What I Wish I Knew Before Potty Training My Toddler
I'll start by saying, every potty training experience is so different. I've heard horror stories about how hard it can be, and I've heard stories of how easy breezy it can be. Some kids potty train young, and some just aren't ready until they're a little older. I had an idea of how potty training might go, but like I said, it's different for everyone and there's a few things I didn't know or plan for when I started testing the waters with potty training Addison.
Just because you're ready for potty training, doesn't mean your child is.
We initially wanted Addi potty trained sooner rather than later. Our idea was that if we just started putting her on the potty here and there, she might start understanding and getting used to using it. Wellllllll, that didn't go so great. She would cry when we sat her on it and honestly she just hated it and we had to accept that she just wasn't ready yet. Fast-forward to around her second birthday, we tried again. This time we attempted the "potty training boot camp." That was a hot mess fail. She had multiple accidents, she cried, threw fits, and actually seemed afraid of the potty. After two days of this method, we realized she just still wasn't ready and decided to wait a few months longer.
Even if your child is ready, it takes time and consistency.
I definitely was under the impression that it takes just a couple of days for a child to be potty trained. I also tried the "use the potty here and there" route in the beginning and that obviously didn't work for us. So, just before Addi turned 3, a couple of months ago, we tried again for the final time. This time we knew for sure that she was ready. She was completely self-aware. She knew when she needed to go and communicated that with us. It took some time but we were consistent with a daily routine of waking up, going potty, putting on big girl undies and then making sure to ask every so often if she had to go. We did this for a solid couple of weeks before we were confident that she would just go on her own.
Going #2 might take more time.
Ok, this is something I was so NOT prepared for. I thought potty training might be difficult but I wasn't aware of the poop drama. I know some kids are afraid to go #2 in the beginning and that's totally normal. However, Addi was holding it and going in her undies when she couldn't hold it anymore. She would cry in pain and probably fear and honestly it was so sad. I thought maybe giving her a mild laxative might help. No. No it did not. As a matter of fact it turned a problem into an entire sh*t show. See what I did there? ;) Yeah, ties into my previous point. TIME & CONSISTENCY. We worked through it and cheered anytime we could finally get her to go on the potty and she finally realized it's a GOOD thing to go poop on the potty!
It can be overwhelming and emotional for everyone involved.
To wrap this entire post together, it's an overwhelming and emotional experience. It can be exhausting, stressful, and time consuming. Like I said, all kids are different, everyones experience is different but no matter what, it's a milestone every parent faces with their child. It was so hard not to show our stress because last thing we wanted was for her to be stressed during this time. We just took it day by day and did the best we could. There is a light at the end of the tunnel though. Those weeks were hard for us, but we got through it and Addi is now fully potty trained!