Sunday, March 27, 2011

Potty Training

It seems like everybody I know potty is training right now. Including me. Well, that's not entirely true. I should be potty training right now. I just haven't bitten the bullet and done it. But I will. This week. Probably.

Anyway. I figured I'd just jump right on that bandwagon and tell you how I potty train my kids. Because I've done it 3 times and that makes me an expert. Not. And then this post got really long and I didn't want to overwhelm you with my pottying expertise all in one day (not) so I split it into two potty posts. This is part one. (Duh.)

It seems if you Google "potty training" you'll find a whole mess of websites that are happy to sell you potty training DVDs and CDs and books and toys and sticker charts and special potty chairs that light up sing and say 'hooray' if you 'go'. All that sounds like lots of fun, but I've never had an extra $22 to spend on something my kid is going to pee in. Not that you shouldn't. I just don't think any of that stuff is actually necessary.

Honestly, we've never had a potty chair. I think they're icky. I do not want one more thing in my house to clean. Especially when what I'm cleaning is excrement. No thank you. We did have one of those rings that sits in the grown up chair to make the seat smaller so the kids didn't fall in. That was handy.

Truthfully, I don't really have a method in potty training. Every kid is a little different, I think. My middle child actually trained herself. One day, right after she turned 2, she announced that she was going to use the potty. All by herself. And she did. It was very messy for about a week, and then she got the hang of it. I love that kid. But I'm pretty sure that was a total fluke. I guarantee I had nothing to do with it.

Here's what I do know:

1. Make sure your kid is ready. Here and here are some sites that explain more about that. By the way, your kid is probably ready before you think he is. When our parents were small the average child was potty trained at around 18 months. Now it's like 3 1/2. Why? Disposable diapers were introduced, making diaper changing much easier and moms less compelled to get their kids on the toilet. And then we complicated the whole thing by have Potty Parties and TV shows about it. I'm pretty sure my grandparents didn't show their kids DVDs about potties.

2. Get rid of the diapers. Put that kid in some undies! Yes. it's messy, but diapers are made to keep little bums dry and comfortable. Underwear feels yucky when wet. I like these training pants with these plastic liners to minimize messes. Picking out underwear with favorite characters on them is fun, too.

3. Be consistent. Part of this is training yourself. Set a timer and go potty every 15 minutes to start, increasing the time amount as your kid gets the hang of it.

4. Reward success! We jump up and down and cheer and give lots of hugs and kisses. M&Ms work well, too.

For more intellectually stimulating potty talk, check out part two!

1 comment:

  1. You are so right about the underwear! Pull-ups are a big scam; they're just a slightly different style of diapers. (What I think are really creepy are the ones that have some undisclosed chemical in them to make them feel cold when wet--artificial uncomfortableness!) To reduce leaks, we used his nylon cloth-diaper covers over underwear at first. There's more about them in my toilet-training article. At 2/$6 they're reasonable even for kids who used disposable diapers.