his bed without having to wait for one of us to gethim out.

Potty training ispretty much the first sign of your child's maturity.  Knowing that M now had an understanding ofwhen he needed to go, we thought it would make sense to make it easier for himto act on it.  The potty was already inhis room so we wanted to make sure he could get to it without having to waitunnecessarily.

Go on maternityleave.  No not really, that's mystory, you can just take a vacation.  When I had J, M was two weeksaway from his second birthday and we were already at the point where he was telling uswhen he needed to go (for the most part).  Of course therewere still numerous accidents but we were on our way.  Once I had J, we were both home and ableto potty train 24/7 (kind of).
Ditch the pullups.  Honestly, I found pull up to beuseless.  They were pretty just expensivediapers to me.  M didn't really get anybenefit out of it and my pockets were less deep because of them.  We went straight to underwear and only useddiapers for naps and bedtime.  Things gotmessy but we knew it would and were prepared for it.

Naked Time (For boys).  I was told this is really helpful for boys.  I don't know for sure, but I do know this is what gave us our first breakthrough.  This was completely by accident though.  We got into a routine of morning and evening training.  Dad worked on him in the AM and I had the PM shift after work.  During this time, we took the diapers off and put on underwear or just shorts with no underwear.  One evening, after getting home, I asked M if he wanted underwear or shorts.  He replied "I don't want nothing."  Not wanting to fight with a toddler, I replied "fine"and left him bottomless.  After about 10 minutes at home, we were playing in the dining room and all of a sudden, M took off running to his room. By the time I got to the room, he was already sitting on the potty.

Accidents are okuntil they're not okay.  Seriously,accidents ARE ok.  I mean, they'relearning after all, right?

Somewhat.Accidents are ok, until they stop reallybeing accidents.  This is where knowingand understanding your child's personality is crucial.M was doing pretty well for the most part andwhen he had an accident every now and again we were fine with it.  We cleaned up the mess, and gave him a bathto clean him up.  Then we startednoticing the accidents becoming more frequent.We also noticed, M was no longer getting upset about it, and starteddemanding that we give him a bath.Knowing my smart a$$ child, it was obvious these were no accidents.  So, instead of baths, we switched to showers, which he hated.  After about two showers, I had a completelypotty trained child.  About a week or twoafter M's birthday he was completely potty trained including nighttime. 

Find these tipshelpful?  I don't mind if you shareit.  Go on tweet it, you know you wantto.

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