Potty Training


I’ve been reluctant to post anything about potty training, because it’s one of those topics that cause mommy wars.

But in light of the name of my blog, maybe someone reading can take comfort in knowing they’re not alone.

Potty training is hard!!! Whew! Glad I got that off my chest!

When I decided my oldest daughter was ready to be potty trained, I looked up many ideas on Pinterest, including training your nonverbal infant in three days, using sticker charts, giving treats, or letting them run around naked.

And you know what? I tried all of those techniques, and none of them worked for my strong willed daughter!

When I started out, I bought some dum dums lollipops to use as rewards, and what happened is my daughter would say she had to go potty when she really didn’t have to go, we would spend a half hour in the bathroom, and then when we ran out of treats, she stopped telling us she had to go.

At the time, my husband was studying different classroom management techniques and decided he was more of a constructivist than a behaviorist. One of his favorite books from that semester can be found here (the author explains the book in this video). Taking the constructivist approach to potty training is by far more difficult than the behaviorist approach, but we wanted lasting results, so we did away with stickers and lollipops.

Pull ups never worked for my daughter, because she just considered them to be diapers and didn’t bother with going to the bathroom.

When we were at our wits end, we decided to ask around, and someone recommended this book. In reflecting on this, I have realized that I never ended up finishing that book, but what I remember is that children go through phases, which include:

1. I pooped.

2. I’m pooping.

3. I have to poop.

This is a good indicator as to how ready the child is to be potty trained. They have to at least be at level 2 before they can be trained.

In my experience, every time there was a change in routine, my daughter has digressed. I am now potty training my oldest son, and I’ve seen the same thing. He was doing really well until my baby was born, and now it’s back to square one!

What I can tell you is that there will be plenty of accidents, and you’ll have to be ok with it. Also, the child is the one who will make the decision. My daughter didn’t start going consistently with no accidents until she was about four and a half! And she also digressed when the baby was born. She went for several weeks with no accidents, and then after the baby was born, she was having accidents again. My husband and I call them “OnPurposements” because she knows better now.

What I would like to get is something like this to rinse off poopy underwear! And believe me, it seems like that is all I do all day!

Kudos to those moms who can potty train their children in three days. But for those who may be struggling, hopefully reading about my experience will help you to realize that you’re doing better than you think you are!

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