This year has been nuts! I feel like everything has been a blur- between getting Monkey *mostly* potty trained, Bug sprouting her two top teeth and starting to walk, and getting ready for Bug & Bear to have their birthdays!
Here’s the thing about potty training though- I was so scared to start it, for so long. I didn’t want to mess with it, pee grosses me out, and I’ve obviously never done it before so I had ZERO idea of where to start. But here we are, a few weeks later and day time potty training was a success. Now, nighttime? That’s a whole other issue we haven’t approached quite yet. We started with a small, floor-sitting practice potty, but Monkey really wanted to use the regular potty- so we grabbed a potty chair that sits on top of the big toilet so she could feel like she was part of the gang.
After that, I grabbed a bag of mini M&Ms, stashed them in the bathroom cabinet, and set a timer on my phone for every 20 minutes. Let me tell you something- I anticipated a lot when going into this. Accidents, pee puddles. Poop on the floor. Accidents happen, even a pee puddle. No poop, thank God. But you know what did happen, that I wasn’t expecting? Attitude. Back talk. Eye rolls. I would say,”Do you need to go potty, Monkey?” and immediately, I hear “NO, Momma- no potty!”
Now, I shouldn’t have been surprised- Monkey takes after me and is very bossy by nature (big surprise there, huh?) But it was so surprising to me how quickly she a) got the hang of this whole peeing when you need to thing and b) how rude she was when I would ask if she needed to go and the answer was no! The whole phrase of “threenager” is totally true- and this one isn’t even quite there yet. Between her and her sisters, I’m genuinely shocked I haven’t found a grey hair yet. The next most awesome issue that I wasn’t anticipating is the pickiness about panties- to a point of ridiculousness. I grab a pair of underwear for her and immediately get a look like I’ve lost my mind- she doesn’t want this pair, but can’t tell me what pair she does want, and suddenly I’m drowning in a mix of Frozen, Disney, and Baby Shark undies with an unsatisfied toddler.
I guess it makes sense- I mean, I’m picky about what pair I’m going to put on in the morning. Some days I don’t want to wear a specific pair, we all have favorites, and then ones we only pull out for certain situations. But here’s the thing- she’s two. TWO. How in the hell does a two year old have an opinion about underwear?! Of all the issues I anticipated for this endeavor, this certainly wasn’t one. She’s done amazingly at learning how to do it, and she’s vigilant about saying when she needs to go- we’ve only had one real accident and I think it was the time old issue of not wanting to stop playing and miss out on what the kids around her were doing. She’s only in a pull-up for nap time & bedtime…and to say that I’m nervous about that adventure is an understatement.
So- top tips for potty training are as follows:
- M&Ms (or some other small treat) ON DECK, at all times, in the beginning! These are great incentive this whole “going to the potty” nonsense we’re pushing on them.
- If a practice potty isn’t working out or interesting them, check out potty chairs on Amazon- this is the one we got, and she loves it! Handles, a step to climb up, and it folds away for easy storage or removal from the toilet when guests are over. The potty seats also save you from having to dump pee and other potty things out of a bowl, which I was less than excited about if we’re being real.
- Be wary of a toddler’s fascination with their bodily functions, and toilet paper. In the beginning she would lean so far back just so she could watch what was happening, that she would spray pee all over the floor. And the toilet paper warning is common sense- they have a weird obsession with the stuff, and I walked in on them flushing a toilet full of toilet paper for no reason at one point.
- Keep panties on hand- like, a lot of panties. We have so many pairs that I feel like I could clothe all the children of the world, at least with undies. We have the training kind (they’re thicker, that way if they do have an accident, it’s a little more absorbent,) as well as the regular underwear. All different colors, themes- anything to get them excited about going to the bathroom. Beware- they might become panty snobs like mine did, and that’s a whole new ball game.
- Make sure everyone is on the same page- if you’re keeping them in underwear but daycare or their other parent or WHOEVER isn’t, it’ll confuse them. You have to stay consistent! Don’t wake up on day 5 and just decide you don’t want to anymore- once you open this can of worms, they’re out!
- Finally- be patient! They’re learning something new, and potentially scary, and they’ve only ever peed themselves- and you weren’t ever mad about it before now, so if you start yelling when they have an accident in the beginning, they won’t understand. Take baby steps, do what you can to prevent an accident, but also understand it’s part of the learning process!
Have you potty trained before?! What are some of your top tips?!