So. You are at home with your toddler (we are praying for you) and think it might be time for a potty training boot camp. Are you armed with the right equipment? Do you have all it takes? Who does number two work for? (sorry …Austin Powers reference. I applaud you if you get it.) Well I’m sorry to say – we don’t have the keys to the kingdom when it comes to foolproof methods for potty training, but we do have some tried and true advice. If you follow these words of wisdom, you might come out the other side of this thing alive!
Don’t Push Potty Training On A Newly Minted Two Year-Old
If the candles on the cake haven’t stopped smoking and you are putting your child in pull ups, you are probably doing it wrong. There isn’t a set start date. Every child is different. Let’s take a breath together and back away from the toddler potty. Look for these signs before starting to potty train. Your child is:
- Waking up dry after naps
- Telling you when he/ she is soiled
- Asking to be changed
- Watching you use the toilet (just let it happen, Karen.)
- Trying to pull the diaper off
Pull Ups Are A Very Helpful Tool
Although SOME children can go straight to underwear from a diaper, this is not often the case. Pull ups provide a less messy way of mastering the pant pull up skill. This is also a life-saver when you leave the house for an extended period of time. Unless…of course…you like carrying five pairs of wet underwear around in your bag. Here is a good rule of thumb – if your child remains dry in his pull up for three days in a row, have him put on his big-boy paints and start rolling the dice, but in a more confident manner.
Daycare Cannot Potty Train Alone
Consistency is key. Let’s say your child finally gets the hang of potty training two months from now. He still hasn’t hit the “three day dry” mark in his pull ups, but he is getting close. Please DO NOT send in underwear to school and say “may the force be with you.” He still needs pull ups. Also, talk to your child’s teacher about what you are doing at home to enforce potty training. We will work with you. We cannot stop every 30 minutes to take your child to the bathroom to “try.” But we will work with you. This is why pull ups are very important. Keep in touch with your child’s teacher and work with them. At the end, the teacher can throw a potty party! Good time guaranteed.
This Is Not A Two-Day Process
Prepare for a long-game approach. Consistency is key. I also believe m&m’s are key…but that’s not everybody’s bag. Never shame your child for accidents. This type of training will take unyielding patience. Those people who say “my child practically potty trained herself” do not know the heart-dropping feeling of having your child poop in her underwear in the middle of target. This WILL happen. Just take a deep breath (upwind), and remain strong. Every child is different. If you compare your experience with any other parent’s experience you are doing it wrong. Give yourself a break.
Once They Are In Underwear, I’m FREE!
Nope. Just…..nope. Some will have to wear night time pull ups into elementary school. Some will regress. My child, for example, began wetting her bed again after her grandfather died. It was just a subconscious reaction to a very emotional experience. We regrouped. We survived.
You will laugh, you will cry, you will likely need wine. But you guys have GOT THIS. And there is no time like the present to start.
Here is our happy thought for the day. Last week, as you know, Redeemer CDC furloughed its teachers. It was a tough decision, but we knew it was best for them and best for the school. This is a tough time. We didn’t expect grace or compassion. So when we received it, we are blown away.
Our teachers have BLOWN US AWAY!
This week, our teachers showed up. They were not asked. They didn’t even let us know. They just got back to what they love to do. They are answering your emails on Brightwheel. They are setting up their own Zoom calls with their classrooms. They are coming together for one purpose – your children.
We are beyond blessed to have a group of women (and one guy) who have dedicated their hearts, souls and brilliant minds to keeping your children engaged as best they know how.
We will see each other again soon. Until then, virtual high fives and fist bumps. We see you, Redeemer teachers. You are true champions!