I heard a quote once that was a pediatrician’s response to a parent’s question about when they should start potty training their child and the doctor’s response was effectively “if you start when they are two they will be potty trained when they are three, and if you start when they are three then they will be potty trained when they are three”. Whoever this pediatrician is, you’re speaking my language. I am all about keeping it simple.
My son has been going to preschool twice a week for a year now and potty training was not mandatory. So he was going in diapers, there were kids in his class who were learning how to use the potty so he knew all about it and talked about it at home (I believe all of this really helps). We had a potty at home and he would sit on it every now and then but really wasn’t interested in wearing underwear so I just let it go. I debated (with myself) about whether I was doing the right thing when my girlfriends with kids the same age were starting potty training and I thought maybe we should be as well. We tried a couple of times in early spring but he really wasn’t comfortable with it and to be honest, I have another child in diapers so it wasn’t a big deal to me to keep things the way they were. So I waited until he expressed an interest in trying, which was literally a week before his third birthday in July. Hurrah for the pediatrician because I have to tell you, a week to two weeks of accidents and he was set. He will still have accidents occasionally if he is outside playing, but it was a fairly easy transition.
The frustration came when my own pediatrician told me he was probably ready to not wear diapers during nap time or bed time. What?!! Seriously? Well, I’m not sure that was the best advice. We are on week two now of that experiment and we’ve had two dry nights. I feel like I have a newborn again, getting up in the night to change sheets. But I think we’re slowly getting there. I received some brilliant advice from a girlfriend about managing bed wetting and bed making in the wee hours of the morning, layer a plastic sheet then a bed sheet, then another plastic sheet and another bed sheet, that way in the middle of the night you just rip off the top bed sheet and plastic sheet and you’re all set. Awesome. I wake him up to go potty before I go to bed and then he is now getting the hang of getting up on his own in the morning to go and then he goes back to bed. When I went in to get him this morning we were both so proud of ourselves that the bed was dry and we still had both layers of sheets on.
Now if I can just get him to stop trying to clean out his own potty we’ll be dealing. We have toilet locks on all of our toilets for our daughter so my son uses a kids potty in their bathroom. Being the helpful little guy that he is I have found him cleaning out his potty in the bathroom sink. I usher him back to bed saying please, please, please just leave it for mommy to do – I really don’t want you doing that. Then I grab my rubber gloves and go back to clean the poop out of the sink and think one day this will be funny, one day far, far from now.