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I think it’s safe to say every parent awaits the day that their child will finally learn to use the potty on their own. The day that you can finally pack away diapers for good.
My husband and I bought Aiden an Elmo potty chair when he was just about 6 months old. His feet could barely even touch the floor. We figured, why not give him a head start, what do we have to lose.
The first couple of times he would sit there for fun, of course because he had no idea what it was for. When he figured out, he ran away from the potty as fast as he could. We then decided to try something else. We bought him an IKEA toilet seat thinking it may be a better fit, but nothing changed.When Aiden turned 3, the most common question people asked was, “Is he potty trained yet?” and seemed surprised when I would respond with “No.” It almost seemed like turning 3 was the magical age when all children just happened to be potty trained. Well, that magic did not happen in our home. Aiden was still not interested in potty training. I asked questions in mommy groups, read articles online, listened to advice from people but none of their suggested methods worked. I remember someone suggesting “Let him run around the house naked, it really helped my son.” Do you know what that did to me, I spent my days cleaning poop and pee all over, all around the house. After doing that for a few days I told my husband “Nope, Nope, Nope, bring back the diapers asap.” Basically, I was just stressing myself out for nothing, I imagined how much easier it would be not to pack diapers and wipes when going out.
Then I started to question why it was called potty training. Was I really training him, or was he learning? Obviously all the training I was doing wasn’t working, so I figured this was something he had to learn on his own. At that point I stopped trying and simply told him “Aiden, when you finally learn how to use the potty, I promise I will take you to Thomas Land.” For a child who is obsessed with Thomas the Train, Thomas Land is heaven on earth. (Click here to read about our Trip to Thomas Land).
We were in the middle of a move at this time so I gave away Aiden’s Elmo potty chair and IKEA potty seat and invested in the Mayfair 183SLOWA NextStep Adult Toilet Seat with Built-in Child Potty Training Seat. My husband installed it with ease in all 3 bathrooms in our home. I highly recommend it. Click Here to check it out and read other reviews about it.
A month or so after my Thomas land promise, at 3yrs and 4 months, Aiden came up to me and said “Mom, I need to pee on the potty.” I was happy, but I didn’t want to get too excited just in case it turned out to be a one-time thing. Thankfully it wasn’t. In a week he had fully learned how to use the potty (with reminders of course), during the day and night, and the diapers were gone for good. He went from Diapers to Underwear. We did not spend a dime on Pull-Ups. He was even brave enough to tell me “Mom, diapers are for baby Avery”. (Avery is his baby cousin)
Lessons learned :
- PATIENCE is KEY !!!!
- Don’t stress about whether your child is potty trained or not.
- Don’t let anyone make you feel bad about it.
- Don’t compare your child with other children or their siblings.
Children will learn to use the potty when they are ready.
At their own time, and at their own pace. Not when you want them to.