The last two weeks we've been working on potty training the little man. Which got me thinking about potty training my other kids.
I started putting Beth on the potty when she was about one year, but I quickly realized that I was not going to be one of those "potty trained before they're two" moms.
I spent so many days cleaning up accidents. She would pee and not even tell me she was wet! I gave her M&Ms. The first time she pooped in the potty we took her to McDonalds and bought her a balloon. She just didn't seem to care. She would be so involved in her play that she would just go - wherever, whenever, whatever she was wearing.
The day after her third birthday I took her to get her three year check up, I had this wonderful motherly pediatrician who I just adored, she checked Emma and said "yep! You're too big for diapers now!" We went home, got out the big girl underwear and she was potty trained in about a week. She was the easiest kid to potty train ever.
I thought I had it all figured out.
I did the exact same thing for Katie-Abigail. I started letting her sit on the potty before bath time when she was about two:
I started potty training in earnest when she turned three:
So now it's time to do it all over again.
Josiah has good days and bad days...
Here are a few general tips I've picked up along the way...
Stay positive - which is hard when you go through a week of clothes in one day, but always be encouraging and positive. Accidents are normal, sitting on the potty and not doing anything is normal. Don't discipline for accidents. Apparently potty training is a really stressful process for kids - try not to add your stress to the equation. If they aren't too keen about sitting on the potty, offer incentives like stickers, m&ms, skittles etc. this has turned many "no I don't want to go potty" conversations into more willing and positive ones.
Be consistent - once you put them in underwear, keep them in underwear as much of the time as you possibly can. If Mommy and Daddy work together to potty train it will be even more successful, also try to maintain as much continuity between any other care givers and home as you can.
Keep it in perspective - it might take your child a week to potty train, it might take them two years. Both are normal. But eventually your child will be potty trained. Think down the road a few years and remember that the important thing is that your child eventually becomes potty trained not when or how quickly they are trained.
Talk to your doctor - there are a few medical conditions which may contribute to your child having difficulty with their potty training. For example, Katie-Abigail had pretty severe constipation which made her bowl movements more difficult to control. Once we helped her get regular she was much less prone to accidents. So it's a good idea to discuss this with your pediatrician.
Have you got any tips to share?