This is NOT a Pinteresty miracle post -- one with a photo of words that say, "How I trained my oh-so-very-young person in oh-so-little-amount-of-time."
This is not a tutorial.
This is our story.
There seems to me to be a lot of pressure surrounding potty training. From at least the internet stand point. Pinterest magic and Facebook brags can make you feel like you should be training 7 month olds.
I don't know, maybe it bothers no one.
Honestly it didn't bother me.
But I figure it might bother someone.
So I thought I'd say, don't worry if you kid isn't potty trained by a certain time.
I just wanna share our potty training adventure.
Its the real deal. No white washing.
I didn't want to potty train.
Didn't care to.
Didn't want to.
Didn't need to.
Diapers were totally fine in my book.
I got pregnant with our second when my first was 15 months old.
I did not want to mess with potty training and caring for an infant simultaneously.
So I let Jasmine show me if she was interested in potty training while I was midway through pregnancy, thinking I may be able to get it done before the baby came. She was totally into the idea of playing potty training. But she didn't do anything real and didn't seem to show me any signs of caring. So I quit caring entirely for a long time because I knew we weren't gonna get it done soon enough to not mix the two.
She was two when our second was born. And I didn't do any pushing AT ALL towards potty training. (In fact I kinda avoided the idea and tried to keep it off the table for a long time.)
A year went by and no one mentioned it. (And I was happy.)
Jasmine turned three, and I could tell she knew what she needed to know to do this. And I gave a wimpy try at it (while not avoiding diapers) and it failed (because of me.) And so after I sat on that for a while, I began to mentally hype myself up to do this for real, for a couple days on end. (One of which included about an hour of alone time while I ran to the store -- oh blessed alone time, how you strengthen me as a mom.) I then came up with a plan.
About a month ago now,
I told Jasmine she had one week left of wearing diapers. I really talked this up. Every day, tons of times a day. And I REALLY acted like it was the biggest most amazing thing in the world (this, by the way, goes against my nature, I had to totally fake it. Good thing three year olds go with it.)
Finally we got to the first day of potty training.
I had initially wanted to avoid candy. For a bunch of dumb reasons (most of which I made up before I was really in the thick of real-mom-life, the rest of which were based on food perfection insanity which I am starting to let go of.) But I then decided nope, candy is gonna work. Lets do this thing.
We put a bunch of skittles (allergy friendly for us) in a jar and put the promise out there.
Then we put on training panties and plastic pants.
We had a day of non stop accidents and disappointments (for Jasmine.) Day one I stayed optimistic.
Day two I lost hope. I could tell she was kinda just confused, but a little but doing it on purpose sort of.
I was really close to emotional freak out (which was going to equate to me telling her it was over and she wasn't ready) when I had a quick flash of sanity. I bent down, looked her in the eyes, and very seriously (and intensely, because I had been so close to freak out 2 seconds prior) asked her, "Are you ready to do this? Do you want to potty train?"
She merely said the name of her friend.
I asked her if she was talking about her friend because her friend was potty trained.
She said, "Yes."
I asked her if she wanted to be potty trained like her friend was. She told me yes. And so I committed again.
(Honestly for us the potty training was more of a mommy training for me -- I was so not wanting to do it. It sounded too hard for me.)
Well it was then that I reached for one of those things I told myself I would never do as a mom. (Its like the only things I do are all the things I never said I would -- lol -- I was hilariously misinformed before motherhood.) I decided we would go pants-less. No diaper. No panties. Nothing.
I had sworn the idea off because I figured my entire house would become horrifyingly disgusting in the process.
But in the moment I knew that's what she needed. I could tell she just couldn't grasp the idea in panties because she felt like it was a diaper.
So I told her.
"Ok we will potty train. I'm gonna take off your panties and your pants."
To my surprise she began to run around crying and screaming in horror, "NOW THE POOP IS GOING TO FALL ON THE FLOOR!!!!!!"
This I found hilarious.
For 3 minutes.
But she didn't stop.
And she was distraught.
After 15 minutes of this I really started to doubt myself. I started to question if I was some kind of monster who needed to reconsider.
It took 30 minutes for her to calm down. (The entire time she spent running and scream-crying.)
And after those thirty minutes she told me she had to go potty.
When when she did, I cheered like someone who loves sports cheers when their team does something fantastic. (Can you tell I don't do sports?) I wasn't faking it this time. I was ecstatic! I cheered for like 5 minutes straight. (I started wishing I did like sports because cheering like that was exhilarating.)
She got a candy treat.
And she didn't have any accidents that day.
Tons of going to the potty.
It was great.
Our house did not get disgusting.
(Although FYI, I have heard tales of houses becoming disgusting with this technique, which is what made me not want to try it. But it worked perfect for us, really because she was ready.)
She's done really well since.
It wasn't done in one day.
She does have accidents still. She still does much better when she doesn't have any pants/panties on. (Which means she's half naked a lot -- which can be awkwardish, but not really because normally I'm the only one here. But when Grandma was here she kinda pushed harder for panties than I do, because being naked is kinda goofy.) But Jasmine's starting to wear her panties more and more (asking for them sometimes) (taking them off many other times) and doing pretty great.
Many times she forgets all about the candy and just goes because she has to go. Other times she tries to milk the system and figure out ways to get tons of candy. (Like if she stops and starts three times, can she get three candies?)
Once the jar is empty we'll be done with them.
I still don't push hard on many parts of it.
I'm still not pushing too hard on the panties, just encouraging them and making sure to talk about how we have to wear them when we go anywhere so she should get used to them.
I don't even try to worry about night time. Diapers for sure! (Not sure when I will -- for heavens sake I just wanna sleep!)
She doesn't nap, but I have her play in her room for rest time. For a while I stuck a diaper on her so I could nap. Now I trust her to use her potty alone without me.
When we go out, I just put a diaper on her.
Why? Because I have a one year old with me too. I literally don't know how to do bathroom breaks with three of us. Like if we were at Walmart...I mean those bathrooms.... so nasty....and the store.... so big....what if we can't get there in time. And what if Ruby is throwing a fit, climbing out of the cart, risking life and limb, while I'm holding Jasmine.... if I let her out, what if she is trying to eat toilet paper she picks up off the floor....none of this is something I'm wanting to try right now.
But pretty soon I'm gonna have to suck it up and go there. Jasmine's starting to worry about going in her diaper at the store....so yeah...pretty soon, I'm gonna have to be better and braver and stronger.
But that's the cool thing.
This has all been really customizable.
It hasn't had to be anything we didn't each feel ready for.
So yeah...I don't think anyone needs to worry if their tiny one isn't ready, or they as a momma aren't ready. It all comes together eventually.
I do think Ruby is gonna potty train much earlier. She sees Jasmine doing this and is SUPER interested already. She loves to do anything potty like. (It's all just peer pressure essentially.)
I'll be less scared of potty training in general too. So that will help.
But I'm not gonna be more proud of Ruby if she potty trains early.
And I'm never gonna be sorry that I waited to potty train Jasmine "late" -- it worked for us.