“Potty training was the worst experience of my life.”
“Potty training is the best birth control.”
I dreaded it. For years all I heard from friends and family was how terrible and hard potty training was. Traumatic! Agonizing! Awful! I. Was. Petrified. Thankfully, I had a good friend who calmed my nerves and told me how she potty trained her two kids. I took her advice and vowed to take the journey in the least stressful way possible.
We bought Audrey a potty almost a year ago. For a long time it just sat in our bathroom downstairs and she really had no interest. Eventually…she was curious. She started just randomly sitting on it at times–and funny enough–the first time she sat on it she pooped a little! Every time she did even the littlest bit of something, I jumped around and celebrated like a crazy person. We had a timer that I would set during the day every 30 minutes or so and I would have her sit on the potty for a few minutes. Most of the time nothing happened and sometimes she refused. I never forced her. Not one time.
I slacked off for quite a few months with the timer thing and encouraging her to try sitting on the potty. I was always so distracted by Lauren who was always needing me for something or other. Once I decided to start trying again, Audrey had zero interest. I was frustrated at first but then once I thought about it I quickly realized that wasn’t going to help either one of us. So I let it go–Frozen style! When she was ready she would let us know.
A few weeks went by without even looking at her potty. Then a few months ago she was sitting on the couch one morning watching a show and she just looked at me very matter of factly and said, “Momma, I want to go peepee on da potty!” Um…OKAY let’s GO!!! So to the potty we went. She excitedly exclaimed, “Momma, I’m peepening!” The next week she peed on the potty on a regular basis. No prompting by us whatsoever. When she had to go, she told us and she went. Before long she was asking to go first thing in the morning and right before bed. After a week of peeing on the potty and having a dry pull-up all day, she told her teacher at Kids Church that she had to go potty. Huge step for her–to not only not go in her pull-up–but to tell someone who wasn’t me or Chris that she had to go. That night we took her to the store to pick out her own underwear. Of course, she picked Frozen. The next morning for the first time we put our big girl in underwear and off we went.
Poop took a while to master. She either went in her underwear or she waited till she had a pull-up on. But our reward and sticker system worked and eventually she just got it. We only ever had one poop accident outside of the house. Not bad if you ask me!
We are using her sticker chart and rewards for a few more weeks but even now we are fairly confident she is full speed ahead as a big girl. She hasn’t had an accident of any sort in weeks. She poops on the potty like a pro and doesn’t even need our help when she goes pee anymore. In the past week we have stopped putting a pull-up on at naptime and she is currently only wearing a pullup at bedtime. Even then in the last 3 weeks or so she has only had a wet pullup one morning. She goes potty right before bed and even wakes us up in the middle of the night! (Yay? I think?)
We couldn’t be more proud of our big girl!
My advice to those of you who have not yet entered the land of potty training is to not force it. I would highly recommend introducing it early around 20 to 24 months. But just let them explore. Don’t pressure them. Let them get comfortable with the idea of it and when they’re ready they will do it. No sense in traumatizing everyone in the process.
So what are your tips and tricks? What advice would you offer others getting ready to take this step?