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I don’t mean to alarm you more than you probably already are about this subject, but Potty Training is hard. If you think about it, it makes sense that it will be a challenge. It is hard to try to teach a young child how to pee and poop in the potty. How do you explain it so they can understand? I mean, how would you explain it to an adult, much less a young child? So, yeah, it makes sense that it will be a challenge.
In The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems, Tracy Hogg says, “It won’t go as smoothly in real life as it sounds like it will be by reading the books. But then again, did your pregnancy? You delivery? Breastfeeding?” (page 364).
I LOVE that quote. How true it is. Nothing is as easy in real life as it is when you read about it. And just like most breastfeeding, pregnancy, and delivery experiences, the first time is the hardest. You don’t know what you are doing any more than your child does.
What are we? We are many. The stressed out. The potty training mommies. I have a good friend with six children, four of whom are now potty trained. She recently completed training her fourth child and commented on how hard it is and how much she hates it. Sadly, her next step will be potty training twins! The fun 🙂 So even experienced moms don’t like to potty train and find it a challenge.
Hogg has some advice for making it easier on yourself. These are basically all about attitude adjustments, but I think they are good to hear, or uh, read (pages 363-364):
- They Will Learn: Hogg talks about how if you look around you, all adults are potty trained. I have a friend who says this a lot, too. She is a mother of three. When she was training her oldest, she was STRESSED. One day she realized, he isn’t going to graduate high school in diapers. He will get it.
- Pick The Method For You: There are a lot of potty training theories out there, and I am sure the number will continue to grow. You can do anything from starting elimination communication soon after birth on up to waiting for your child to ask to be trained. As your friends what worked for them. Read up on options and choose what route you might want to try.
- You Are A Novice: Remember that you are learning to potty train just as your child is learning to be potty trained. You will make mistakes. So will she.
- Avoid A Time Limit: For many people, it is probably a good idea to avoid a time frame in which you want to get done. This puts more pressure on you and thus on the child, and pressure+potty training=disaster.
- Keep It Secret: Don’t tell anyone you are potty training. If you do, they will bug you and bug you about it. Now, I do think it is good to have a support system. So you might have a non-pushy friend you can talk to/vent to about it. Or maybe you are a member of an online community that can provide support when needed but probably won’t think to ask you over and over how it is going.
I will say that potty training Kaitlyn has been a much easier process than it was for Brayden. This is actually quite strange if I think about it. I spent much less time overall in the potty training process with Brayden. But with Brayden, I wanted it done in X amount of time and I was SUPER stressed about it, which just made him SUPER stressed.
With Kaitlyn, I have taken it easy. She isn’t poop trained yet, and I am starting to feel bits of tension creep up in my body as I realize she is getting older and we need to “take care of this.” But overall, it has been a much smoother ride and it is all because of me not stressing over it. It will happen. Just remind me of that in a few months if she is still not poop trained. On to battle! Oh, wait, that sounds aggressive and stress-inducing. On to work? On to train? On to feigning-low-stress-levels-as-they-creep-up-on-me? Hmmm…I will let you know when I get the right phrase.
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