Potty Training & Things You Might Not Expect…

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Potty training time is upon us.  I didn’t plan to start it just yet as we had travel plans that I wanted behind us before embarking on such an endeavor but the munchkin had other plans…

She was taking a bath one night when she proudly said “peeeeeee”.  I responded by saying something like, “pee is for the potty, not for the bathtub” which provoked a very panicked and urgent “peeee, peeee, peeee!” from my babe.  I did not expect that and I tried to tell her it was ok but she kept standing up and pointing to the potty with this look of extreme worry on her face.  So, I proceeded to grab her and place her on the potty paying no attention to the dripping water that was making the bathroom floor a hazard to walk on.  Did she pee?  No, but after about 4 or 5 times of this she finally did and was beyond excited and proud of herself.  So, that began our journey into potty training.  I figured if she was going to initiate it then I might as well go with it.

Since then, she has gone at least once everyday and most of the time more than that.  I’m not pushing it, and while we occasionally put on big kid undies with a pull-up over the top, she is still in diapers and seems to prefer that.  At some point, I’ll have to tell her the diapers are all gone but we are not there yet.  While I’m excited for this new development and step towards independence I was not fully prepared for all of the new “jobs” I would have as an official potty trainer.  If you haven’t started potty training then I’ve listed below a few things you may want to keep in mind. 😉  Of course, it goes differently for everyone but these are the things I’ve learned…

1.  Kids have their own schedule and sometimes you just have to go with the flow, literally! 😉

2.  There will be regression…one day they want to use the potty and wear big kid undies and the next day they break down into tears when you even mention the big kid undies.  You may be wondering how that can happen when they seemed so overly excited about it the previous day but it makes no difference!

3.  When they say they need to go then they need to go so be prepared to launch yourself into speed racer mode and get their little tushies on the toilet fast!

4.  It’s a messy process and you will get pee and poo on you at some point.  You should be accustomed to this at this point in your parenthood journey though. 🙂

5.  Putting a dry diaper back on after a child uses the potty, while the child is standing up, is quite a challenge so you may want to practice.  Of course, you can also push the big kid undies or pull-ups and not have this problem at all.

6.  You need to brush up on some entertaining potty songs because you will become the entertainment for your child while they are on the potty.  Currently, we are singing the rubber ducky bath song but changing the words to suit the task of going potty.  Yes, Miss J likes to bring her rubber duckies to sit on the sink while she goes and she has a rubber ducky on her potty seat that she points out and then signs ‘sing’ over and over until I bust out in song.

7.  Bring along some kid-friendly reading material because you may also be serving as story-teller while waiting for something to happen.  It can take a long time…

8.  While some kids are probably quick about doing what needs to be done, others take their time and you may be in the bathroom for twenty minutes waiting for something, anything…

9.  If your child is one who takes more time then be prepared to sit on the floor although I recommend a stool in the bathroom to serve as a seat for yourself.

10.  Set limits/rules about when and how much toilet paper is acceptable to use; otherwise, they may just keep pulling and pulling and wiping and wiping even though they haven’t even gone “peeee” yet!  It’s just so much fun!

11.  Having wet wipes by the toilet is very useful.

12.  If you plan to go out of your house, ever, then think outside of the box.  A few friend’s suggested bringing along a potty seat in the car and although we haven’t done this yet, it is about time to start.  This can also work well for travel.

13.  You don’t need a tiny potty seat that you must empty and clean each time.  If this is easier for you then go for it.  For us, I found that having the smaller seat that sits on top of the toilet works so much better!  I don’t have to clean up the insert – instead we just flush and the munchkins especially like to help with that!

14.  Some kids like sticker charts/reward systems and others could care less.  At first, Miss J was excited about the stickers I was giving her, then she started taking 5-10 minutes just to pick which one she wanted, and now I am not even offering stickers, and she could care less!

15.  You may find yourself making silly “potty” noises to elicit a smile and encourage your child to go.  Don’t beat yourself up too much about this lapse in maturity…it just happens.

16.  Take pictures of this process because even though we are far from being near the end yet, I know it will be over all too soon and my little Miss won’t need my help anymore. 😦  Plus, tiny little feet hanging off a big potty are just too cute!

17.  You may have to warn guests to remove the Elmo potty seat before sitting down on the toilet as it has become a permanent fixture in your home.  Also, warn them not to trip over the tiny stool in front of the toilet.  Most people, especially those with kids and some of those without, will totally understand and not think twice about it.  You want these kind of people in your life right now!!!

18.  Accidents happen and that’s ok…still praise your child for trying or for telling you they needed to go and insisting on going on the potty even if they already went in their diaper!

19.  Be alert when taking off those diapers or pulling down those undies just in case an incident as described in #18 has occurred!

20.  And last, have fun and be proud of your little munchkin!  They want to please you above all others right now so enjoy this time while you can!

I feel very fortunate that this process is going so well for us right now although I am well aware that things can change at any given moment.  And who knows how it will be if we have another as they are all unique and special…  I just know that for us right now, it feels right to go with Miss J’s desires and timetable and not push anything.  Hopefully, it will continue to go this smoothly… 😉

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