Potty training has been a never ending struggle in this house. We started a little early, here. But then Will decided to climb out of his crib, so we decided to postpone the potty training while we all adjusted to a big boy bed. We picked the PT back up a few month later and it was just awful… So here we are in 2012, and since January, we’ve been booty first into PT. Before his 3rd birthday at the end of March, we started seeing the light at the end of the fecal tunnel.
I already laid out the down and dirty deets for you here. You can also read about Lani’s adventures in potty training here and here.
Needless to say… it’s not our favorite job in the world. The process sucks. It’s tiring and exhausting and disgusting and annoying. It takes far longer than you think it should or could. And that bedtime routine, when it’s time to put on PJs and a Pull-Up, cannot come soon enough! Throw in working again into the mix, and it has been a process that is even more time consuming & difficult.
My major lesson is that EVERYONE has to be on board. You need EVERYONE’s help. Even if someone is watching your kid for an hour while you run to Target, they should take your kid to the bathroom at least once in that hour. Even if you’re just whining to your mom that you smell like pee, you feel like you’re covered in pee, and your house smells like pee, you need them to be your cheerleader.
Now, that’s a big but! Once you get through to the other side, it’s GLORIOUS! Imagine me doing a spin with my hands in the air and a ridiculous smile on my face as I sing GLOOOOOOORIOUS. You have to go in public bathrooms, A LOT. More than you wish you did. You get to watch your cute kid run around in minimal clothing while you’re at home because it makes life a lot easier for the both of you. (I think he’s practicing his Blue Steel pose to the right…)
Realistically, we still have a few accidents throughout the week. It’s a handful or less, and I don’t technically count a lot of them because sometimes its just that we can’t get pants off fast enough. We are in the bathroom and the zipper is stuck, or he’s in there by himself, because he’s very independent & says “No help me!”, so he has a little trouble. But pee on the bathroom tile vs. pee on the carpet is a welcome clean up. We make sure we pee before we leave the house and it’s the 1st thing we do when we arrive at our destination.
It’s incredibly embarrassing when he pees on the floor at the bank when you literally are taking 90 seconds to deposit a check & you would’ve been out of there. Make sure you always have an extra set or two of clothes for your kid-in-training. Honestly, sometimes I put a Pull-Up on him when we leave the house, but the routine stays the same for peeing before we leave and as soon as we arrive. The money savings is awesome. You know us, always on a budget, so less wipes to purchase, now we are buying Pull-Ups, but the amount is far less than 5+ diapers a day… Money in my pocket makes momma happy!
And I think boys are harder to train than girls. I’m probably biased, but the stories I’ve heard from moms with girls vs. boys are that they basically took a long weekend to train their girls. But boys you’re looking at a week or two. And it’s confusing for boys! Standing to pee, sitting to poop. What the heck?! Although throwing some Cheerios or Corn flakes in the bowl for Will to “shoot the bad guys” as he pees was a tremendous help in jumpstarting the process. He thought that was so much fun and maybe I made it more interesting by pretending they’re attacking me, so he needs to save me! Half the time I just asked if he wanted to go shoot the bad guys instead of asking “Do you need to go potty?” every 30 seconds.
My other favorite trick is that if we are in a public bathroom and the toilet is a little high, since he uses a stool at home, I stand him on my shoes. Thanks for that trick, Aunt Pam! Now it’s automatic for both of us when we’re out. And really? It’s as much training your kid to pee, as it is training mom and dad to just take him without asking, especially when we’re out and about.
Of course all kids are different. Sometimes it doesn’t matter whether you’re training a boy or girl, it’s about maturity and development. I probably could’ve pushed through around Christmastime right before Will’s 2nd birthday, but I would’ve lost my mind in the process. This time around I’ve kept my expectations lower and increased my patience only to be pleasantly surprised with Will’s readiness.
Let’s hear your potty training stories! Now that I’m out of the trenches, and Lani is with Hunter, but is prepping for training Jagger this summer… Tell us your potty training war stories!