I’m currently in the throes (kinda) of potty training my second child. I have found potty training to be a pseudo-hot topic among moms. Not at the level of breast-vs-bottle or co-sleeping, but most seem to have strong opinions about it.
To give you an idea of where I stand on the “How to Potty Train a Child” spectrum, here are my general beliefs:
My Thoughts on Potty Training
- Potty training is 100% child-led
- A child needs to care about being wet or dirty before potty training can be successful
- Parents who need to initiate the majority of toilet-sitting sessions in order for accidents to be avoided, cannot consider their child to be “fully trained”
Madelyn is nearly 3 years old. Kate was fully potty trained months before she reached this age, but – really – they are 2 different kids with 2 completely opposite personalities.
Leading into the potty training phase with Kate, we did all the *right* things. We got her a potty chair, talked to her about being a big girl and how that meant wearing underpants instead of diapers, and sat her on the toilet when she showed interest. When Maddie was a colicky, 7 week old newborn, and we had just moved from NH to TN, Kate walked over to me and asked me to change her diaper because she was wet.
That was the exact moment we began potty training.
And 3 days later, Kate was fully trained.
I don’t think I deserve any credit for potty training Kate. Because what did I really do other than following her lead and putting her in a pair of cloth undies so she’d feel wet?
I continue to have this same laissez faire attitude about Maddie, even though she’s “too old for diapers” by many people’s standards. Right now, Maddie has reached a point where she doesn’t want to poop in her diaper and has regularly taken care of that type of business in the toilet for weeks. But in terms of pee, she still doesn’t care to be walking around wearing a sopping wet diaper or pair of undies.
She’s not quite ready, so I’m not pushing the issue.
To me, the word “training” implies that I can actively work to help someone else achieve a skill. Which is why I think it would be better to say that we moms are “potty facilitating” or “potty helping” or something.
What has your experience been with potty training?
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