Potty Training

The other day I was asked, “do you wish you would have waited longer to potty train Presley?” If you would have asked me that question a few weeks after potty training her I would have said, “yes, wait!” However, if you were to ask me that question today I would say, “no, do it as soon as you think they are ready!”
My reasoning behind saying, “wait to potty train” had nothing to do with Presley….it had everything to do with the inconvenience of it. Let’s face it, it’s a lot easier to just put your child in a diaper and go! For the first 2 months, Presley was only able to “hold it” for about 2 hours so I had to plan our errands around her potty schedule. Today, she is able to “hold it” for up to 4 to 5 hours (a plus in having a little girl)…..not that that is healthy, but at least I don’t have to rush to a restroom within a few minutes of her telling me, “I need to go potty.”
The other reason I thought I should have waited was because I was so stressed out about her having an accident in public. We didn’t use pull-ups and so I was always worried about accidents. We attended family church almost all summer because I didn’t want to put Presley in the nursery. However, I soon realized that I had nothing to worry about! She does great at church and she does great at pre-school.
Let me just note here…..if you have a sister who tells you that no one will help your child pull up thier pants once they go to preschool, DO NOT believe her! lol….just kidding Sara. ;o) love you!
It is true, for most preschools, that by the time a child enters the 3’s program your child is required to be potty trained. Meaning, they have to be self sufficient…..able to get on and off the potty, pull up/down their pants, wipe themselves, wash their hands, etc.
Presley is tiny and still needs help getting on the potty and pulling up her pants. She is in the younger 2’s class at her school and is the only one who is potty trained so her PT gets a lot of 1-on-1 attention. ;o) She is now sitting on the potty at school and getting comfortable with doing things on her own.
If I could do things differently what would it be? I would buy the potty seat….the next step potty seat.
Presley loves stability, routine, and consistency. She does not like change…of any kind. She has grown very attached to her Elmo potty seat and refuses to use the bathroom without it. She used to be fine with going potty in a public restroom. However, one day while using the restroom at Walmart the automatic flush went off right as she was getting off the potty and it scared her half to death. So, now she refuses to sit on any potty that does not have the Elmo potty seat on top of it. It is a pain lugging that seat around in a seperate bag. (now, it is true that church nursery, daycare, and preschool workers will not let your child use a special potty seat….which I agree with)
What’s my best advice when potty training? Go on a Family Vacation ;o)
When we went on vacation to Ruidoso at the end of July, Presley was completely potty trained by the time we returned home. ;o) I was so nervous about traveling in the car with Presley. In fact, I was so nervous that I almost made the decision to go back to diapers for the week……would have been the worst mistake had I done that. Presley did great! We stopped every 2 hours to go potty and every time we stopped she would go. ;o) We were forced to deal with our fears and timidity of being mobile with a potty training child. Presley became more confident of her abilities druing our trip and she also began to tell us consistently when she needed to go potty.
My other adivice? Do not tell anyone when you are potty training.
Ask for advice, read up on the different ideas on potty training, and then pick what’s best for your child. I didn’t tell anyone that Presley was potty training until she was potty trained. I did not announce it on fb or put a sign outside our house. lol. I blogged about it and fb it after the fact. It was very helpful to me to hear of the many suggestions and the many things that didn’t work for others. I always thought it was great to hear of the many potty training tips out there because you always have the choice to “use it or lose it” (a popular phrase in the world of teaching).
Which two people gave me the best tips? Sara, my little sister. The book, “Potty Wise”
I followed Sara’s advice and never used a pull-up. Presley knows that when she puts her underware on she has to stay dry. I don’t even use a pull-up at night…..I still use diapers at night and during naps.
I didn’t really follow much of what “Potty Wise” said because it just wasn’t the right fit for Presley, but I did follow their advice on using consistent bathroom terminology. I started off by never asking her if she needed to go potty…..she didn’t understand what I was asking her so she would always say no. Potty Wise suggests that you reward for dryness and potty success. I would ask Presley if she was dry and she would, of course, always say no because she didn’t understand what I was asking her. However, after just a few accidents (and having her “feel” dry underware vs. wet underware) she caught on real quick. Once she understood “are you dry” then I moved onto “do you need to go potty?” Today, she tells me (most of the time) when she needs to go. When I drop her off at childcare I always telll her to “stay dry.” The teachers also use this terminology with her and they say it works really well with her.
Always Remember…..
Everyone will judge your timing. I was around a group of moms the other day who asked if I had started the dreaded potty training yet. I told them, “yes, she was potty trained” and then they all proceeded to go on and on about how “I was the natorious first time mom who has their child potty trained by the time they’re 2 and that once I have a second child I’ll enjoy the ease of diapers and wont have them potty trained until they are 4……insert lots of laughter here.” No matter when you potty train your child you will always hear, “you started too young, you pushed him/her too much, you started too late, etc.” What might be too soon/too old for one child might not be for another. As a teacher, I never asked when a child was potty trained. lol. It never had anything to do with anything. I started Presley because I saw that she was interested in it, that she hated being dirty, would pull on her diaper when it was wet, and would awaken from a nap after pottying in her diaper. Yes, I put her on the potty at 18 months old to get her used to the idea and there were times that she would potty in it occasionally, but at no time did I have any expectation of her being potty trained. The other day I read somewhere that a pediatician said, “after 40 years in my practice I’ve come to realize that when a toddler starts organizing things it’s time to potty train.” I thought it was quite interesting because Presley started organizing things right around the time she stated potty training.

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