For many parents, the time to start potty training is filled with joy for the day that diapers will be no more. For myself, it’s a period I dread. I’ve been a part of the team supporting child and their parents through the potty training process more times than I can name. I’ve cleaned up countless children, wiped up MANY floors, and done innumerable loads of laundry from “accidents” that may or may not have been an accident. No matter how you go about this process with a child I know that much of this is inevitable. Over time my thoughts on potty training has ebbed and flowed.
After watching many children succeed in learning to use the toilet and many have to go about it in their own way, I know that this process is not one size fits all. I’m also a firm believer that a child will not make the switch from diapers to the potty until they are good and ready. At times we can wonder if we’re crazy in what we’re thinking about on this parenting journey, but I really appreciated this post from Janet Lansbury affirming my inclination on why we shouldn’t potty train. I realize we can’t force a child to make the switch, but sometimes it’s hard to know when a child is good and ready.
My husband doesn’t get my potty training/toilet learning dread, as he thinks this is a great next step for our daughter. I’ve tried to explain what’s in our future and why I’m not wanting to rush this next stage, but I think seeing is believing. For the last several months, VHP has been showing more and more signs of potty training readiness. I’m really trying to follow her lead so that things can go as quickly, smoothly, and
painless many loads of laundry free as possible.
Since thanksgiving, things have been even more potty focused in the Parker house. Around 12:00 on Thanksgiving day, I took VHP upstairs for a diaper change and she demanded no diaper. I asked if she needed to go potty, to which she responded yes. Took her and she did in fact pee a fair amount (not the first time this has happened mind you). After that she REFUSED to put a diaper on, so big girl panties it was. She did great through thanksgiving lunch (an early meal due to my brother having to work), and went potty again before nap. I did put a diaper on for nap time (much to her dismay), but it was right back to being in panties after that. Difference this time was that she would NOT use the potty. Well, during snack she decided she HAD to come sit with me. As anyone can guess, half way through snack she and I both had wet pants. We changed our clothes, finished snack and played for a bit. After snack we tried to potty again with no luck. Shortly thereafter my mom noticed VHP’s pants were wet AGAIN. Changed her clothes AGAIN which I know is normal for this process, but tiring nonetheless. Before long it was potty time again, VHP wouldn’t go, and not too long after that it was accident #3! I decided enough was enough, and back to the diapers she went (with much protestation)!
Over the next couple weeks VHP would use the potty some, but this past week it’s been different. She has started requesting to go potty, and really going more than usual. Saturday she used the potty more than soiling her diapers, and for that I was really excited. But then there was the after dinner diaper change incident in a public restroom. She was being cooperative through the diaper change, and all was well in our world. Then I asked if she needs to go potty, which is the normal diaper change question lately, and her response was yes. I’m getting ready to grab her and take her potty when I notice the changing pad is getting wet. She smiles. I tell her we don’t pee on the change on the changing table, to which she responds, “yeah, pee potty.” I affirm this and clean up the new mess on our hands. VHP keeps giggling and declares, “its’s funny!”
Sigh, have I mentioned I dread potty training?!
I’m hoping this whole process goes well, but I’m feeling quite skeptical. Tips for what has worked for you? Guidance on what hasn’t worked? Stories to share on the
challenges JOY of switching from diapers to using the potty?