Potty-Training Reality Vs Online “Methods”
My son will be three is six weeks. So, the societal driven potty-training deadline is quickly approaching. As a mother, I feel the pressure. I bought the toddler potty about eight months ago. It has been in our bathroom sitting next to the toilet. I have encouraged my son to sit on the potty, with his pants on, while I go to the bathroom. He does occasionally. He is not overly excited about the potty. He does not seem scared of the potty. He is indifferent at this point.
I can tell my son is learning the feeling of when he has to poop. He always disappears into another room or hides behind the couch. With the diaper, it is difficult to tell if he has learned the peeing sensation. He doesn’t let me know when he as a wet diaper. I am on a constant lookout for the blue line. But there is that deadline, so ready or not, right?
As any typical millennial with a new task in front of her, I took to Google. Search: Potty-Training. I’m pretty sure, 90% sure, I read every single article on Google. Then, I found some mommy blogs on social media, and read potty-training articles off countless blogs.
Have you ever read any of the several hundred articles about the Two-day potty-training method? They all look the same. Covering a few VERY simple guidelines: Get rid of diapers (except for nap and bedtime). Day One; leave your child naked, or in pants with no underwear. Take your child to the potty every 20 to 30 minutes. Give lots of praise if they pee or poop in the potty. Day Two; you may put pants on your child, but no underwear. Take your child to the potty every 20 to 30 minutes. Then, lots of details about potty-training success. Whalaa! End of the article.
Once I was thoroughly convinced (guided by one-sided articles), that this was going to be an easy process, I turned to my neighbors. Fortunately, I live in a neighborhood full of young families. I asked around (atypical millennial). When talking to my neighbors I saw another side of the potty-training story. Most followed the popular Two-day method. But their child was not trained after two days. For most families it took two to three months to feel their child was successfully potty-trained. For many, their children were three and a half before the task was complete.
One trend I noticed when getting personal stories from my neighbors, was that children who were at home with mommy all day, or a nanny all day seemed to take longer to potty-train. Children who were in a day care situation seemed to all be potty-trained by three years old or before. This makes sense, a child at home with mommy or nanny does not see 15 other two-year-old's going to use the potty. Children learn so much by watching what is happening in their environment. Watching mommy and daddy use the potty is helpful. But they have likely always seen that (parents get NO privacy). Whereas they relate more to seeing another two-year-old going to use the potty.
Let’s Get Started
With my Google knowledge and stories from my neighbors I embarked on the potty-training task. Two-day Method, here we come. Fingers crossed. My son refused to be naked for the first day. Which I expected. He is already very aware of clothes, and that other people have them on, so he should have them on. Fine. We started day one with pajama pants, no diaper, no underwear. Some articles do warn to stay on hard surfaces for two days, because there will be accidents. Let me decode for you, you child will be peeing and pooping everywhere. You have taken off the diaper, the tool used to catch the pee and poop…duh! That probably seems obvious, but trust me, it needed to be spelled out. You are taking your child to the potty every 20 to 30 minutes, to learn about going to the potty frequently, in case they need to pee. Day One, they have no idea what that means. They will pee in their pants, on your couch, about 20 seconds after they sit on the potty. Stay Calm! Walk them back to the potty, strip their wet pants, clean them up, get dry pants, and try again in 30 minutes. And that will be your potty-training life.
We are on day seven and my son has had two, probably accidental, pees in the potty! With the start of day seven, my son has decided to refuse to sit on the potty without throwing a fit. I know it is natural for regression to happen in all stages of childhood, potty training is no exception. But is it a regression when he hasn’t got the hang of the training yet? I do not want potty-training to be traumatizing.
DISCLAIMER: If they are not ready, it’s not going to happen.
We went back to diapers. My son immediately felt more comfortable. After all a diaper is the only thing, he has known for his entire life. We still take him to the potty every 30 to 60 minutes, take off the diaper, and have him sit and try to go pee. He usually watches a couple minute video with the potty-training song from Cocomelon. He eventually started going number one and two on the potty regularly. This progress took about three months. Then, we took off the diaper and went to underwear. He was able by that time to recognize when he needed to go, and he could tell us. Once we reached that point the reminding schedule went by the wayside.
My take a way from this experience is every child is different. They will not all take to potty-training easily. That does not mean there is something wrong with you or your child. Please do not get down or frustrated because social media constantly reminds moms what stages your child should be at daily. The two-day method should simply be called the no diaper method. We followed parts of the process. My advice is read the articles and take what works for your child. Nothing else matters. What is most important is that you stay calm throughout the process and don’t give up all together. Pay close attention to your child, how they are reacting, what they are saying, and customize the learning of this big milestone to fit them. Your child will get the hang of it! It will most likely take several months. Good luck and remember you are not alone.