Potty Training Problems
I am currently in the process of potty training my daughter and it isn’t going as well as I had hoped. I read up a bit on potty training here on Babies Online and discovered a few false assumptions that I had made from the get go:
- My daughter is a girl, and aren’t girls so much easier to train than boys?
- My daughter is bright, so she’ll “get it” fast and easy.
Boy, was I WRONG on both counts. I started potty training making all the mistakes the literature warned me against.
My Potty Training Mistakes
- I did it when she wasn’t ready. After all, everyone was telling me, “oh my daughter was potty-trained at 18 months/16 months/12 months”! Even my graduate-level educated professor told me, “she’s ready”, looking smug while telling me that her daughter has been trained since 18 mos. So I figured my daughter was late! I should get right on it!
- I expected too much from her. I read this article that said Salma Hayek’s daughter was trained in 3 days. Then I found other moms who told me their kids just decided one day that was it, no more diapers for them. They made it sound instantaneous and like that was how it was supposed to work. And because I wasn’t listening to my daughter’s cues, and didn’t thoroughly research the subject, I thought my daughter would be trained in 3 days, a week tops. Didn’t I see how smart she is? She’d get this with no problems, right?. WRONG. After 3 days of her not “getting it” I finally looked up some potty training facts and learned that it is normal for babies to take up to 3 1/2 years to master the art of the potty.
- I still didn’t learn my lesson. I continued with the potty training, resigned to a few months more of it. But I didn’t learn anything. I still got frustrated, I still yelled when she had accidents.
Potty training had become NO FUN at all. I’m not particularly proud of this. In fact, I cringe when I think how pressured and stressed my daughter must have felt. And I’ve reaped the benefits of those mistakes. Six months later, we really haven’t made any progress, except for the fact that we don’t yell at her anymore.
What I Learned About Potty Training
- Forget what your friends tell you. Potty training is a highly individualized process, and you cannot go by any books in terms of a timetable. They’ll be ready when they’re ready.
- Make potty training fun. Stickers, treats, then gradually reducing it to verbal praises. The more stressed they are, the more they’ll resist the process.
- The later you wait, the easier the training will be because they’ll be both psychologically and physically more prepared for it.
- It’ll eventually happen; the majority of kids don’t go to kindergarten in their diapers.
So I’m just leaving it all up to my daughter now. She will hold it when she wants to, and when she does go potty, I praise like it’s the best thing since sliced bread. I’m still waiting for her to say “I’m done with diapers”, and chuck it and never look back again, but I know that will have to happen when she’s ready, and no sooner.