Guest post by: Julie Kieras of the blog, A Year With Mom and Dad
Iâ€™m a former first-time potty trainer. In about a year or so, Iâ€™ll be back in the trenches, potty training myÂ second child.
What Iâ€™ve learned from my sixteen month experience (yes, that long!) with my son is: â€œWhen they areÂ ready, they are ready.â€ Our son gave many indicators he was interested in the potty at twenty-twoÂ months, but then lost interest about three hundred or so days of the following year!
I spent a lot of time being frustrated, comparing his progress to other children, and worrying somethingÂ was wrong with him. In the end I learned â€¦ it was all okay and very normal. So Iâ€™m here to give a fewÂ reassurances to first-time parents of toddlers.
Itâ€™s okay: if the 72-hour plan doesnâ€™t work for you. It didnâ€™t for me. And I really, really tried it! In fact, inÂ truth, it likely WONâ€™T work unless your child is absolutely ready to potty train. (And youâ€™re not nursing aÂ newborn!).
Itâ€™s okay: if your child isnâ€™t ready to potty train at the same time as other children his age. As my motherin-law always told me, â€œHeâ€™s not going to go to kindergarten in diapers.â€ Likely not!
Itâ€™s okay: if your child has an accident just milliseconds after you ask him if he wanted to use the potty.
Itâ€™s going to happen. About a million times! Just be consistent and help him attempt to go at regularÂ intervals (upon waking, before meals, bathtime, sleeping are good signal times).
Itâ€™s okay: if your child seem unconcerned about whether they are wet or dry. One of these days it willÂ just â€œclickâ€ and they will want to stay dry! Keep being positive about any success. When there areÂ accidents, be matter-of-fact and positive about future success: â€œUh-oh, itâ€™s an accident! Next time weâ€™llÂ get to the potty on time!â€ There should be no shame in trying to learn this very important life skill!
Look for true indicators your child is ready. Their excitement over a new potty chair and a sticker/rewardÂ chart might get you all excited tooâ€¦ but hereâ€™s what you should look for:
â€¢ Ability to take clothes off independently
â€¢ Finding more frequent dry diapers when you change them
â€¢ Willingness to sit on the potty for an extended length of time (more than 10 seconds!)
Above all â€“ have fun with potty training. It can be draining and disappointing by turns! But donâ€™t neglectÂ to sing a special song to remind your child to use the potty, create a â€œpotty danceâ€ for successful â€œgoâ€™s,â€Â and praise-praise-praise your child for all their efforts. Even when you do find toilet paper trails throughÂ the entire house because they wanted to find you to let you know wiped!
Looking back, most of the times I had to grit my teeth and keep pressing on have dimmed, and I mostlyÂ remember his delightful smile when he shouted, â€œI DID IT!â€ or â€œIâ€™m DRY!!â€
Then him beckoning me, â€œCome on, Mommy! Do the potty dance!â€
And why not? â€“ because every parent could use a little more dancing, right?
*Note that none of my advice here is to be considered professional or medical advice. I am speakingÂ solely from my own experiences in hopes of helping other parents!
*Note from Joovy: Â be sure to check out our potty for your potty training toddler. The Joovy Loo looks good and pairs perfectly with the StepTool for reaching to wash hands!