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. One of the things that parents spent searching the internet is how to potty train their toddlers.
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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 finally figured out what it was for, he ran away from the potty as fast as he could. We were stomped and couldn’t understand, however we were not giving up. It was then that we decided to try something else. We bought him an IKEA toilet seat thinking it may be a better fit. To our surprise, nothing changed. He would sit on there and smile, and only pee in it once in a blue moon.
When Aiden turned 3, the number one question people asked me was, “Is he potty trained yet?” When I answered with “Nope,” they were shocked at why he wasn’t. 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 using the potty on his own.
I asked questions in mommy groups, read articles online, listened to advice from people but none of their suggested methods worked. I remember someone telling me “Let him run around the house naked, it really helped my son.” Do you know what happened when I tried to implement that? I spent my days cleaning poop and pee all over the house. After trying that for a few days, it was starting to make the entire process stressful for both Aiden and I. I then told my husband “Nope, Nope, Nope, bring back the diapers asap. He needs it.” Basically, I was just stressing myself out for nothing. I dreamed about how much easier it would be not to pack diapers and wipes when going out and especially when traveling.
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 a dream come true.
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 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 and daily reminders to use the potty, 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)
Below are the lessons I learned from this potty training / potty learning experience:
- Patience is Key
- Don’t stress about your child being potty trained, it will eventually click
- Don’t let anyone make you feel bad about your child not being potty trained
- Don’t compare your child with other children or their siblings as every child hits different milestones at different times
I truly believe that 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. Of course you have to play an active role in the process by encouraging them and guiding them, however it will click in when they are ready!
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