Let’s be honest, 9 months ago I was not planning on potty training my 3 year old when I was 37 weeks pregnant. But sometimes God (and toddlers) have a different plans for our lives. The first time my daughter showed interest in the potty was about 8 months ago when I was deathly ill from the first trimester of my pregnancy. After numerous accidents within an hour, I knew that then was not the time to begin potty training.
Fast forward 3 months and here we are, 3 weeks from having baby number two and my daughter decides she wants to wear big girl panties. It felt like such an untimely time to start potty training I just had to laugh and go with it.
So, what have I learned these past few days of potty training?
It’s Worth the Wait
As a first time mom even the thought of potty training causes me anxiety. The two methods for potty training that seem most popular didn’t seem to fit well with our lifestyle. A lot of parents love the three day method where you stay home for three days and focus on potty training. The last time we stayed home for three days straight was when we all had the stomach bug two years ago. As you can imagine, it was less than enjoyable. We are also the type of family that love to be on the go so the thought of staying home for three days sounded less than appealing.
Another popular method is to have your toddler run around naked. In theory this would work but for whatever reason our daughter doesn’t like walking around without any clothes on so she decided herself that this method just wasn’t going to work.
All this to say, waiting this long to potty train has actually been a blessing in disguise. It’s been an almost pain free process with few accidents.
So with the intention of keeping this post lighthearted I’ve decided to name our version of potty training:
The Social Potty Training Method or The Peer Pressure Model
It’s a fact universally acknowledged that all women like to go to the bathroom in groups right? Well the same is apparently true for our daughter. My daughter LOVES pre-school and she has a best friend that she talks about everyday. Well, this best friend just potty trained herself and so my daughter woke up 5 days ago and said, “I want to wear big girl panties like my best friend.” And there you have it friends, we haven’t looked back since.
For the first two days Ellie only went potty at school and didn’t seem interested to go at home. But once we picked out her favorite underwear and a paw patrol potty, she started going at home as well. She has also worn panties at night with no accidents which was shocking to me.
But the inspiration from her best friends (and smarties for a reward) seem to be enough to encourage her to go potty. When Ellie’s best friend found out that she also potty trained, she specifically asked her mom to go to the store and buy Ellie Moana panties like her. If this isn’t true friendship, I don’t know what is.
In conclusion the top 3 things I’ve learned from this experience are as follows:
It’s OK if your child doesn’t potty train until 3…or 4. Every child, family, and circumstance is different. Don’t force it if it’s something that is causing a lot of stress and anxiety.
A reward system is VERY helpful. Having little candies to give when your child goes potty and having them pick out their own panties goes a long way.
Messiness is part of motherhood. Know that it won’t always be that way. Embrace it, and move on.
Find yourself and your child a best friend who is so supportive of you that they buy Moana panties for you when you succeed at something. #truefriendship