Thanks to Sam’s Club and Charmin for sponsoring this talk about potty training.
I’ve talked about potty training before. I’ve done this ‘training’ thing twice already and have two more kids to get through it. Even though I know what I’m doing (sort of), it is always something as a parent I really dread.
It’s not the ‘convincing my toddler to pee on the pot’ that has me dreading potty training. It isn’t even the messes I will probably have to clean up. It’s the simple fact that I never know when my child is actually going to be ready. As I talked about in my previous post, The Brain-Bladder Connection and Potty Training, being able to control when and where you go isn’t always about you – it isn’t even really about your toddler, it is about your toddler’s brain and when it will properly start communicating with the bladder.
This bladder communication happens at different ages for each child, which is something that we never really know when will happen, so in the meantime all we can do is prepare ourselves (and our toddlers) for what will hopefully happen sooner than later.
As you are reading this you may be thinking, “Great, if I don’t know when my child is ready how can I know when to start asking her to go pee on the potty?” While there really is no perfect answer for that, I do have some tips that may help ease you through the whole potty training stage.
Potty Training 101
- Have a sense of humor, and some patience – As I mentioned, you never know when your child is going to be ready. Sometimes it will be at the supermarket when your angel decides it is the perfect time to take off her pants and diaper and yell at the top of her lungs, “I have to pee!”
- Be ready for messes – Even though your hope is your child will only go in the toilet or on their special potty, the truth is sometimes they go on the floor, or in their bed, or wherever they happen to be when the urge hits.
- Set your child up for success – Give them their own space to go. For each child, this may be different. My eldest daughter loved using the little seat you could place on top of the toilet. We had a stool for her so she could climb up and use her special seat whenever she needed. My 1-year-old that we are introducing the potty to right now prefers her own potty placed in her room.
We also give her own toilet paper roll so she really feels like she has her own space to go. I typically go to Sam’s Club and stock up on Charmin Ultra Soft. Not only does it offer more per roll than other toilet paper we have used (kids always take more than they need and a toddler especially takes extra!), it is a great value buying it at Sam’s. Charmin Ultra Soft is the perfect accessory for any toilet training child as well because it is soooo soft and those little bums won’t feel scratchy at all.
- Be ready for the unexpected – Sometimes when you give a child toilet paper, they will decorate your Christmas tree. Isn’t it beautiful?!
- Keep asking, but don’t expect or insist – While you can ask your child if they need to go, the answer may be a resounding NO, and that is okay. Be consistent in asking, but if your toddler shows no interest or doesn’t seem to be able to tell when he has to go, don’t insist or demand he does so as that may just set him back further.
One of my favorite parenting authors, Janet Lansbury, also offers the following advice:
- Become a practiced observer – When children seem to be signaling an urge to eliminate (by touching their diapers, pressing their thighs together, etc.), ask matter-of-factly if they would like to use the potty. Calmly accept no for an answer.
- Offer the choice of diapers or underwear – When you sense children might be ready for toilet learning, always fully accepting their choice to stay in diapers.
Right now we’ve just been having a bit of fun introducing the potty to my spunky little almost-two-year-old, and she has actually gone on the potty a couple times, but she really has no interest in doing so consistently or on her own. So for the moment, we will just wait and when she gives us the cues that she is ready – I will be too!
Share your potty training tip and win!
Thanks again to Sam’s Club and Charmin for sponsoring this talk about potty training. If I didn’t mention before, we love using the Charmin Ultra soft and it has resurfaced at Sam’s Club for a limited time. Bonus! There’s a thousand free extra sheets per pack.