It feels natural to put your child on the toilet until they go. I’ve heard it so many times from people that their child was potty trained by just sitting on the toilet and watching TV or a movie. Eventually they will go. The Tiny Potty Training Book talks about how that does not teach anything. Children actually have to see pee or poop go into the potty to make the connection.
Anyway, we started the process outlined in the aforementioned book and also did an optional pre-start “practice” run. That consisted of going to the potty together in the morning or after naps. So last week I started Phase 1 which was to have our daughter wear a shirt only for the whole day except for nap time and bed time. The concept is to get rid of all distractions and to basically follow her around and catch all the pee and poop. We would need to do this, catching as many poops and pees as possible until it finally “clicks for her.” Takes an average of 7 days but could happen in 3. Of course I wanted it to happen in 3!
This method was draining with also having to care for our 3 month old son. I did it and was successful for two days but she didn’t make the connection apparently from those two pees and poops in the mini potty. We also have a seat for the toilet and that has not proved to be useful yet. We’ve had her sit on it for a couple minutes here and there and she either hasn’t had to go or didn’t understand.
So, on Wednesday or Thursday I woke up early with our daughter and gave her extra juice so she would be able to pee more. After 2-3 hours there was still nothing except us just saying pee and potty over and over again. I got super frustrated after this and decided to take a break. This break I am taking is not recommended in the book. it would probably fall under “winging it”, but this is what I have to do right now to make sure I’m keeping my sanity!
Sometimes we all just need to take a break. I had a good friend tell me she tried potty training her daughter and it was an absolute fail. I think we all are going to fail at this in some way or another! Right now I am failing at it and I am totally OK with that. In a week or two we will start back up again with no more daytime diapers and try to continue on through the book exactly the way it’s laid out. However many days it takes until it clicks.
There are no real rules to things like potty training. These crucial stages for our children are not easy to navigate and I think they’re designed that way to build character in us parents. If I could make up a rule for all of these different tough stages of parenting we have to go through, it would be to make sure you take time for yourself so you can have a plenty of sanity!
Our own well-being as parents is so crucial for us to even be able to parent with grace. Patience is hard to come by when I become drained. It’s so important to remind myself that I can NOT get to this point of exhaustion. Don’t let yourself become drained, ever. When the to-do list is still packed full and requires immediate attention, I’ll forget it for a few hours and take a nap. Do a 10 minute yoga video on YouTube, take a quick walk down the street. I’ll do anything to stop worrying and just get some relaxation and peace.
Potty training seems to be one of those things that just drives everyone crazy and requires extra extra patience and love. I have learned not to take myself or my daughter too seriously and to not be afraid of her! This is not going to be an easy chapter but we are going to push through it with joy and determination.