I was in the shower. ”Mummy? I need to go potty!” I told her to wait a minute until I got out. I opened the curtain, and there she was, diaper in hand, puddle on the floor, a teeny piece of toilet paper in the middle of it. Think it may be time to start the potty training!
Now, I’m no expert, but I hadn’t been expecting to tackle this until after she turned 2! And yet, for the past 8 months, she has been telling me she needs to go potty. Sure, it’s been a little hit and miss, but she tries. However, this was the first time she got actively involved herself! So where to start? I did some e-searching, and this is the short list that should make life a little easier in this process.
Slow and Steady Wins the Race
As much as we’d like it, there is no fast track to potty training. Although some toddlers will take to the concept relatively quickly, it can still take up to 6 months for them to develop the habit of using the potty. Whether it is from distraction, laziness (who wants to crawl out of a warm bed to use the potty?), or just inconsistency, this is something that is bound to take time.
What Do You Need?
In reality, you don’t need anything other than a toilet. In my case, expecting our second, I don’t feel like dragging a toddler up 2 flights of stairs in order to potty train. Sometimes it is easier to have a portable training potty. It is small, and can be taken to other places in the house until they get in the habit of using the potty.
Another thing you can invest in is training pants. Disposable ones are easiest to start with until your tot gets the idea of pulling pants up and down.
Make Training Fun and Consistent
The fun part we’ve got down. A trip to our local Chapters yielded an abundance of potty training books. We let Poppet pick out a couple of her favourites. Next stop was Shoppers Drug Mart, where we picked up some “big girl panties”. One more stop at the dollar store for some awesome stickers, and we were all set!
Consistency, on the other hand, is not my strong suit. It is not easy to be totally consistent when I fill icky from early pregnancy hormones. But this is probably THE most important step in successful potty training. When Poppet asks to go potty, whether in the middle of chores, or the middle of the night, I have to answer that request by putting her on the potty. Often she is telling me in hindsight that she has gone potty, but every once in a while she is right on and has needed to use the potty! Yeah! Mission accomplished.
You will be successful. Both of you will! I may be wrong, but I’ve never met a 20-year-old who is not potty trained. Rest assured, soon you will not even remember the days of diapers, wipes and cream!