There is not an aspect of parenting that I dread more than potty training. It stresses me out and frustrates me more than growth spurts, nightmares, separation anxiety and cluster feeding all put together. And really I can’t complain… I’ve had it pretty easy when it comes to potty training. But it still makes me crazy.
I think a big part of it is, your kids are finally to a stage where they have a little independence… they can play alone while you take a shower, get their own water when they are thirsty every 3 minutes, and get themselves dressed in the morning. Then all of a sudden you have to be hyper-vigilant again, watching the clock (it’s been an hour, surely she has to go!), analyzing their every move (why are you so quiet, are you peeing!?), and lugging four thousand changes of clothes with you everywhere you go just months after you finally got to the stage where you could leave the house with just your keys and wallet and be just fine.
But I guess it’s an inevitable stop on this journey called parenthood, and now that I’ve (hopefully!!!!) got number two well on her way to being trained, I thought I’d share my best tips for potty training your toddler:
1. Don’t. I mean, at some point, they’ll just know what to do right???
2. If that isn’t your cup of tea, and you do want to actually be proactive about helping your child learn to use the toilet on her own, wait until the last possible minute. For nearly 8 months, Isla was asking me if she could go in the toilet. I kept telling her she didn’t need to because she had a diaper on. (I know, I know, mother of the year here!) But when I finally did take the diaper off after 8 months of her begging me too, she was more than ready!
3. Food rules go out the window. So what if your two year old has 3 juice boxes before lunch? You gotta fill her bladder so she can pee! Which leads me to number four…
4. If the bribe works, use it. If a chocolate chip makes your daughter pee in the proper place, give her a chocolate chip (or ten!). If the toddler who doesn’t watch any TV during the week will sit still on the toilet and “try” if you let her watch Rapunzel on your phone, you let the child watch the whole movie if that’s what it takes!
Yeah, that’s all I’ve got. Good luck. Haha.