Potty Training, here we go!
An amazing thing happens when a toddler has to go potty – they tell stories! My sweet little Tasmanian devil always requests for me to come sit in the bathroom with him while he goes potty. I of course attend because, well, that is just not a mess I want to undertake as a mom these days. During our potty break, this kid loves to chat about anything and everything. I realized this evening that these moments on the potty are the moments that are (for him) uninterrupted moments of time where he has my full attention. This is the moment where he tells me about his day, his dreams, what he loves about me, what he dislikes about me, and many other fun or interesting facts he wants to share.
This evening I learned that he loves me so much, how pretty I am to him when I wear red lipstick and how silly it is when he plays with my tummy and it jiggles and jiggles around. He taught me that his red cars are the fastest and that he thinks his daddy is the strongest ever. But the most important message I learned today was that this little guy with adorable blue eyes and the sweetest dimple on his cheek, had much more entertainment, news flashes and stories than my facebook. For this moment was a blessing and a reminder that the bathroom can be a wondrous place- even beyond sneaking and locking yourself in there to eat cookies or for a mommy time out!
If you have a little one that is ready to take on the potty training, check out some helpful tips below:
Patience is a gift – I learned that between raising 5 kids, that seriously, each child is different in EVERY way- including potty training. I had to remind myself all the time that this is a new thing for them as they are learning to listen to their body. Yes, going to the potty every 10 minutes of the day can wear a momma down, but embrace these little moments with something fun-read a book, tell jokes, color or grab the cleaning wipes and do some deep cleaning.
The Naked Truth – If you are blessed with hard wood floors, be wild and crazy and let your little one strip down and run free. Call me lazy, but not having to undress and dress my little one 115 times a day was a treat. But I was also prepared with paper towels and Mrs. Myers for when an accident did occur. I found that “streaking” approach prompted more potty usage- even if it was a false alarm.
SURPRISE – Prizes, treats, stickers, bribery. Whatever you want to call it- I am game. Each child of mine responded differently to things. As one just need praises and hugs, the other would thrive off of m&m’s and goldfish as an award. There are many things you can use to charts, songs, and even a potty celebration. Just make sure to use your praises and awards for the positive. Keep your little motivated to keep trying.
Think Backwards – If you are training a boy, things can get a little messy. Learning to use the potty is a big feat, but also is learning how to control your body. My youngest learned to use the potty by sitting backwards on the potty. Some reason he was less scared sitting on the potty this way. I admit, I was a little surprised but I went with it!
Target Practice – Another boy trick is target practicing. Yup, those precious boys are a handful and I was surprised to find how much boys like to pee on everything. Oh, the stories I could tell! To help boys keep their aim, place cheerios in the bowl and have them try to hit the mark. It is fun for them and less messy for you!
This stage of childhood is hard- no doubt, but remember you are not alone! Don’t be afraid to talk to other moms and find out what worked for them. And when your days are rough and think this child will be in diapers till college, the day will just click and everything will be ok…. Then you might find yourself in tears that you no longer have a baby in the house!