If you google « Potty training », you will find tons of websites and blogs giving tips on how and when to train your child. And here I am writing one more article about how to get your kid to pee and poop in a toilet. Sounds boring, I know, but I HAVE to talk about it because a mommy blog that does not cover this topic is not a mommy blog. Potty training will pull you from desperation to happiness to desperation again within one hour. So all I have to say is: “keep calm and go to this f***ing potty!”
Potty training is a major step for every kid. It is like learning to walk. It is important to go slowly but surely. It is the only way to avoid accidents (and nobody like to clean up poop). I will not give you tips because I am far from being a potty training Jedi.
We all have that special someone around us that is more stressed than we are. When your child turns two it can become an obsession for them. Some websites recommend starting training at 15 months and others at 20 months. French websites (like doctossimo) put the average age of completion at 28 months and US websites at 36 months. To be honest, my girl started walking at 15 months, so no way she would go to the potty at the same period. Each step at a time! At 28 months, she just did not want to sit on a potty. She was very interested in watching me doing my business but NO WAY would she also do it. So I started thinking that there was something wrong with her. I became very obsessed with potty training and how to get her interested. I would stare at every other toddler to see if they were wearing diapers. I would also read stories and make up songs (like the “pee song”). And of course I had pressure from the family. I can't count how many times I heard that my husband was potty trained at 22 months and me at 24 months. At 24 months my girl was faaaar... very faaaar from the potty.
We decided to have a conversation with our daughter’s teacher. We were desperate for advice. Well, she was definitively not as worried as we were. She told us: “come on, she is still young, wait until she is ready, don’t worry”. Then she added that none of the other kids were trained. What ? really ? but ? … Ok… at that time she was 30 months. So we stopped trying to get her trained. We understood that in the US, parents generally are not stressed about getting their kids potty trained.
So now, I am going to be very French: there is this little girl in my daughter’s dance class; she is about to turn 4. She is beautiful, blonde with cute curls. She enjoys coming to dance in her princess dress and with make up. She is very graceful and is one of the best dancers. And… she still wears diapers!… Her mom does not care, in fact nobody seems to care, nobody even notices. The only person who does is … me… oops.
So how did I finally get my daughter potty trained?
One day I hd had enough, I was at wit's end so I took off the diaper. I set my alarm clock to ring every 10 minutes and made her drink, drink and drink again. Every 10 minutes I put her in the potty. At the end of the day, I had nothing on the potty but 4 puddles of pee on the floor and a very irritated daughter that was crying each time my phone rang. The second day I changed my strategy. I just put the potty in the living room and told her to use it when needed. I also bribed her with candies. Guess what? It worked! After two days and 15 packs of candies, I am proud to say that she was potty trained at 34 months old!
I learnt that adapting my strategy to my daughter's personality made all of the difference in the world. My daughter looks exactly like her dad but has the same temper as I. Like me, you can make her do whatever you want if you promise candies. Like me the more you are on her back, the less she cooperates. So, by letting her decide whether or not to go, she felt empowered and went!
End of the post. I promise I will not raise this subject again.
Here, it is all about food, children and me.
Claire, mom of two adorable girls. Montessori believer.
A few pounds overweighted and a few inches too short. Sometimes too French for Americans and most of the time too American for French people. Rarely down to earth but often out of my mind.