So…this week was focused on training our 3-year-old to use the potty. We had attempted this a few months ago (with little to no results) because hubby and I just weren’t ready in terms of mindset. Thankfully our tot’s nursery school did not require him to be potty trained before attending, so I put it off…for as long as I could. I think I realized the sheer intensity of the process and wasn’t ready to take it on just yet. We also have a 21-month-old, so we’ve had to meet the needs of both our boys, hence the reluctance to dive head first into potty training.
A few months ago I saw an Instagram advertisement for a Tinyhood potty training course (there is a 20% Father’s Day discount for all courses until June 21 using the code PARENTS20) that breaks down the process into three phases. I then took three days off of work – the first three days are known to be the hardest.
I have to admit: this was a lot harder than I expected. The fact is, there is only so much control we parents have in this process, and that can be frustrating and challenging at times. Here is what I recommend:
- Embrace the suck. There is no way around how daunting and annoying and frustrating potty training is. Especially those first three days. It demands a level of attentiveness that requires a lot of patience and consideration, and it wasn’t enjoyable (at least for me) most of the time. Realizing that the process, especially those first three days, will not be enjoyable, will enable you to let go of whatever expectations you may have going in. Truth: I burst into tears the very first day!
- It’s OK to wait until YOU are ready. I had some guilt around the fact that we didn’t potty train our little guy until now, but I’m so glad I waited until I was ready. It’s hard and it’s best you are in the right mindset for this process.
- Try your best to take care of yourself with mindfulness and relaxation activities. Watching your toddler all day, waiting for pee or poop cues, prompting him to sit on the potty, dealing with tantrums and their emotions and frustrations, and cleaning up accidents, is enough to drive anyone mad. As I said, I had a breakdown just one day in. I have, however, still managed to do my yoga challenge (on day 20, haven’t missed a day yet!) and meditated because I need these tools now more than ever.
- Pull up your best carpets and put away nice furniture! They will pee (or poop) over all of the things! We also invested in those pee pads. Putting those items away will also cut down on whatever frustration you may have when your toddler’s bladder runs amuck.
I’ll check in next week with an update on the process. Yes, keep me in your thoughts, please!