Keys to Potty Training Success
It’s hard to believe, but we’ve gone 4 days without an accident. The days when D1 would fling off her poopy diaper and leave a trail from her bedroom to the toilet are long gone -if Hansel and Gretel used that for a trail, they’d have never gotten lost. If you missed my earlier post on potty training tips and ideas, check it out here, as I can now attest that they do work. We still have a little ways to go, especially since we incessantly have to ask, “Do you have to pee?” but after months of dealing with poop, I can finally see the light at the end of this intestinal tunnel.
So if you’re having a poopy time with potty training, here are some keys to success.
The first two keys, I’ve learned from recent accidents. For the past 2 weeks, D1’s been toddler commando, including overnight and during naps and in that span, she’s had two accidents.
The first, we were at a restaurant for dinner and we asked her if she needed to go pee. She said yes and it was my wife’s turn to take her. But when my wife got to the bathroom, she realized Nature was calling her as well – and in a very big way. So D1 stood just outside the stall as my wife dropped the kids off at the pool and my wife hears D1 say, “Uh oh! My underwear is wet.”
Key to Success #1: If you tell your toddler you’re taking her to pee, you better take her to pee.
The second, we were at church and D1 was too busy playing to be bothered with peeing in the toilet.
Key to Success #2: until they get better control of their systems, it’s best to ask them from time to time if they need to pee. You know how your parenting senses tingle when it’s way too quiet in the other room your kids are playing? If your kids get to wrapped in what they are doing, your parenting senses should go off as well.
Key to Success #3: Hit ’em where it hurts. My daughter loves Dora, the Disney Princesses, and Sesame Street. So we bought her underwear with those characters printed on them (HOORAY for sales at Target). A few weeks ago, I tried a new tactic and told D1: “if you pee on Dora/Cinderella/Bell/Zoe/Prairie Dawn, they will be sad. Do you want them to be sad?” “No, appa,” was her response. Then last week, she said, “Appa, if I pee on Dora, Dora will cry and be sad like this *makes pouty face*”
This worked surprisingly well. And if you have a boy, just tell them Bob the Builder and Buzz really get sad when they get pooped on.
Key to Success #4: Always be aware of your surroundings. You know how before a movie starts, they instruct you to locate the nearest exit and in case of an emergency
trample everyone to get there walk, not run to that exit? For us potty training parents, it’s important to locate the nearest bathroom in case of an emergency.
Key to Success #5: Along with #4, make sure you always ask if they need to pee anytime you leave some place or arrive at a new place.
Key to Success #6: Attitude – and I think this is the most important. I’m not going to lie to you – potty training was really difficult and there were times when I resigned myself to thinking, “Ok. As long as D1 is potty trained by age 4, I think we’ll be ok. That’s ok, right?” But we tried to maintain a positive attitude about potty training in general. I’m sure you’ve noticed by now that kids are keenly aware of and are significantly impacted by the attitude and behavior of their parents. The same goes for potty training. Sure it’s literally crappy some/most days, but try not to be frustrated, especially when there are accidents – notice I said when, not if.
When they have a success, smile and praise ’em. If they have an accident, smile and tell them it’s ok (and also that Dora is very, very sad).
Now our only problem? We have a box of Size 4 Pampers left. Thankfully, D2 is a beast (4 months and already in Size 3’s) and should be using those in no time.
So D1, Daddy’s dedicating this song to you!
We’ve come a long, long way together
Through the hard times and the good
I have to celebrate you baby
I have to praise you like I should
So what about you? What were your keys to potty training success?