Potty training is not fun. Unless you enjoy dealing with bodily fluids, a stubborn toddler, and typically some frustration. I have potty trained my oldest daughter (who is now almost 5) and I am looking to start potty training my 2 year old. I think the second time around I am LESS eager than I was the first time. While you would think having a better idea at what you are getting into should be a good thing, it also means I have a better grasp on just how tough this task can be.
There are so many books, blogs, and resources out there related to this topic. Why? Because kids need to be potty trained (trust me, there were days I debated if it was really necessary) and it can seem so daunting to parents. I’ve read it all. All of the different methods, tips, and check lists to know if your kid is ready to start potty training. While some of these tools are very valuable, I think there is one checklist you really need to go through before you begin potty training. It’s not one that relates to any method or anything about your kid, it’s a checklist for you mama! I’m not going to try to tell you what kind of potty seat to buy or how to get your kid to go accident free for more than 1 hour. I’m going to give you tips to help YOU keep your sanity in the midst of the potty training chaos.
Here is a checklist of things for the Potty Training Parent.
Sure, some parents use candy or stickers for keeping their kids motivated to go potty. But I think one thing you need on hand before potty training are a good amount of prizes for you. At the end of the day you deserve a special treat. You are doing some hard work! So don’t feel bad stocking up on a favorite snack or beverage to enjoy while going through this time of learning and transition. Maybe a little nap time or bedtime pick me up can help energize you on those long days, you’ve earned it! I guess if you really want your own sticker chart, you can have one of those too.
We need our mom friends in so many aspects in motherhood, and potty training is no different! I’m sure you have a mom friend who is either in the potty training stage with you, or who remembers what it’s like. Find that mom and tell her when you decide to start. She might offer advice, but really she can just be there for your sanity. Haven’t we all sent a text or called a fellow mom friend to just ask, “Is this normal?!” It can be so helpful to look at another mom and see that they too have survived this. I know, it seems dramatic. But I remember some days with my oldest daughter wondering, will she EVER just poop on the potty?!? Some days I felt like a failure because I couldn’t teach her this basic skill. A true friend will be a support and encouragement and reassure you that you can do this. Make sure you have that mama friend ready when the time comes!
OK, maybe having extra patience seems like a very unlikely thing. But honestly this is key to a successful potty training experience. I’m not saying you have to have it all together or that you can’t get frustrated. But you should go into potty training knowing that patience is required. Remember that this is new to your child too. Even if they are interested in the potty, wearing underwear, or seem done with their diaper, they have a lot to learn. They are learning self-awareness, self control, and a new totally skill. That’s tough work. Maybe it’s even scary for your kid. While it can be so frustrating, try to show a little extra grace and display patience to your child. It won’t make the whole ordeal painless, but it will help both you and your child. And when you are running out of that patience, don’t be afraid to fall back on the other items on the list to help you out.
If you are in the potty training process or thinking of starting soon, I hope this helped you. You got this mama!