We have been pretty lax when it’s come to potty training. This has been for multiple reasons. Laziness on our part, lack of time, and not having the support from daycare to help things stay consistent when he’s there (this will change come Monday when he goes to his new daycare). Because of all this, we really have just kind of taken the stand for Blake to tell us when he’s ready. We’ve never pushed the idea of potty training on him. A few months ago we started having conversations using vocabulary to familiarize him with the idea of going to the bathroom on his own, and the parts that do those functions: Potty, toilet, pee, poop, butt, and penis.
(Yes, I am teaching him his actual body part. I don’t understand all the nonsense names for penis…pee-pee? Thingy? Weiner? And whatever other cutsie names are out there. Let’s call it what it is, people.)
Having big-boy conversations and explaining bodily functions has really helped, I think. We bought him his own potty about 6 months ago. It’s just been sitting in his bathroom, and we’ve often referred to it, but never did much with it. One day about a month ago, out of the blue as I was putting on a diaper, he said “I want to go potty!” So, I ran him to the bathroom and sat him down. He peed! I really wasn’t expecting it, and potty training was a little far from our minds, so it was a nice surprise. I’m not a fan of rewards in the form of anything tangible (toy, candy, etc), so instead I only verbally praised him for doing such a great job. He BEAMED and giggled. It was so cute! This began our (inconsistent) potty routine. I figured his desire meant he was beginning to be ready. Still, I didn’t continue to push the issue. I never sat him on the toilet if he didn’t want to go. Since that first day when he told me he wanted to go, I still only merely ask him if he wants to sit on the toilet, but I mostly let him tell me if he wants to go or not. The only consistent potty routine I’ve set up for him is first thing in the morning, and just before bath, which he’s now used to. Nine times out of ten he goes both times! We’ve moved beyond the praising because his “reward” that he now gets excited about is emptying his potty into the main toilet and flushing it. “I wanna do it!” he tells me. (We haven’t had any spillage issues yet! Ew)
His desire to go want to go is becoming more frequent. It’s a pretty exciting time, but also a little sad from a parenting standpoint, because it just means that my baby is becoming less and less of a baby. (But oh the money we can save on not purchasing diapers anymore!) After bath tonight, I took him into his room to put him in his PJ’s. As I was putting on his diaper (we haven’t made it to underwear stage yet) he said “I’m about to go pee!” So I put him down and told him to rush into the bathroom. He sat down, and did his thing! He’s really getting the hang of it, and I love that he has the desire to want to go without any push from us. Stress free (so far) potty training is my kind of game!
I’ve heard people say that potty training can be incredibly stressful. I am definitely not discrediting that at all. I’m sure there are multiple factors that contribute to the stressors that can come from potty training a toddler. I guess all I can say is that not stressing about it has worked best for us. He’s communicative enough to tell us when he needs to go, and if he didn’t communicate it then I’d just assume he isn’t ready to to fully control himself yet.
There are just far too many things as a mom that concern me and worry me that I don’t have the time to stress over him going in a toilet, or going in a diaper for a little while longer. The world isn’t going to end if he isn’t trained by a specific date. I’m just kinda goin’ with the flow. Pun intended.
My mommy advice about potty training:
- Have conversations with them about going to the bathroom.
- Use bathroom vocabulary properly (including body parts), even for girls. (I read an article once about the importance of this, especially if children are ever sexually abused by someone. You want the child to be able to communicate properly about what is happening with them and to what body parts by using the proper terms. Sad subject, I know, but it was good advice I think)
- Let them tell you when they are ready to go. If you start having those conversations, they will inform you when they’re ready!
- Don’t make a big deal about it if they don’t want to go to the bathroom when you want them to. It isn’t worth it for you or them!
- Be stress free about it!
It is what it is. 🙂
I know we still have a long way to go. We haven’t ventured to underwear yet. He hasn’t pooped in anything outside of a diaper yet (well, except those times he went in the tub). But, we are getting there. I’m not concerned.
Though, I am looking forward to him 100% being trained, when I no longer need to think about me bathing my child in pee water that is mixed in with bubbly bath water. When he’s no longer fascinated by the arched stream that’s spewing beneath him, with his hands right in the line of fire, yelling “Momma! I’m making pee!” Because, let’s be honest, who the heck drains bath water every time their kid pees? I mean, it’s a good disinfectant, right?