How I could not potty train my threenager in 1 week (let us get real mommies)
Yes, the title says it all. I failed again and again and again and then succeeded (kinda almost). Everyone said age 2 was the perfect time to take the plunge and make him go diaperless. Well, I did that when he was like 2 years and 4 months old and he hated it. He would cry and run away and refuse to eat or drink. Then a few parents suggested waiting until he was ready. This made me put his diapers back again and there my little one was happy once more. He ate well and we both slept well.
Nevertheless, I gave it a shot a few months later and after the 2nd day, he fell sick (fever and throat infection) and yes just zero progress was made. There was an antibiotic session and he was weak and we did not want to bother with the training until he was happy and healthy.
Time flew and so many things kept happening in our life that this scared mommy kept this very dreaded topic of potty training stashed away in the basement of her brain. Well, eventually after his 3rd birthday I braved up and started it all over again. This time I decided to skip the stickers and the little cute potty and train directly on the big toilet with a simple IKEA stool and toddler toilet seat.
While he sat there being absolutely bored, I stood outside the door giving him enough privacy for his business and we stuck with this routine. Initially, even after waiting for 15minutes he would say there is nothing and come out just for dirtying the floor in a second. Keeping my patience intact was difficult and I lost my cool twice but, we read potty training books and watched potty training kid songs daily. Gradually, I started increasing his time to 20 minutes and waited outside passing my time by reading a ton of articles of how some amazing mothers potty trained their sons in 2 and 3 days. Somehow this overly sensitive me took it to heart and compared my 1-week struggle with zero progress and a fussy child and came to the conclusion that I was failing as a mother (dramatic violin music in the background).
Then I heard it “Oh no my poop is gone” I ran in and saw he did his business and we celebrated that evening by making some microwave mug cake. I had to take the next step of leaving him diaper less at night and well 3 nights we woke up in a lot of pee (we co sleep).
Long story short, there are no more diapers in this house. What?? Yes !!
How long did it take me? Well, over a month.
What about grocery trips? There was an accident in the car once. We still do not go far away for too long. We are taking it slow.
What has this entire experience taught me?
- Every kid is different so do not compare the pace at which you make progress
- Sometimes just when you think you made progress, your little one might have an accident and that is OK
- Be patient to your little one and yourself (I was an emotional mess)
- Establish a normal association for your little one with this whole process (he or she should not dread the toilet and hold back on excretion)
- Read potty training books and watch fun potty training videos. Make the whole experience enjoyable
- Prepare for accidents at home by equipping yourself with tons of wipes, floor cleaners, tissues, plastic bags etc.
- Get your little one excited about wearing big boy/big girl underpants
- There could be days when you will have one accident after the other and half a day would be over without you both eating a morsel of food. So please prepare extra food and stock up in your refrigerator.
I hope this post will motivate moms who think they are failing because mommies you are already doing a great job. Just hang in there and stay positive. If this tired mommy and her fussy threenager can do it then you can too.
I am getting the mom bag (prior diaper bag) re-arranged with extra clothes, wipes, an extra pair of shoes (yes when things get dirty it gets dirty everywhere phew) and much more essentials as this is a pretty new phase for us.
See you soon with a video and meanwhile share your stories in the comments below as I love reading what you are up to. Are you a potty training mommy? Then big hugs to you momma!