Friday, August 13, 2010

Potty Training Advice

A friend of mine asked me to write tips I have on potty training. I have been thinking about it and pulling ideas together in my head. At first I thought, I don't have any advice because it doesn't always happen when or how I would like it to. I have learned a few things about potty training though and I do have five who are potty trained. So, we've done something right.

Facts I have learned about potty training:
1. Girls train earlier than boys, sometimes as much as a year earlier in our case. Girls seem to care more about this sort of thing. They want to be grown up. Little boys are too busy playing to care or notice they have to go. Plus they really don't care much if they pee themselves. The girls don't like it so much.

My oldest daughter trained at just before 2 1/2. My middle son was torture to train and he didn't do it until he was 3 1/2.

2. They get it and it clicks when THEY are ready, not when when I am ready. Unfortunately, even after training lots, I forget this and try to pressure them to train. I so wish they would do it on demand and it would only take a week, but that has not been the way it has happened in our family. Each child is totally different, just as they are in everything and have trained differently. My most recent, youngest daughter, didn't even know what to do on the potty. She would sit on it all the time and say she peed. But, she didn't do anything. I left her be and didn't pressure her anymore and then a few months later I walked into the bathroom upstairs to find her pooping on the potty. From that point on, she figured it out and she did it. I loved it with her, because I always have found it easier to train for pee. This time, she was trained the other first.

3. Just as with any other tool for parenting, you will finds various opinions on how and when to potty train. Please remember that you are the parent. You know your child and your circumstances best. Don't feel pressured from others, do what is best for your family.

1. Buy lots of extra underwear, even old ones from garage sales or save hand-me-downs. Often one would poop in their underwear and it would gross me out so much (mostly I would have been pregnant) that I couldn't get myself to clean them out. I definitely wasn't about to slosh my hands around in the toilet to clean them. If I had old ones, I didn't feel bad about just throwing the they yucky ones in the garbage. This took a lot of pressure off me and has been so worth it.

2. BE PATIENT - they will get it eventually. Maybe not in your timing, but they will.

3. If it leads to stress on you and them - STOP! Try again in a few weeks or months. Sometimes, they just pick it up on their own without any pressure, like my daughter.

4. Don't feel pressured to have your kids potty trained by a certain age, because they are all different.

Hopefully, this has been helpful to someone. If you have a tip on potty training, leave a comment.

*This is a repost from last year, but since we are going through this whole potty training process once again, I thought I would share. I find there principles still applicable with number six, who is a boy and also training at 2 1/2 years. When they are ready, they are ready.


swartzme said...

Any advice for potty training at night time?

Marti said...

Sorry, Missy, not really. Most of mine trained themselves for night at the same time they trained in the day. I think they were all (at least the boys) older than Luca is though. Best I can tell you is that it will come :) When I reposted this, I thought Nate was ready, but we are still working on it. It can be frustrating.