Disclaimer: This post contains conversation around peeing and pooping in the potty.
For starters, I had zero intention of potty training my oldest until closer to his third birthday; but for the past month, any time that kid would poop, he would immediately come tell me that we needed to change his diaper.
HELLO…if ever I was waiting for a sign, that was it.
I’ve got to be honest, potty training gives me serious anxiety. I don’t know why, but it’s intimidating to me. It could be that this is solely something my husband and I have to actively teach our son, otherwise he’ll be wetting the bed at sleepovers and then never have friends (that may be a little harsh, but that’s my fear). So, naturally when I’m feeling uneasy about something, I find some resources. My current go to during this season has been ‘Oh Crap! Potty Training‘ by Jamie Glowacki. This book has been such an incredible help to me, I sincerely would be lost without it. I think the reason why I love it so much, is she focuses on mastery and less on how many days it takes. Her thought process is also extremely logical, so that helps.
The truth of the matter is, I have never potty trained a child. I’m an only child myself, and I didn’t babysit as a teenager. If you want to hear a really embarrassing truth, I had to call the nursery nurse to our hospital room to help me with Noah’s first diaper change, because I had NEVER changed a diaper before.
So now that you realize that me and you are in similar boats, I thought I would share a little bit about our first week of potty training in hopes of making you feel encouraged, instead of terrified.
Day 1: When I woke up, it was like I was getting ready to head to a life changing job interview, I was so nervous. I had been reading my potty training book for almost a month trying to get mentally prepared, and the day had finally arrived. The first day of potty training was all about Noah running around naked, and to my surprise, it went relatively flawless. By the end of the day, Noah had zero accidents and was in love with his little potty and washing his hands. I was shocked, excited, and mentally exhausted. Who knew watching your kid like a hawk for pee and poop would be so tiresome?? Either way, day one left me feeling hopeful that we were making the right decision to start potty training.
Day 2: Noah had clearly mastered Block One (peeing and pooping the potty naked with or without prompting), and now it was time to add shorts to the mix. The day started well, but when we went outside to play, we experienced our first accident. To say I was bummed, is putting it mildly. We had rocked the first day, and half the time we weren’t even prompting him to go – my child was supposed to be the potty training phenomenon, how could he be having an accident?! (Clearly, I’m being sarcastic, but that wouldn’t have been terrible either.) To make sure we had the basics down, we went back to no pants for the rest of the day, and it ended seamlessly.
*I share our accident with you, and why we did what we did, because I want you to feel encouraged that accidents still mean progress. Potty training was certainly clicking if Noah was able to hold it to get to the potty without shorts on.
Day 3: I was determined to start brand new and put the pants back on again (please note, we didn’t use underwear, he’s been going straight commando). Unfortunately, because I am so Type A, I was determined to get through the day with no accidents…no pressure, right? We were rockin and rollin through the morning, but by lunch time, I had a serious headache. The past two and half days my brain was completely consumed with another human’s bodily functions; I was drained, dying for an iced latte, and an extra long nap time. When 1:00pm rolled around, I went to put Emmett down for his nap and allowed Noah to keep playing outside. Upon my return, Noah had an accident (insert face in palm emoji here). Slightly bothered, we cleaned up the mess, got Noah bathed, and laid him down for his nap.
At this moment in time, I was at my breaking point; and while I realize our potty training path was going easier than some, my brain felt like it was going to explode. Just ask my husband, I text him that afternoon and was ready to throw in the towel, because my brain was so inundated with thoughts of peeing and pooping. I felt like I was failing all because it was day three and my son just had his second accident.
SECOND ACCIDENT. Are you hearing yourself, Amber?? Give yourself a break!!
Regardless, we finished off the afternoon determined to keep going, but instead of being so hardcore, we just relaxed. We picked up takeout for dinner, made a pallet on the floor, and watched Noah’s favorite movie together.
Day 4: I knew something had to change, at least for my sake, if we were going to continue successfully with potty training. So, I decided to stop watching Noah like a hawk and hand the reins over to him. That doesn’t mean I wasn’t still keeping an eye out for his signs that he had to go to the bathroom, but I wasn’t all on his case about it.
What I was noticing the day prior, was Noah was starting to give me push back. He would throw a fit when I would tell him to go sit and pee on the potty (another sign your kid can potty train…I promise). At first, this made me want to quit, but after I went back and read over my book, I discovered that more times than not when your kid is giving you push back it’s because they want you to back off. Realistically, Noah has done that countless times, whether that be with me showing him how to use utensils or put on his shoes. When I would take a step back and allow him to do it, it completely disintegrated our mental game of tug-o-war.
The result of handing over the reins? Noah did great. The day felt more like our normal day-to-day, and there was no push back. He did have one accident while playing outside (outside is going to be the death of us), but he immediately knew he messed up. He came to me, took off his shorts, and said, “Mommy, I pee peed, but now I go play!” I guess that’s considered progress…lol.
Day 5: We continued in the same fashion as the day before, and started running more short errands for potty practice. Being more relaxed was definitely helping, and we were able to finish the day with no accidents and a lot more fun.
Day 6: This was our true test day, because we had swim class in the morning and then my niece’s birthday party that afternoon. I was definitely having an anxiety attack on the inside, but on the outside I tried to play it as cool as possible, just like we were running these types of errands any other day.
The trick: We put the potty chair in the back of the SUV. Big potties make Noah tense up, and then he won’t go. So we put the potty chair in the back of the car and before we started our errand and after we finished it, we would just have Noah climb in the back of the car and let him do his business. It worked like a charm. We were able to go to swim class, a birthday party, and out to eat, all with no accidents.
I can’t believe I ever thought about potty training with no potty chair.
Some of my takeaways from our first week:
- Accidents equal progress.
- Boys are just as easy to potty train as girls – if not easier. I mean, they can pee anywhere and you don’t have to teach them the importance of wiping front to back.
- When you’re relaxed, your kid is relaxed.
- When your child is pushing back, it more than likely means they want you to back off.
- Kids are crazy smart.
- You are going to want to give up, but keep going, because there really is a turning point.
- Stock up on wine before potty training starts.
- Get some sleep. This phase has seriously been just as tiring to me as having a newborn.
- Only confide in those during this time that are supportive of you and what you’re doing. It’s hard enough as it is without having people toss in their two cents.
- Potty training is just a thing we teach our kids, it’s not rocket science, we aren’t curing cancer (yet). So take a deep breath, because you can do this Mama!
PS. Today, I was a terrible mom.
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