Thoughts on Potty Training
By Jasmine Wood
I never could have dreamed that the sound of a “Plop” and a “Tinkle, Tinkle” would be like music to my ears. These, of course, are the sounds that fill our home when my daughter goes in her potty pot.
We recently had a breakthrough, one whole day with no diapers and no accidents, it was revolutionary! What really struck me about our “accident-free” day was that I hadn’t put any particular or specific effort into potty training that day. My little daughter had made her way through the day, finding her way to her potty each time, without me ever putting her on it “to go”.
My family has entered the season of “potty training.”
It’s a term I never actually use (but will use throughout this chat for all intents and purposes). I don’t think this moniker is a good fit to describe the process of a child learning to use the toilet. I don’t want to train my daughter; I want to give her the tools she needs to learn the art of using a potty. I want to let her individual experiences with the potty navigate her path to becoming 100% diaper free.
It seems most parents know a young child who is afraid to poop!
Fear… I believe that fear also plays a role in my reasoning against the phrase potty training. The very phrase conjures up stories of horrendous household accidents and department store disasters that most of us have been told throughout our lives. Along with these potty training horror stories come the stories from friends and loved ones whose child developed their own personal fear of potty training. So I came into this season of our lives with the notion that, in order for us to be successful, I would have to maintain a relaxed attitude toward the potty learning process and not become too over zealous!
Easier said than done!
It’s really simple to set out with the goal of maintaining a relaxed and stress-free environment in your home while your child is potty training. It’s also very easy to lose this laid back mind set at 7 pm when you’re cleaning up the days 10th accident, which has been tracked through the far reaches of the house by an eager toddler!
I wanted to share my experiences with potty training Rita for several reasons.
For one, it’s on my mind as we are currently making our way through the potty learning journey. But, also and probably more importantly, I wanted to talk about potty training because it is a topic that is emphasized by doctors, family and friends, baby books, and even psychologists! All this emphasis on it can make it a stressful time for parents as well as their children.
When I first began potty learning with Rita I was nervous!
I didn’t feel like any of the techniques I had read about or been told would actually work for potty training. When I looked at my daughter, who at the time reminded me of many puppies I have spent time around, leaving numerous puddles of piddle around the room inside a half an hour; potty training seemed like an immense obstacle looming ahead of us and I was a skeptic.
How could I help my daughter learn to use the potty?
From my inexperienced understanding of potty training it was an all or nothing, a black and white process. “Keep the baby out of diapers for 3 full days and your all set”, “Just put her in underwear, no more diapers, she will learn real quick”, were some of the common comments than ran through my mind, framing my outlook of the potty training process. What are some of the outside opinions that shaped your perspective of potty training?
For our family, potty training was not an all or nothing process.
Slowly over a season, Rita taught herself the many points of using a potty successfully. She did this through trial and error, with many accidents and great successes a long the way! These days were never 100% bare but, or diaper free, but rather mostly bare but with the exception of a trip to the super market, or a play group outing. While we were in this phase I did not consider it potty training because I was not actively putting Rita on the potty, but all the while Rita was learning what it was all about!
Now that little Rita has the fundamentals down we can work on the fine tuning;
Like how to negotiate potty learning when out in public! With many successes on the potty behind us, I know that our future holds many more accidents on the path to diaper free days. Only now I have the experience to now that my daughter can lead the way!
We welcome your thoughts and feedback! Share with us what “potty training” looks like at your house! Or provide some comic relief; share your funniest potty training stories!