toilet-1552924We started potty training Ben, our 3 year old, on New Year’s Day. I had avoided starting for longer than I should have because I had zero experience with potty training kids and was really overwhelmed by the whole process (plus I hated the idea of cleaning up pee). It wasn’t going to happen without our involvement, however, so we picked a book, picked a day, and took away the diapers.

I’ve collected a few random thoughts about the process thus far as a way of remembering how to do this the next time around

  • Both Brian and I read Oh Crap Potty Training by Jamie Glowacki to give ourselves a baseline idea of how to start the process and deal with any problems that might arise. The book is more of how small kids learn and what their physical limits are at the age when they train than a tried and true method.
  • Like most parenting philosophies, there’s no one way to potty train that will work for every child. Ben is incredibly stubborn and we’ve had to come up with a small handful of tactics to work around that.
  • This little potty chair is pretty great
  • The first week sucked because it is so dang exhausting to be that vigilant for that long. I mourned the sudden loss of my tiny bit of free time during the day because Ben was always right there.
  • At two weeks in, we’ve got a handle on his rhythms and I can trust him to have quiet play time or a nap in his room after lunch without fear of accident
  • Our kid just doesn’t get that there are times that one has to try to pee, even if one doesn’t think one needs to (such as before leaving the house or getting ready for bed)
  • Even though the author strongly encouraged skipping pull ups entirely, we learned that it was worth the drop in stress level and not having to wash bedding 2 or more times per night to give him a pull up. We called them “nighttime undies” and he doesn’t consider them as diapers so it works for us.
  • At two weeks, night time success is only about 30% but he’s about 90% during the day, especially if I’m able to pay enough attention. The weather has been cold and snowy for the last week so we haven’t experienced having to use a public bathroom yet. Ben has always been terrified of them (they’re too loud!) so¬†will be a challenge, especially with a not-yet-walking 1 year old tagging along