We have all heard of the potty training your toddler in three days and elimination communication. They are very popular ways to potty train and just seem so easy and quick. They are for the most part, but there are some things that books like that tend to leave out.
Before my first was born, I was fascinated with elimination communication and definitely wanted to try it out with one of my children, but after potty training one, I have decided that it will probably never be for me.
I potty trained my first born with the three day potty training method at eighteen months. You can read my review here. He showed all the signs of potty training readiness, and he did a great job. Through this method, I learned a lot! I learned so many things that I wish that someone would have told me before.
In daycare and through being a nanny, I had the opportunity to potty train many children, but potty training your own is a whole different ball game! These are some of the truths behind potty training that I discovered that may be of help to you in your potty training journey.
My son did amazing at picking up potty training, and he did awesome most days after that, but there were some days we just had lots of accidents. I am not always sure why this was the case, but there were a couple times where I see regression for a day or two, and then we would be perfectly back to normal. These were the main times we would experience regression:
- Sickness: Any time he was getting sick, he would start having lots of accidents. This would typically happen just on the on set of sickness.
- Teething: When my son, starting bringing in his two year molars, there were a couple days of intense teething. During these days, he was more likely to have an accident.
- Focused Attention: This I know sounds a little odd, but we don't have a television, and we don't allow my son to have any type of screen. With that being said, he has a very active imagination and can play for hours with his toys. During this playtime, he gets extremely involved and let's just say forgets to go to the bathroom. The way I found most useful to prevent this is to just send him to the bathroom every hour during his playtime.
- Constipation: Thankfully, we have never had this problem, but I have read that it definitely will cause your little one to have lots of pee accidents. This happens because the colon presses against the urinary tract in a way that desensitizes your little one from feeling that they are peeing or that they need to.
- Urinary Tract Infection: This did happen once after we got back from a month overseas. With lots of garlic, cranberry juice, and patience we were able to make it through this one. My first clue that something was wrong was his complete lack of urinary control. After doing my best to talk to him and figure out why he wasn't going to the bathroom, I was able to find that he had the beginning of a urinary tract infection. You can read this article for more information.
Learning to deal with accidents was a little trying on my patience at first because they were just so random. But I have just learned to always be prepared and just go with the flow. Potty accidents happen, and it really is not the end of the world, although sometimes it is extremely embarrassing, like when your child pees in his high chair in a nice restaurant. You may get a couple snickers from the younger crowd who just haven't been there yet, but just know that every mom has been there and totally understands.
Some things that I always keep on hand is a couple extra changes of clothes, wipes, and hand sanitizer in a nice big wet/dry bag.
You are Very Involved
I am not sure why I thought this, but potty training early puts a lot of burden on Mom. Yes, you are not changing diapers, but if you are not available to remind your child to go potty and then actually help him go, there are accidents to clean up. When I potty trained my son at 18 months, he did amazing going and even telling me he needed to go. The only problem was that he did not have the self help skills to go all by himself. So I had to take him every time he had to go to the bathroom.
We worked on self help skills a lot!, but my son didn't actually start going to the bathroom all by himself, without me until he was two. At two, he was able to pull his pants up and down without an issue, unless he was wearing blue jeans with a button or difficult snap. This was awesome for me because now I could finally focus on other things and not reminding him to go and helping him every time he needed to go.
Finding the Right Time For You to Potty Train
If I had to do it over again, I would probably still potty train early, but I may not with the rest of my children. With my first born, I was a stay at home mom with a lot of time. I didn't have a vehicle and my husband worked long hours. This equals a whole lot of time at home with a toddler, so it didn't really matter to me that I had to be completely involved for months with his potty training.
Fast forward a couple of years, I have a three and a half year old, an eighteen month old, and am pregnant with my third. I don't have time same time I used too. I will probably wait until my eighteen month old has a full set of self help skills and can be entirely independent on the potty, which may not happen until he is two and a half. I am okay with that.
The time to potty train will be different for every child depending upon how much time you have at your disposal and what season of life you are currently in. As of the method, I love the efficiency and quickness of the 3 day method. I will probably use it with all of my children, just maybe some later than usual.
So before, you delve into potty training your baby or one year old, access how much time you really have and figure out if you really want to be that involved in your child's potty training process. I am definitely glad I had the experience of potty training my first early, so I didn't try to potty train my second early not knowing how time intense it is for me.
I truly hope you found this article helpful and would love to read your comments about your potty training experiences, and what worked for you. :)