Staying positive during potty training seems simple enough. However; potty training might not be as easy as books, blogs, and influencers make it out to be. Your child might toilet train in a few days or it may be a constant struggle for upwards of a year.
Whatever your situation, know others have gone before you. If it is going poorly, know it will get better. Remember no child is the same and every parent is different too. There is no magic method or number despite what people will say. So do not stress it, eventually, it will all click.
Mentally Prepare for the Worst
Going into potty training I had the idea that everything would go smoothly. Yes, I had heard the horror stories, but obviously, that was not going to happen to me. My kid was clearly a great communicator and for the most part obedient.
Ha! If I had only known what was in store. Hoping for the best outcome is always a good rule of thumb, but expecting it for something like toilet training will set you up for failure. Whether your child catches on right away or not there will be mishaps, it’s part of the process.
Set your expectations low, for your child’s sake. A big reason I started potty training because my daughter was because she was meeting all the indicators described in the literature I was using. She was bound to do so well. BOY WAS I WRONG.
We had good “seasons” of toilet training, but the problem was that they were just seasons. Lots of regressions, many tears, and a lack of positive attitude on my part. Allow yourself and your child room to fail. Just like every other skill you “train” your child in, expect mistakes and challenges. Don’t let potty accidents catch you off guard. Staying postive is far easier when you have resonable expectations.
Talk to Other Moms with Toilet Trained Kids
Ask for advice or tips from moms whose children are older than yours. You might get 10 different answers. Do your research and pick the method that suits you and your child best. You can use your former experiences training your child to eat, sleep, and etc., to help inform your decision.
Share your victories and your failures with other moms. Sometimes the encouragement you need is another mom saying she has been there. Or having someone who is in the thick of it with you.
On that same note be cautious about how much you share with your negative friends or family. The last thing you need during this time is someone knocking the way you are choosing to train your child or causing doubt in your mind.
You might end up changing your plans depending on how your child responds, but you do not need to be adjusting them just because someone else disagreed. As the parent of your child, you know best. You’re doing the hard work so do what you think will work for you and your kid.
Allow Yourself to Change Your Potty Training Method
Beginning potty training I tried a “3-day” type method according to a popular book. This book has provided great success for many people, but we did not have that same experience. The book was pretty hardcore about what you MUST NOT do. So naturally, I did my best to follow all the rules.
Later down the road, when all these rules left me with a daughter who still pee’d her pants, I decided to break the rules. Don’t get me wrong, I am a big advocate for consistency with kids. Children thrive off of routine. However; what was more important than a routine was keeping my sanity.
If the method you try at first is not working for you, your child, or both, rethink it. You are allowed to change your mind, in fact, you should if that is what is best for your family.
There Are No Rewards for the Earliest Potty Trained Child
Hey if you train your kid at 18 months as some of the potty training boot camps suggest, props to you. However; if your child is struggling or you’re having a hard time with it, maybe it is just too soon. I was so afraid of waiting to long like the book warned me, that I think I jumped the gun too early.
Start potty training when you feel you and your child are ready for it, if that’s on the younger side of the spectrum I pray it will stick. If it’s older there is no shame and if anyone wants to make a comment about it they better be helping change diapers. Otherwise it’s not their concern.
Don’t Celebrate Success Too Soon
If there is one thing in parenting that taught me humility, it was potty training my daughter. There is nothing more mortifying than beaming about how well your child is taking to the potty and 5 minutes later having them pee all over a rug (this definitely did not happen to me at the public library).
If your child becomes potty trained, I am personally so excited for you. However, most people do not care. As big as a deal it is for us parents in the thick of the crap, literally. Basically, every kid learns to use the toilet, in other words, it’s nothing special.
When you feel you are finally done training celebrate with yourself, your spouse, or some close friends. Don’t go shouting from the rooftops or blasting the internet with your success. I mean you can if you want, but know your kid may have an accident here and there even after you’ve reached the finish line.
Potty Training is Special
Whether your child does swimmingly or is an utter train wreck in regards to potty training, remember this is a special time. There will come a day when your child will no longer rely on you for these basic needs. Toilet training is a step toward more autonomy which is exciting and a little sentimental.
Enjoy the successes, laugh off the fails, like if your child pees in the middle of checkout while you have your two other children in tow (again just talking hypotheticals here). Cherish the extra bonding time as you are hyper-attentive to your child and make the most of it. I wish you well. You’re doing great.
Have you finished potty training? Please share your experiences and advice below.
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Thank you for the solid advice! I can use it!
That’s great glad to hear it!
These are great tips! Thank you for sharing them!!
I like when you said to start when you and your child are ready, I agree not to add more pressure to the process 🙂
If we’re overwhelmed it’s no fun for anyone.
Each child is different, and some take much longer than others. The key is to go with the flow and be flexible with expectations! Great article!
Definitely so important to be flexible.
Thank you for the encouraging words! Potty training is definitely a puzzle that can take a loooong time to solve!
Seriously I feel you.
Thanks for keeping it real. When I became a mom, I definitely felt the pressure from social media and people in my live because my hubs and I didn’t follow the traditional path to parenting. Our daycare actually started the potty training process at 20 months, we had to be consistent at home but I’m not sure we were ready for it as a family. After a year, it all workes out.
Yes I think we as mothers owe it to each other to keep it real. I was so ashamed in the thick of it, but maybe my experience will help someone else or help someone to know they are not alone. Glad it’s worked out now!