One subject I seem to come back to a lot, is potty-training. Scarlet was pretty easy, at two-years-old, but Cassidy was a driving force in getting that accomplished. It was hard and exhausting, but I felt like she responded so well to our lessons.
We did a three day method over a long holiday weekend. We kept her in underwear during the day and training pants during the nights, and just hovered around her for the whole weekend. Does it sound intense? It was. She had a good time, though, and seemed to really understand the concept after three days of us rushing her to the toilet when she had to pee. She learned her body signals. We learned her body signals. That was that. It was still rough after that because she was our first and I didn’t have a lot of confidence in sending her out in public – or knowing what to send her in – but somehow it worked out.
Five Things I Wish I Had Known Before Potty-Training:
1. Bribes work, but don’t break the bank. At Scarlet’s daycare, they simply gave one M&M per toilet success. I was surprised at how happy the kids got. Instead of food, you can also try LEGO pieces, star stickers, Cheerios, books, etc.
2. Patience is rewarded. I was more than a bit overwhelmed last summer, and then training seemed to reverse. I had no idea what to do – put him in a diaper, put him in training pants, or put him in underwear. Luckily he had his three-year checkup right before we left for Cape Cod and the doctor gave me great advice. He said that Des was regressing on the training because he was losing interest in the toilet, the more rabid we as parents got towards it. He said to pick a day (the Monday after our weekend trip) and to just have that be underwear during the day and training pants at night.
He told us to stop talking so much about it and follow Des’ lead. Sure enough, me mellowing out about it while still staying firm worked like a charm. I still assisted Des whenever he needed it, and I still cared a lot, but I stopped spending all day long asking him if he had to go to the bathroom unless we were leaving the house. He was fully trained in just a couple of weeks.
3. Nighttime is its own beast. It’s hard, or near impossible, to train your child overnight. The doctor told us Scarlet would outgrow nighttime wetting by five, and sure enough, she stopped training pants on her own two weeks before her birthday.
4. You have no idea what will work. Keep an open mind! For Scarlet, it was watching Jerry Garcia videos. Yes, really. For another kid, it’s an iPhone. For another, a book. For another, just time. You just never really know, do you?
5. It’s messy. Sometimes, often, you need more than toilet paper, don’t you agree? Don’t just wipe. Wash with Cottonelle Fresh Care Flushable Cleansing Cloths, and experience a more confident clean. At Sam’s Club we bought – Cottonelle® FreshCare® Cleansing Wipes (11 pack, 462 sheets). Cottonelle® FreshCare® Cleansing Wipes are flushable wipes that break up upon flushing and are sewer- and septic-safe. Plus, they’re alcohol-free to ensure they’re gentle enough for your little one’s skin. Help your little one learn to clean without the worry of irritation. They’re great for the entire family.
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