When your child nears their 2nd or 3rd birthday, you begin to dream of life without diapers. So you turn to Google to find and read every article you can find about potty training. You’ve got the sticker charts, you special-ordered those really tiny candies as incentives, you have plastic for the furniture for naked days, and you’ve already been reading potty training books at story time with your toddler. You’re ready to go. It’s POTTY TIME.
But guess who didn’t even open the invitation to the potty party? Your kid. And there’s not a sticker chart in the world that can fix that.
Sometimes Kids Just Aren’t Quite Ready
We’ve all had playground moms say, “We trained at 18 months!” Keep an eye on that kid; I’ll bet he goes home with wet pants. Kidding aside, there’s a lot of pressure to get your child trained early and quickly. But every kid has their own timeline, and the key for successful potty training is being willing to wait for that readiness. Of course, you can encourage your kid to think about using the potty while you wait. I found playdates with a slightly older potty-trained kid went a long way toward making my daughter feel comfortable with the concept. Of course, there are also many great books about potty training that can also really help (particularly if you find one that makes a flushing sound, trust me).
It’s Okay to Get Stuck in the Middle
You probably know that potty training won’t happen in a day, no matter what that one friend of yours says (sure, it took just 24 hours, I totally believe you). It will take some time, and sometimes there are plateaus. You might find your child is willing to use the potty at home, but avoids public bathrooms at all costs. Or you could be 100% pee-trained, but your kid has zero interest in pooping in the toilet. Don’t worry about it. Seriously. As they say, (most) kids don’t head off to college in training pants. Potty training will happen, eventually.
Don’t Sweat Your Late Bloomer
My daughter was two and a half months shy of her 4th birthday before she decided she was ready for big girl underwear after training pants — but she really, really was. That day was it; there were no accidents. Sometimes children want the agency to make the decision themselves, and pushing them to get potty trained before they’re ready is going to be as effective as banging your head on the bathroom wall. Also, kids usually get more more comfortable as they get older, and potty training will make more sense to them once they can more fully process what the whole potty thing is about.
Mark the Beginning
Once your child is showing those signs of readiness you’ve probably been dreaming about, mark the occasion and make it special for them. You could do this by donating your unused or leftover diapers, making a special trip to the store to let your kid pick out their Pull-Ups — whatever it is that makes it feel like you’re done with diapers and never, ever going back.
We already have enough pressure and stress on our shoulders when it comes to parenting. Potty training doesn’t have to become yet another thing you’re carrying if you slow that roll and allow both you and your kid the time and space to be ready. Keep doing what you’re doing — I promise you will get there!
This post was sponsored by Pull-Ups Training Pants. Once your child is ready to potty train, Pull-Ups has simple ways to make it fun and easy for parents and children to start together. In fact, 3 out of 4 moms prefer the Pull-Ups offering,* including products, packaging, and in-pack prizes and activities. Visit Pull-Ups.com to check out what the moms are raving about!
*Vs. Pampers Easy Ups