Building Confidence: The Key to Successful Potty Training
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When my oldest was just two and a half years old she decided one day that she no longer wanted to use diapers. We purchased a potty, new undies and just like that, she began using the potty without any hesitation. That little girl of mine was having zero accident during the day within a matter of a week and soon after, we eliminated nighttime diapers. I was convinced I had been blessed with the easiest child on earth when it came to potty training and no issues ever arose. Fast forward down the road when introducing potty training to my son and the story is completely the opposite… that boy was a potty training nightmare! I mean, the sight of me holding his underwear sent him into hysterics. My son would literally cry uncontrollably if I put his underwear on him because that meant he would have to use the potty. I was at a loss for a long time because he didn’t have an ounce of interest in trying to use the potty, cried for his diapers and refused to even sit on a potty. The best choice I made and one that I often give advice on is to just let it go, simple as that! If your child is not ready to start potty training, don’t force it because it will not end well. Allow them to make the choice and let you know when they are ready.
So that’s is exactly what I did, we put a halt on potty training and I stopped placing pressure on my son. I let the little potty sit in the bathroom, left the 2T underwear in the drawers, and we continued using diapers. Then a few months later when I least expected it, my son informed me that he wanted to wear his undies today. I didn’t make a huge deal about it, afraid I would scare him! I simply just followed his lead and allowed him to wear a pair of his new underwear. I inconspicuously brought the potty into the downstairs hall and hoped he would seek it out once he had to go potty. I remember the moment like it was yesterday, my son playing peacefully in the living room, then abruptly standing up, eyes wide open and shouting “mama, I have to pee!” The look on his face was both of excitement and shock, as he realized that he was able to recognize when it was time to go. We skedaddled on over to the potty, I sat my son down and within seconds he was peeing in his potty! Now this is where it’s OK for you to make a big deal… I shouted, screamed, sang hallelujah and we made sure to call daddy at work and inform him of this amazing accomplishment! I am telling you that once your child makes that connection and realizes how easy potty training can be, it’s uphill from there! However, there are still a few things to help build your child’s confidence so they continue to be successful in their potty training adventures.
A Few Tips On Building Confidence During Potty Training:
- Don’t Force It: Let your child potty train when they are ready and allow them to be in full control of choosing the potty, underwear and when and where they go.
- Don’t get angry/upset when they have accidents: Children can easily become discouraged, so please don’t be angry when they have an accident. We all mistakes and that’s OK, assuming that your child will never have an accident is just setting them up to fail. Accidents are apart of potty training and learning from our mistakes is how we learn best.
- Reward them when they use the potty: This doesn’t have to be anything extravagant, just a little something to show your child how proud you are! Treating your child to a single M&M is a popular choice among many parents potty training their kids.
- Praise them! Go over the top with excitement and happiness when your child is using the potty and informing you that they have to go. Children do so well with positive reinforcement, they also live to please you! You are their entire world, the person they look up to most and love with all of their little hearts. Let them know how proud you are and in turn, they will try again to make you happy by using the potty.
Once my son was fully potty trained and we eliminated diapers during bedtime, things when very well for a year or so. Then last February we moved… we move to a new state, a new home and my son had a new room. Within a few weeks of living there my son began wetting the bed and I could not figure out why! Life was so hectic during that time with the big move and adjusting our family to a new… everything! Looking back at it now I realize that it factored into why my son was wetting the bed. Once again I needed to build his confidence back up because he was becoming quite upset and embarrassed that he could no longer make it through the night without an accident.
The first thing I did was head out to my local Kroger store and grab a pack of Pull-Ups® training pants so clean up was easier.
This was also great for confidence building, as my son was no longer going in his bed, but in the Pull-Ups® training pants. If he woke up wet in the Pull-Ups® training pants, that was a quick, easy and simple fix, as opposed to having to strip the sheets and get him in the shower. Pull-Ups® training pants are not as thick and bulky as a diaper, so your child won’t feel discouraged that they are back in diapers. They also have the sides that allow you to easily pull them off for convenient clean up. I think, for him, not having so much focus on his accidents was best, he really was quite saddened by it! We also eliminated water two hours before bedtime, stuck night lights in the hall and bathroom so he could quickly get to the bathroom in the middle of the night. I also made sure to never get upset with him or punish him, as it was completely out of his control. Instead we praised him first thing in the morning when he either made a trip to the bathroom in the middle of the night or simply had no accident at all. We had a very easy time getting him back on track and the Pull-Ups® training pants were a major tool in the success of no more bedtime wetting! The Pull-Ups® training pants come in size 2T–3T (18- 34 lbs.); 3T–4T (32–40 lbs.) and 4T–5T (38+ lbs.); the new designs featuring Doc McStuffins and Ariel for girls and Jake and the Never Land Pirates and Lightning McQueen for boys; and the three different kinds of gender and size specific training pants that include: Cool Alert®, Learning Designs®, Night*Time Training Pants!
Pull-Ups® tools and resources are available at the Big Kid Academy, this is a great resource to help you and your child in their potty training journey. You can also follow Pull-Ups® on Facebook, Pinterest and YouTube for additional resources and advice on potty training! I would love to hear some of your potty training success stories or tips.