Potty training … there has to be a best method, right? After all, we’ve been teaching this for hundreds of years, and I don’t see too many grownups having accidents running down their legs in the grocery store. Yet, despite the fact there seems to be so much out there on potty training, it is still one of the most daunting parts of parenthood.
Don’t fear! I’ve been documenting my potty training journey and reading everything I can get my hands on. Better yet, I’ve spoke to a lot of moms who “got real” about what worked and didn’t work. Finally, I’ve figured out the absolute perfect path to potty training, and here it is!
Step 1: Get information overload. By now, I’m sure you’ve read the articles about how in Vietnam moms use a whistle when their baby urinates and the babies are usually potty trained by one year old! Other moms say let the child decide when they want to do it … let them run naked for a couple days and they will figure it out. People will start giving you advice before the kid can say potty. Preschools can put added pressure on to ditch diapers soon, while some kids learn this skill faster than others.
Step 2: Make a plan. Once you wade through all the methods, tips, and tricks, you put together your game plan. On one hand, it might be a strategic blueprint and spreadsheet, chart, prizes, and so on. Or, maybe it’s more an idea. You stock up on books on potty time or try to spark an interest in their favorite character learning to go. Maybe you even have some handy bribes like M&Ms and flashy stickers. Anyway, you ARE doing this!
Step 3: Cheer. They have gone in the potty! This is thrilling; you celebrate them. You want them to associate the potty with positive attention, so you want to enforce this behavior. Your child is magnificent. This is going to be a cake walk, and then maybe you’ll write a book about it.
Step 4: Accidents happen. Setbacks are normal. Unfortunately, normal means pee on furniture, un-washables, cars, clothes, and places you never expected. You will still be handling human poop and beginning to questioning why this is so much of your life now…
Step 5: Next the bribes, tears, fights, and more games of the porcelain throne. You will try harder, maybe switch up methods. Then, you will feel like your child is “pretty much potty trained” or “getting close,” but in reality taking a kid to the bathroom every five minutes and rationing water is just preventing accidents, not teaching control. You’re doing great! Junior, not so much.
Step 6: Pee. Now, there’s pee everywhere. How does anyone ever do this? We are wild animals!
Step 7: Telling everyone that you really think it’s important to wait until they are ready. I am here.
Now, let’s skip to Step 10.
Step 10: Somehow, they all figure it out eventually.
Let’s face it, fed is best and all potty trained is PERFECT. There is no one path that works for every mom or every kid. There is no one size fits all, magic overnight trick. There is you, your kid, and the potty. Eventually, you will win! Relax, you will not be watching them cross the stage at graduation in diapers, probably.