Correction: How to Potty Train Your Toddler
Step 1: Wait until she's ready.
I started to try to potty train Noelle at the beginning of the summer. I was determined to proudly walk my potty trained two year old into her daycare at the beginning of this school year and proclaim to all that I had successfully coached her out of diapers and WOW aren't I the best at being a mom??
Well, after one day of potty training in May, I quit. I cried and then I quit. Noelle wasn't getting it. I wasn't sticking with it. End of story. Looking back now, I laugh because Noelle was still sleeping in a crib. How on Earth was I going to teach a child to get up out of bed in the middle of the night to go potty when she wasn't even physically able to get out of bed in the first place?
So, we abandoned the potty training idea for a couple of months. We bought her a twin bed and started pumping her full of "I'm a big girl!" confidence. Once she started school, the people at the daycare began to plant the seed of sitting on the potty. I had mixed feelings about this-- mainly because I wasn't really asked if this was OK, and I wasn't sure if I was ready for them to do it...but Noelle insisted on trying like the big girls, and I guess it ended up being a good thing.
As of last Friday, I added several pair of Hello Kitty underwear to the Dora & Yo Gabba Gabba ones we already owned from the first failed attempt and told Noelle we were done with diapers.
Now, I'm not saying I haven't had to clean up my fair share of pee on the floor, on the toilet set, in the undies, on the socks, etc, etc, etc...but I will say that in one week, she had only ONE accident while at school, and she has used the potty numerous times out in public, too. I'd say her success rate is about 75-80% at home, and I think that's pretty good. She wants to be a big girl and she likes feeling successful.
We are trying to reward her with stickers instead of food treats, but I'm not gonna lie...I've been so happy she's finally doing it that I have given her suckers, gum, fruit snacks, chocolate, and I bought her a stuffed penguin today because she peed in the potty at Hobby Lobby. I'm that mom...but I don't really care. I can honestly say I haven't changed a diaper in a week, and that hasn't happened since early 2010. All this just in time for me to start changing lots and lots of tiny diapers here in a few weeks.
Potty training is HARD work on the parents, too. Diapers are much easier. I actually was OK with her being in diapers. It's far easier when you're out in public to just let your kid pee in her diaper instead of frantically trying to find a bathroom while your child is yelling to an entire store "I have to go potty!" all the while you're sweating profusely and worried someone is going to buy that shirt that's the last one in your size that you're going to need to stash somewhere while you're in the bathroom. Ugh.
But-- it's a necessary evil, this potty training thing. I'm happy she has decided to take the leap. Just one more notch in her "I'm a big girl" belt.
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