Everyone knows that potty-training is a hot topic among parents and child-care providers. But I’d forgotten just how hot. Minutes after posting my potty-training anecdote I had e-mails in my inbox asking, “Oh yeah, potty-training, how in the heck do you do that?”
Alright, so no one asked it quite that way. But it seems there are so many different ways to go about potty-training, we’re always interested in hearing how others do it. And because I’ve successfully (and in a matter of days*) potty-trained three, and am working on my fourth, I feel I am at least slightly qualified to throw my two cents into the proverbial potty.
*To me, “potty-trained” doesn’t mean “no more accidents”. I think it’s more encouraging to me, and to my kids, for me to say “Oops! Another accident, ” than, “We’re still trying to potty-train.” I want them to hear that they ARE trained. Accidents are a part of life.
But whoa, I was sitting down to write my little potty-training post when I saw that Becky had a big question she’d like to pose to the group, so to speak.
I am currently doing daycare for a just turned 3 yo that hasn’t even started potty training! His parents are actually asking ME to get him on track and it isn’t even on their radar at home. They say he has been in pull-ups since he was 18 mos and they are ready for him to be finished! I guess they thought that would do the trick!? My question is this, should I dive in and add to my already FULL/overflowing plate and do this for them or should I leave it for them and offer support in my home once they initiate?? I’m not sure what to do! The others I watch are all already potty trained (by their parents) or under 1 and no where near ready. Any suggestions you can give would be greatly appreciated!
And of course, surprise surprise, I actually have a suggestion for Becky! So I’ll go first and then the rest of you can sound off in the comments’ section. Okie Dokie?
First, I’ll carry on with my original plan and outline exactly how I have gone about potty-training. It’s simple, so it [this post] won’t take long. Once I finally get the nerve (energy, drive, etc.) necessary, I hit the potty-training train full-speed, and I don’t let up til we’re done. I think that’s why I wait until they’ve passed two-and-a-half. I really don’t want potty-training to drag out for months, or even weeks. Frankly, I just don’t have the patience.
We own a few packs of plastic pants, but they seem so uncomfortable that I can’t bear to leave them on my kids for very long at all. I just put a plain ol’ diaper over their underwear (during nap-time and at night). That way their accidents will still be uncomfortable, but they won’t suffer through nap-time feeling sweaty and bunchy. This has worked great for us!
Once potty-training begins, my goal is for them to be wearing underwear at all times, even through the night. And I think it’s best to potty-train in warm weather so that they can run around without pants during the day.
I stay on top of them, consistently helping them to avoid accidents. After the very first full day of no accidents (day four or five for my kids), I officially consider them “trained”. Once they are trained, I no longer put a diaper over their underwear (unless we are driving in the car – yikes!). I line their beds with trash bags, and I just expect my laundry load* to increase for a week or two. No one likes waking up in wet clothes and sheets though, so that really speeds up the process.
*You can eliminate the smell of urine by adding distilled vinegar to your wash.
We do use the reward system for successful pees and poops, offering them one small piece of candy (a Skittle, Candy Corn, etc.) for each little victory. But probably more importantly, we exchange high-fives and do the pee pee dance!
And that’s that.
Back to Becky, I potty-trained my nephew at nearly three, so I can relate a little bit. I think it makes sense for the person who has the child for the majority of their day-time hours to carry out the potty-training. But, my sister-in-law did offer me a very generous bonus for the task!
Would asking for compensation help, or do you feel you do not have the time to potty-train their little boy? Also, if you do agree to potty-train him, you should write out exactly what you expect of them at home, and have them sign it! If they are not going to be a support, they’ll only undo (and drag out the process of) your efforts. And if that’s the case, I say you should just leave him in his pull-up!
But, you know me, I save my gumption for my blog.
The lid is up everyone…throw in your two cents!