I’ve been lamenting about potty training for months. Maybe not all here on my blog, but definitely to anyone within proximity who will listen. Friends, co-workers, neighbors, strangers at the grocery store.
It’s not that I’ve been actively attempting and failing at the process with my son–Just the fact that I’m still changing diapers and asking myself WHY.
First off let me just confess: I’ve broken the cardinal rule of parenting by comparing my son to my daughter. I searched my old blog posts and saw that she was potty trained almost fully by age two.
What the what?
It’s ok. Just breathe. Boys are different than girls. One child is different from the next.
My son was just straight up not a fan of sitting on the potty. It was as if he was scared. It took mega bribes just to get him to sit on the pot. Finally, enough candy got him to try it, and realize the seat wasn’t going to eat him, or worse–flush while he was still on it.
Then I got brave/overly ambitious and bought undies and decided to do a 3-day potty training boot camp that lasted exactly 6 hours. In that time he did use the potty several times but I was having meltdowns after each accident, and I realized that the amount of laundry that was accumulating was not worth it. Or maybe it was, but long story short, I quit.
My husband told me to calm down. ‘You don’t can’t potty train overnight… A child’s development.. blah blah blah.’ Calm down? You calm down and grab the scrub brush!
Fast forward another month. I notice Big T has started squirming when he needs to go to the bathroom, obviously holding his bladder. I rush him to the bathroom and he goes pee. YAY! Progress!
I try taking a similar approach to what I did with my daughter and bought a bag of Thomas disposable diapers. I tell him not to go pee pee on Thomas, but in the potty because Thomas might get sad and cry.
Not only did he not really care if he gave Thomas a nice bath, he didn’t want to wear him anymore because he thought Thomas was crying in his shorts. Talk about backfiring.
He prefers his Thomas-free (also fragrance and petroleum-based lotion-free) Seventh Generation training pants. I like that they’re absorbent and hypoallergenic. He likes that he can have guilt-free accidents.
Last Friday we spent all day at my mom’s and he made it to the potty every single time. Peed and pooped! He was thrilled by mamas halftime show-worthy celebrations and he kept it up. We continued through the weekend with similar results. Thanks to Halloween I’ve been able to up my bribe game, and he’s totally buying it.
My husband is finally starting to get into the action and he sends me potty updates via text full of toilet emojis and applause. It is a team effort.
Yes, we’ve had a few incidents of not aiming correctly and pee landing on the wall and on the floor, and my leg. But I know it’ll all be worth it in the end.
Some messes come with the territory. I get it. I can embrace that.
So it’s been nearly a week, and I think I’m ready to give the undies another go. This time I’m armed with Seventh Generation Free & Clear Laundry detergent and Energy Smart Detergent. It smells nice, it’s tough on stains and gentle on the most sensitive skin. He can pee in them all he wants. Laundry won’t scare me this time (ok, maybe fresh poop in undies scares me a little, but this should help).
I’ve got loads of potty candy and I’m not afraid to use it. I’ve got patience I didn’t have before. And I’ve got a 2-and-a-half-year-old who finally seems ready and interested in giving this a real shot.
Wish us luck… Again.
*Thank-you to Seventh Generation for sponsoring this story. I’m partnering with them as I share my imperfect life and ways I’m trying to improve it with you. If being more conscious of natural cleaning products and eco-friendly diapers are on your list of priorities, head here for more information. As always, all opinions are my own.