An insider’s guide to potty training: Installment #2-Ask Yourself These Questions
Now that you acquainted yourself with the potty training personalities, let’s move on to a few things to think about before you take the plunge.
You must ask yourself two questions.
1. Am I ready?
Let’s face it, this is really about you being ready.
Getting your child out of diapers is as much about you as them. You are going to have to facilitate the change so you are going to be the one who has to be on board first.
Your child will be ready when they’re ready, and either you’ll catch on or you won’t, but chances are when they want to get out of those diapers, they’ll get out of them.
There will come a moment when they’ll realize they’re the last one in diapers and they won’t like that.
All kids are driven to push forward, they hate being last, they hate being the baby among their peers. they will know when it’s time, and either you will be on board or not.
You might think that, of course, you will be on board, who wouldn’t be? But you would be surprised at the people who are not ready to commit to the work it takes to get the kids out of diapers even when the child is ready. Even if you have a self-motivated early adopter, there will still be accidents it is still a learning curve.
If your child isn’t self-motivated, it will be more difficult. Many parents aren’t prepared for this. They think they can magically make it happen with potty treats and happy dances.
Sorry people, that is the stuff of legend, like the tv toddler who happily plays in a pack and play for hours, that child doesn’t exist. Real-life is nothing like the dream you’re sold on tv. Especially if your child doesn’t want to co-operate.
Potty training is a grind. It’s not fun, you have to be on guard, you have to pay attention. Some people try too hard, too soon, and then become discouraged. Some give it a go and then realize the work involved, so they put it off time and again. Many parents don’t have a workable plan, a system, or an approach. If you only have one child, and you’ve never done it before, potty training can be daunting.
Catching it at the right time is only half of the equation.
If you are not ready, it won’t matter if they are.
2. Are they ready?
How do you know? Is there a magic moment when all becomes clear? Hmm, not really. But there are signs. Any potty training literature will give you the list, they’re pretty commonly known.
Do they show interest? Do they go behind the couch or curtains when poop is coming (that shows they can feel it coming and know what it is and instinctively want privacy)? Different kids show different signals, it’s up to you to pay attention and see what they are sending.
You might be missing a signal or misinterpreting it, but they are usually fairly clear. Don’t fall into the trap of wanting it so bad that you are imagining things.
If parents pressure me to potty train a child before they’re ready and I will refuse. If a kid can’t hold their pee, if they can’t tell it’s coming or if they don’t understand the concept, it will not happen. Period.
You can’t rush nature, I don’t care if you want to put your 4-month-old on the potty every 15 minutes because some wacko said that you can potty train like that but don’t bring your crazy into my home. I run on common sense.
I don’t have that kind of time, and I’m not going to tell you that it’s a good idea. That’s for people who have house cleaners, nannies, personal assistants, are extreme A-type, or just have too much time on their hands.
Do yourself a favor and spend that precious time snuggling your baby instead of trying to force something that doesn’t need to be forced.
If you learn to observe your child, they will let you know when they are ready to use the toilet.
When that happens, all you need is a plan.
In the next installment, you’ll learn what not to worry about.