My little girl is potty trained! The excitement and pride that my husband and I have are beyond words. This moment is one that has been a very long time coming. In fact, this has been our third attempt at getting it done. Our first attempt came after I dreamily hoped that we could get her out of diapers before our son was born. Pinterest and the magic book about potty training an 18 month old helped those dreams. Alas, for us, it was not meant to be. She simply was not ready. The second time around is a different story. I fully believe that physically she was capable of doing it. However, she is a strong willed child (not sure where that come from….lol) and she decided that she wasn’t going to do it. End of story. However, as preschool is coming closer and closer we knew that this was something that needed to happen and so we brainstormed for quite some time about how to get there. Therefore, I am coming at you today on how we got our girl ready for the potty and what was learned along the way.
In all honesty the only thing that was really learned along the way was to absolutely use your gut and know that YOU know your child best and what is right for them. I’ll admit that with our first potty training attempt I really wanted it to work. I was not looking forward to having two children in diapers. In reality though, I knew she wasn’t quite there and we were attempting it way to close to having our son. Even if she would have taken to the potty, I’m pretty sure we would have had to deal with some regression issues that I don’t think will be a problem now. The second time around I thought we could get it done and if we would have pushed her we probably would have. However, again, it wasn’t a good time for her and I think we would have done more harm than good had we kept at it.
This time, however, was different. We prepped her for it well in advance instead of springing it on her suddenly. We had told her that only kids that use the potty can go to school with the other kids. We even told her that she needed to be able to use the potty before we could go see the castle at Disneyland. In fact, one thing that we did that I believe helped tremendously was when we bought the last set of diapers we told her that those were the last ones we were buying and after that it was time to start wearing her undies.
Before we started this time I also prepped myself a little bit more with things I knew would help her out. Again, this is where my advice of knowing who your child is and throwing everyone else’s advice out the window comes into play. A very happy coincidence that occurred before we started was when I went out to buy diapers and wipes for my son. It just so happened that the wipes container that came in the box that time was a Frozen theme. My daughter immediately wanted it. I also happened to get flushable wipes while I was out that time and I told her that the Frozen container was only used with the wipes that were for when she used the potty. I’m pretty sure that triggered something for her at that point. Also, I’ve heard to not “reward” or “bribe” them with things and normally I’m all about it. However, potty training is not easy on a kid. It is not something that comes naturally to most children and it is a learned process. Therefore, in my opinion, as it is being taught it should be rewarded. What works best for my daughter is snacks and money. Therefore, we implemented an M&M rewarded (two for pee and five for poop) along with a little monetary incentive (a couple cents for pee and a dollar for poop).
The morning we started this time she was completely fine with it. She knew her diapers had run out and was ok with what was next. After breakfast that morning she and I went into her room and said goodbye to her changing pad and diaper holder and carried them out. The first day she had quite a few accidents. The second day she went a couple times on the potty and saw what she could get by doing that. Ever since then she’s been pretty good to go. I also want to make note here that we have only been at this for two weeks and she already doesn’t ask for the rewards that we implemented at the beginning. She just knows that she goes on the potty now and is ok with that.
We do have a few accidents here and there and again each kid is different and you just need to know their trigger. For my daughter it is in the morning if we don’t take her night time undies (a pull up) off right away and put her regular underwear on. The pull up feels too much like a diaper and she knows if she has it on it won’t be a big deal if she goes potty in them. Before we started, we decided to use one at night as we use a baby gate on her doorway and were worried that she might not be able to wake us up in time to go. However, as long as she doesn’t have a cup of water in her room at night (which we needed to put in with her again this week as she has been sick) she always wakes up dry. Therefore, after the package that we bought is gone we won’t be buying another one.
Hope this advice helps some of you and as always have a happy day!