Honestly, it is one of the worst things about being a parent. God should have created baby’s knowing how to use the potty. It would have made moms’ lives so much easier, less messy and a heck of a lot more sanitary.
With our oldest daughter B I thought I had the potty training thing down. Pssssh, teaching a child to use the potty? Easy peasy. She learned a little before 2 years old. She was proud, she wanted the m&m’s, she loved her new panties and pretty pink potty. B was also not nearly as stubborn as S. For the most part she wanted to be a big girl, she loves to tackle the hard tasks.
S? Not so much.
Still, potty training was easy with B. If I stuck with the same methods I was sure potty training would be simple.
Our youngest daughter S is two and a half years old. She just recently learned how to go on the potty. We waited about six months longer than we did with B, mainly because she showed absolutely no interest in the potty. Once she started to learn how to go she caught on quickly. Now it is nearly a month later and she will go on the potty on her own. Of course we still help her with the wiping and hand washing. Now that we are on the other end of potty training both girls, I would say it was quicker to get S to this point in her potty training journey than it was B. The hardest part was getting her to actually want to go. Now that gave mommy headaches and a gripping fear that S would be the very first child to attend college still in a diaper. I had nightmares about it.
Realistic? No. But none of the tricks we used with B would work on S. We actually tried potty training early on, around two years old. However, she was not having it. I decided it was best to wait until the spring/summer she turned two and a half years old. That time rolled around a lot faster than I anticipated.
There we were. About a month ago, I woke up to the sound of our oldest daughter B encouraging S to go on the potty like “a big girl.” I could hear them over the monitor. I have no idea why B decided to encourage her sister that day, but I had my doubts. “Nah, S is not going to do it” I thought to myself. She turns her nose up to any talk of the potty. She is going to be the 5 year old still in diapers sucking on a pacifier. I am going to be the mom other mom’s look at and think “I can’t believe this woman let her FIVE year old have a paci. She’s ridiculous, what a terrible mother.” yes, I have nightmares about that as well, but I digress.
A few minutes later B ran down the stairs yelling “mommy S did it! She went pee on the potty!” I could not believe my ears. My little girl did it! We all had a little dance party and I naively thought “yup this is going to be a piece of cake.” We had the new panties that S reluctantly picked out. We had the cute new potty and the bag of m&m’s. Yup, we were doing it, this potty training thing. This Momma was going to be diaper free by the end of the week. I was sure of it. I am sure God was laughing at me.
Two cups of juice later I encouraged S to sit on the potty. The scene that took place in our bathroom that morning was straight out of Overboard. S screamed “I don’t want toooooooooo!!!!” Like a banshee over and over. Okay, I replied as patiently as I could. “Well, let’s put your new panties on, and you tell mommy when you need to go potty.” We tried again twenty minutes later. “I don’t want to!!!!” Was her response again with several “nooooo’s” and “it’s not working!” thrown in there for good measure. “Okay, we will try again in a few minutes.” I replied, losing some of my innocent optimism from earlier in the day. Five minutes later she had an accident in her panties. She did not cry, she did not tell me. I thought for sure an accident and being wet would encourage her to go.
We tried going on the potty again.
She probably had 5 accidents in her panties that morning. Not once did she pee on the potty. I looked like a crazy woman carrying around cleaner, Lysol, and rags.
Finally we ran out of clean panties. Every time I threw a soaked pair of panties in the washer, my confidence in my potty training abilities drained just a little. I know you’re probably thinking, why didn’t I just put her in a pull-up? I didn’t want to because I am a firm believer that for many children pull-ups just prolong the process. There was no way we were going back to diapers. I made the decision to power through and came to terms with the fact that we will be mopping the floors several times a day. I briefly thought about buying pinesol in bulk.
There we stood, out of panties, S begging me for a diaper, and me hanging on to any hope that she will not be THAT kid going to college in a diaper. I told her “kiddo you will just need to be naked for a while while I do laundry. Let me know when you need to go pee.” She sighed and went to go play with her sister.
Five minutes later I heard screaming and crying coming from the living room. I ran in to the room to make sure no one was hurt. There S was, standing in a pile of pee, crying her little heart out, because nothing was there to catch her pee. It surprised her. She hated it. I quickly cleaned her off and asked her to go potty on the big girl potty. She sat down right away and went pee! She was so proud of herself. We make a big deal over going potty in our house! So we all did the potty dance. I rewarded her with an m&m. Okay I thought to myself, could it really be this simple? Surely that was a fluke. Is it really possible she just needed to not wear anything, so she could see how pee belongs in the potty, not the floor or panties?
Sure enough, she did not have another accident that day. She also slept for a three hour nap without an accident. The next day she woke up, put on her big girl panties and did her very best to use the potty. She had one accident.
We didn’t use pull-ups. We didn’t use fancy watches or reward charts with her. She did receive m&m’s for a while, but now she has decided she doesn’t want them, I don’t know why.
We let her go naked and feel the wetness of pee. That was the simple way we potty trained our two year old.
Now I know this will not work for every child. I also know many people hate cleaning up bodily liquids. However, if you are struggling to potty train and are at your wits end, maybe you could have success with this method! Diapers will absorb the wetness, pull-ups do the same. I know they are easy and convenient. If it is what works for your family, by all means use them. However, if you do not mind cleaning up a mess a couple of times, letting your child feel how gross being wet is, may just be the motivation they need to start using the potty.
Now we are a diaper free household and S will run to the potty when she needs to go! If you have nightmares of your child wearing diapers to college, don’t be discouraged. Potty training is tough but it will happen, I promise! No parent has it all figured out, it is all about figuring out what works for you and your child.
Until next time xoxo,