Potty training sucks. Anyone who tells you different should be headbutted in the nose by a toddler. Okay, that may be a little extreme. Some kids DO take to potty training right away. If that was your kid, this post ain’t for you. This is the REALITY of potty training. This one goes out to all those moms covered in their children’s urine, the one’s washing their 40th load of laundry today, the ones standing in a pee puddle in the middle of Target. This post is for you.
I gave birth to a…well, lets call him “spirited” child. He is very smart and independent. He is also insanely stubborn. I have been dreading the potty training fiasco since the pregnancy test came up positive. Lets face it, its just not fun. At all. Like a lot of moms, I had this beautiful idea in my head that it would just magically click at the age of 2 and diapers would be a thing of the past.
The reality is, here we are at 3, and this is still a war I am fighting. So here is what you need to know if you too will be heading into this battle with your little one.
There will be pee and a lot of it. And it will be everywhere. Everywhere, but the toilet, that is. At least at first. Get as comfortable as possible being bathed in another human’s bodily fluids. Whether you are being peed on, or sopping pee off of the floor, or carrying urine soaked bedding to the laundry room, you will be in close contact with your child’s pee.
Try and plan for it. Have extra clothing picked out and extra bedding at the ready. Keep a mop or carpet cleaner handy at all times. This will save you a lot of headaches in the moment.
There Will Be Poop
Many children will be comfortable peeing in the potty long before they are comfortable pooping in it. No idea why this is. I ask my toddler and he just says “I scared”. Not a clue what he is scared of because he has randomly pooped on the potty and lived to tell the tale.
Be prepared for the poop battle. It will more often than not end up in their pants or on the floor at first. Don’t stress. That’s par for the potty course. They will get on board eventually. They may win a lot of battles, but keep at it, and you will win the war, my friend.
No More Diapers…But(t)
Rejoice! The end of diapers is nigh! What a wonderful thing. I don’t know a single parent that enjoys changing diapers. However, the “ick” factor doesn’t end when the diapers go away for good. Oh no!
You see, you will still be doing an excess of butt wiping. For me, this grosses me out more than changinSg all the diapers in the world. I can’t explain why. Its not rational. I have obviously been doing this task all along, but somehow now it just seems yuckier to me.
So Much Laundry
You thought you were doing a lot of laundry before, moms. And you were. Be prepared for it to TRIPLE while potty training. I bought my son “big boy” underpants prior to starting this adventure. The ones I got had the days of the week on them. 7 pairs total. On day 1 of potty training, we got all the way from Sunday to Thursday before I gave in and made him go commando.
You will be washing bedding, and underpants, and clothing, and even shoes, so much more during this phase. But that’s all it is. A phase. This too shall pass. Grab that good bottle of wine and the big jug of detergent from the grocery store and go to your happy place as your washing machine works overtime.
Accidents Happen, but So Do “On Purposes”
Everyone expects accidents when they are potty training a child. Kids cant always make it to the potty. All very normal stuff. However, there is something that I wasn’t expecting, and that is what I like to call “on purposes.”
Story time. My son has been doing well. He’s been going on the potty pretty regularly for days. He will even run to the bathroom if he has to go. Well, one day, he decided to be super lazy because he was laying down watching a cartoon and didn’t want to get up and go. I am not even exaggerating when I say this kid let a gallon of pee loose in his bed. Also should mention that this was 5 minutes after I made him sit on the potty and he told me he couldn’t go. The kicker? He didn’t even tell me. I found out because he asked me for a snack and I walked into his room and noticed he was laying in a puddle.
I usually try to stay calm and be positive. I’m going to be real with you though. I lost my ever loving mind. I was not prepared for an “on purpose”. It was not okay and I let that boy know it. Now, I hate yelling like a lunatic, and it always gives me a hefty dose of the dreaded mom guilt afterward. However, it worked. We have not had an “on purpose” incident since. Sure we have had “accidents” where we didn’t quite make the bathroom. Never again have we had a rebellious pee though. For that, I am thankful.
Its a Process
The most important thing I am learning is that this whole thing truly is a process. Potty training doesn’t happen with the flip of a switch. I thought my stubborn child was never ever going to get it. In my mind, I envisioned him going to high school graduation with a diaper under his gown. Seriously.
But I will say, he is starting to really get it. We have only been at this for a week and a half (trying on and off for a year, but this last serious attempt has been a week and a half) and we are having accident free days. I have to constantly remind him and force him to sit on the potty, but he is getting it. And he is getting excited about it.
We are conquering pee right now. Next will be the poop. Then eventually we will tackle nap and nighttime. The process is long, but its working. That’s what I keep reminding myself.
What is Working for Us
So I have been given tons of advice about this particular topic. And I am the mom who will try it all and see what works. You can read about some of that potty training advice HERE.
I want to share what is currently working for us. Bribery. No shame in my mom game here. My son wants a Paw Patrol Sea Patroller. He really wants it bad. So I made a sticker chart. Not even anything fancy. I used a piece of printer paper and a permanent marker. He gets a sticker for every time he goes pee. He will get 2 if he ever poops on the potty. An accident-free day earns him 3.
What potty training advice have you been given? What has worked for you? What has failed miserably? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.