Last week I posted a potty training question on our Facebook page and it was the most commented on question we’ve had in months!
Clearly, potty training is a topic you guys are interested in.
Today Alli’s here with what we’ve learned to be the 5 biggest potty training mistakes parents make.
My youngest son just turned 15 months. And the bigger he gets, the more I get that dreaded feeling…
It’s looming, right around the corner.
I learned A LOT when I potty trained my first son. It wasn’t necessarily a disaster, but it definitely could have gone smoother. I made my fair share of mistakes, and promptly beat myself up for them. (Darn that Mommy guilt!)
This time around? I’m arming myself with experience, resources, and copious amounts of wine. Just kidding. (Kind of…)
With that in mind, today I’m sharing “The 5 Biggest Potty Training Mistakes” that we (including me) all tend to make.
#1 Starting Before They’re Ready
There’s no trophy for having the youngest potty trained child. The Guinness Book of World Records won’t come calling, I promise. The biggest lesson I learned from my first attempt at potty training, is that timing is EVERYTHING.
Don’t feel pressured just because every other kid in his class has already started. Trust me, you will have a MUCH easier time if you wait until your child starts showing signs of readiness.
#2 Not Being Prepared
Like everything else in parenting, having the right tools is half the battle.
Make sure you’ve looked into all the best potty training gear. We love this BabyBjorn potty chair as well as these wet/dry bags for keeping an extra change of clothes and storing wet clothes when you’re out and about.
Also, this potty training app from Huggies is pretty great.
#3 Sky High Expectations
Potty training is a messy process. Literally. Know that going in. Know that things may not happen on your time schedule. Know that there will be ups and downs.
The parents that have the hardest time with potty training, are the ones who are convinced it will happen in one day. And if it happens in a day? GREAT. Do a little dance. Throw a party.
Just don’t be defeated if it takes some time. Rome wasn’t built in a day either.
#4 Making It A Chore
Don’t get started on the wrong foot. Kids are smart. And the second they pick up that this is something they HAVE to do, the more they won’t want to do it.
Make it fun. Do potty dances. Have rewards. Cheer them on with gusto!
#5 Giving Up Too Early
Okay, I may change my number one. Looking back…attitude is everything. Because I had sky high expectations (see #2), when things weren’t going my way…my attitude started to waver.
Which is a polite way of saying: it stunk.
I was beyond frustrated. I had cleaned up more than my fair share of accidents, and my mood reflected it. Remarkably, the worse my attitude got…the worse my son did with the training. At one point I locked myself in my room and started to cry.
And after I let it all out, I went back into his room and hugged him. I encouraged him, and told him we were in this thing TOGETHER. I told him that I KNEW he could do it. And you know what? He did.
You’ve heard it before. Just when you think you can’t take it any more, it clicks. It’s so easy to get frustrated by setbacks or regression, especially when you don’t know how to handle it. But keep at it.
I’ve known more Moms who quit potty training, only to find that the second attempt was even harder. When I was in the thick of it, I thought I might scream if one more person told me “not to quit.” He just isn’t getting it, I thought. I was about to throw in the towel, and the next morning? He got it–and never looked back. Not one accident since.
One last word of advice. Potty Training isn’t for the faint of heart. But still, take a minute to relish it. You might think I am crazy, but hear me out.
You are guiding your child through one of life’s most important lessons. Just like learning to walk, your child is learning to be independent and confident. Enjoy your part in his success. It’s what being a Mommy is all about.
Our Go-To Potty Training Tools:
- Our favorite potty
- Our favorite book
- Mattress Protection
- Wet Bags (these are so great for dealing with accidents on-the-go as well as clothes wet from the pool or whatever else. We still keep one with us always!)
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