If you have a toddler, then you’ve probably entered that good ol’ potty training stage. That hallelujah moment of not spending another dime on diapers. For potty training advice, we read all the books and ask every friend, but there are a few things that aren’t discussed enough. Here are the top 5 things they don’t tell you about potty training:
1. Stickers, Shmickers
The books say to add a sticker to a chart each time your child uses the restroom. Chile puhleeze. I just didn’t have the time or the memory to do that sticker stuff. We started out okay, but she quickly began ignoring them and I quickly began forgetting them.
2. Panty Party
You’ve heard of the Potty Party, but don’t forget the Panty Party. Not only did we celebrate each time she used the restroom, but we also made a big deal of going to the store to buy underwear. We let her pick them out (try the Cars or Doc McStuffins brand) and we even told the cashier (now that might’ve been taking it too far). When we got home, she ripped open the package like it was Christmas, rushed to model a pair, smiling, “I don’t want diapers. I want underwear!” It was the cutest “I’m a big kid now” moment.
3. The Public Restroom Tool Kit
I’ve always hated public restrooms, but when you have to take a child in there, you start seeing them as real cesspools of hell. In fact, public restrooms were probably the number 1 reason I backslid during potty training. We were fine using the restroom at home, but the thought of taking her in public turned my stomach, so we didn’t wear underwear outside for a while. Once I started packing these 5 items, it became easier: (These are affiliate links)
- Extra outfit and underwear for accidents, which will inevitably happen in the beginning. No need to freak out when they pee on themselves; just clean up, throw on this outfit, and keep it moving.
- Wipes for the butt and the toilet seat.
- Toilet seat covers. Make sure to get the big ones that cover the front and sides to protect your little one’s hands and legs from germy toilets.
- Hand sanitizer. You can bet your last good penny that the public restroom won’t have soap. So, rinse with water and add sanitizer.
- My Carry Potty is great for avoiding public restrooms altogether. It’s a portable potty that’s easy to carry and it snaps shut tightly. We usually use it in our car’s back seat.
4. Teach Them How to Really Wipe
Hmmm, how do I say this without getting too disgusting? If you don’t practice and demonstrate how to wipe well, you’re going to have little fingers with poop on them and/or little underwear with poop in them. It’s difficult for their little hands to wipe well from front to back, so don’t skip this practice and don’t just do it for them.
5. Make Sure Everyone Else Is On the Same Page
What about the daycare, nanny, husband, grandparents? These are people who will have to help in potty training, but they may all have their own opinions and procedures that may not be the same as yours. So, to avoid confusing your child and prolonging the training, be sure to talk with them and agree on how you want to potty train. Should your child be asked every hour? Should they get a treat each time they go? Should they be spanked when they have accidents? (Ahhh, please don’t!) Everyone who takes care of your child needs to know these answers.
Here’s a bonus tip that would apply to everything you do as a mother: Just chill out. I mean, seriously, I know we all want to keep up with the Joneses, but when Sarah Sue tells you that her kid was potty trained at 8 months, just chalk her up as either a liar or a lunatic. Your child will eventually get it and will not go to high school in diapers, so don’t let this stage be too stressful.