My youngest is 2 and a half and we’re getting very close to that time in her life where she needs to learn how to use a toilet. I mean I guess she could wear pull ups a little longer but it will probably just make things easier to get into the trenches of training her to go on her own, am I right?
I’m very hesitant about this for 2 reasons: 1.) it’s potty training and inevitably every bribe you try to use will lose its luster and my child will refuse to sit on that dang potty! It happens every time, I swear.
2.) I had a really bad experience potty training my first daughter and it has kinda traumatized me. I’m very, very hesitant, and let’s be honest here, I’m scared to train my youngest daughter. I’m having flashbacks and episodes run through my brain and it is not pretty. Is it possible to have PTSD from potty training a toddler?
Here’s what I’m doing differently this time:
- I’ve waited a year longer than when I potty trained Rory. She was closer to 18 months and that blew up in my face!
- I’ve introduced her to the potty sporadically for the last 6 months or so. When she’s in the bath tub and makes that face, you know the one where they’re about to poop and ruin bath time, I’ll pull her out and put her the toilet. She’s gone a couple of times and other times well bath time has ended very quickly 🤦♀️
- The last, and what I consider to be the most important, is I’m not using a training potty!! I repeat, I’m not using a training potty!! My oldest son learned on a regular sized potty and it was quick and somewhat painless. My oldest daughter, on the other hand, learned on a training potty, in the middle of our living room/kitchen.
She had no sense of privacy. She never learned that going potty happened in a different room where you sit on a regular sized potty, wipe when you’re done then wash hands is the norm.
It’s mainly my fault. I was busy with other things and didn’t put in the work it required to make sure she knew that you don’t just get up from the potty and run around like a feral child. She was also just not ready for it.
Either way, the small training potty has traumatized me from ever using it again. Georgia doesn’t mind the big potty. She sees everyone else using it and wants to use it too so it’s a win-win!
So I’ve actually decided to start potty training. The day after I started writing this post I just felt like she was ready. Plus I just didn’t feel like having to change multiple pull ups a day. It’s been a couple weeks now and I’ve had to do a little bribing with candy but she actually has taken to it super quickly. I know this can change but for now she’s into it.
This is what I’ve been doing:
- I set a timer for 20 minute increments and put her on the toilet when the timer goes off. Sometimes she’ll go on her own other times I have to carry her in but either way she has to sit there for more than 5 seconds. She’s gone every time!
- Next, I make her pull down her pants and pull up and also pull them back up, so she gets used to doing it herself. I do have to help a little but she does most of it all on her own.
- I also have her wipe herself too. That obviously requires my help also.
- Lastly, I make it fun. I smile and cheer when she goes. I’ll bring the phone in and lay it on the floor for her to watch. I have no shame! Whatever will get her in that bathroom I will use!! But ultimately I haven’t had to bribe her since the 2nd or 3rd time so that’s not even part of the fun anymore.
If you are in the trenches, or are thinking about getting in them soon, I hope these tips, I’ve learned through my almost 10years as a mom of 3, help you out. It really is a learning process and every child is different. So stay strong mama, I know it gets frustrating but think about all the money and time you’ll save not buying diapers/pull ups and having to change them 😊
Good luck and God speed,