Who needs a three-day potty training method, when you could take an entire year to potty train your child?
This post is for all you parents out there, who just want to roll with the punches and avoid potty training.
If we’ve been in cahoots, then you might know that last summer we started this whole potty training thing because one day, my son decided he wanted to use the potty. He climbed right up and went pee, and the rest is a years worth of potty training. Actually, it’s a story of me giving up on potty training, learning accidents happen, and using cloth training pants.
How to Potty Train Your Child in One Year.
I should probably relabel this section as how to encourage your child to potty train themselves in just one year. Because, let’s be honest, I didn’t do any of it. He did it. I just let be a kid.
- Don’t be concerned about how long it takes – giving up on the expectation that there were timelines involved in the potty training process was a game changer. Yes. I was frustrated things weren’t progressing, and we were having accidents, using cloth diapers, changing pants all the time, and just that it was a year full of progression and regression.
- Know your kid – my first born is the type of the kid who doesn’t do what you want him to do. This was essential for our potty training experience because there was no amount of timers, and games that would potty train him. He’s fiercely independent and the best way to teach something is for him to learn from watching us, and then let him practice. Not all kids are like this, therefore you might need to find a potty training method that works for your kid. I guarantee potty training my second will be an entirely different experience because kids are not the same.
- Be Open about using the Toilet – I hate sharing the bathroom with my kids. I just pee in peace, but I think that’s part of the learning experience is seeing mom and dad use the toilet and how we use the toilet, and then they want to copy those routines.
- Love the Naked Life – I think nudity really helped my son potty train because it gave him the freedom to use the toilet on his own schedule and not need me. I’m not really one to help my kids, because I’m just lazy like that, and so, constantly needing me while I was taking care of Anna, wasn’t going to work for us. Anytime we were home, he was naked and using the potty like a champ. I’m totally okay with him being naked at home, but I have come to understand some people are not comfortable with this. But that’s you, and your game, and you’ll have to navigate those waters.
- Mastering the Art of Holding It – My child just started doing this himself. He uses the bathroom every 3-4 hours on his own will. If we ask him to pee, it’s like a massive battle. I know some of the training methods involve timers, and intervals, and such, but I just went at it with the naked kid who liked to climb on toilets.
- Learn to take off your pants – If your thinking about potty training, you should start thinking about teaching them to get dressed and undressed because the independence to go to the bathroom themselves is extremely helpful. I really struggled with this transition to clothing because it just wasn’t clicking, and I wish I had an answer for you, but one day it just clicked. Sometimes I wonder if it was the cool touch pull-ups we used when travelling, but I don’t want to give credit to disposable products.
- Poop sucks – learning to poop on the potty just wasn’t happening for us, so I asked around at mom group about what other people did to help encourage the poop on the potty and I went down the bribery route. I bought Hotwheels in bulk at Value Village and he gets one when he poops. I’m so grateful for Omaiki side snap trainers because they made taking off poopy underwear a game changer. Bribery is probably not the best option, but you gotta find out what works for you. This is why you need mom friends.
That’s pretty much it.
I just let my kid do it himself over the course of a year with lots of naked time and encouragement. There no rules or expectations and we went back and forth between cloth diapers, underwear and disposable pull-ups (mostly when we travelled and went to preschool because he’s really too big for most of my diapers).
As much as I value teaching kids things, sometimes, I think they need to learn it at their own pace. Which is why I don’t sleep train babies, and I look forward to the challenges of schooling.
I can’t force them to do anything, and I won’t.