Thank you Acorn Influence and Charmin for sponsoring this post, which this blog has been compensated for but all thoughts are opinions are mine. #charminatSamsClub #ad
Awkward topic, but I’m so glad it’s done that I’m announcing it to the world- Sawyer is finally potty trained! Fully, completely, takes himself every-time, potty-trained. I’m embarrassed to say how long it took us to finally get it down, but at least it’s done. I dreaded potty-training. I knew it wouldn’t be easy, and Rhett was only a few months old when we started so I wasn’t exactly looking for more work to add to my plate, but it had to be done. A few of my friends had the kind of kids who wake up one morning and decide to potty train themselves and never have another accident again; I wish that had been us. I started out, like I do with everything, turning to Google and Pinterest to educate myself on the nine million different tactics and ways of approaching potty training. Even with all that, it took us over a year to get him finally going every time on the potty, and since there’s already a million different potty training “how-to’s” out there, I thought instead I’d share with you my mistakes, so you don’t have to learn the hard way, and maybe your potty-training experience will be much shorter, and cleaner, than ours. I also threw a good roach story in there for good measure, and a giveaway at the bottom where you can share your potty-training tips!
Mistake #1- I was wishy-washy. SO wishy-washy. For the first week or so of potty training, I was a rock star. We did the whole stay at home for a week and let the kid run around bare-bum and throw them on the potty whenever they started going or if it had been awhile technique. It worked great, I was seeing progress, but when we finally needed to leave the house to go somewhere, I didn’t take him regularly like I was at home and he’d go in his training pants. It was convenient, but didn’t teach him to hold it or reinforce to not go in undies. I think had I been more diligent about taking him to a bathroom as often as I was taking him at home, he would have gotten the hang of the whole thing sooner and stopped having accidents.
Mistake #2- Trying to save undies. When we first started, if Sawyer had a #2 accident in his undies, I would go through the trouble of cleaning it all out, super cleaning the undies, and washing them so he could wear them again. He didn’t care and it only made potty training that much more dreadful for me; it was gross and encouraged me to be wishy-washy (see mistake #1) because it’s a whole lot easier to clean up a messy diaper than it is to remove and clean up messy undies. At some point I realized it wasn’t worth the money that I was saving on undies and started throwing them in a grocery bag and chucking it in the trash.
Mistake #3- Having the right/wrong supplies. Sure, there’s no way to know exactly what you’re going to need for potty training, every kid is different, but there are a few things you definitely need. I made the mistake of not switching to a specifically super-soft toilet paper right away. Transitioning from gentle baby wipes to toilet paper isn’t easy for kids (think raw bum), so make sure you get some of the good stuff and don’t run out! Charmin Ultra Soft is definitely a winning choice- it’s super soft and a great value. Sam’s Club has packs for a limited time that have 1,000 extra bonus sheets, so stock up! (maybe with the gift card I’m giving away at the bottom) I grew up in a big family and we always seemed to be running out of toilet paper, so when I find a good deal like that, I stock up. No one wants to get creative because you’re out of toilet paper.
Another supply to have on hand is some kind of reward (bribery). When we first started, Sawyer got a small candy or some kind of treat every time he went #1 on the potty. It encouraged him to want to try. Once he had that down, he got treats when he went #2 on the potty. It took him a looong time to get going #2 down, so we even tried promising new toys at times. Sawyer was still having accidents every once in awhile until we told him he could go to Monster Jam if he didn’t have an accident for a whole month. He’s been accident-free ever since. It’s funny what works for some kids.
Mistake #4- Making sure all caretakers are on the same page. There were times when I’d leave the kids with my husband and Sawyer would have an accident, and I’d ask if Brandon had taken him potty while I was gone. He’d say he didn’t know he needed to take him so often and so he had an accident. Make sure that whatever you’re doing for potty training is made clear to anyone who watches your kid, whether that means taking them every fifteen minutes, or just giving the baby sitter a heads-up of what your toddler does when they need to go so that the babysitter can send them potty. Seems obvious, but it’s easy to forget.
Mistake #5- This one is a bonus, because it actually didn’t come from me, it came from my Mom, and seems out there, but you don’t want it to happen to you. My Mom used to baby-sit a little girl, Jenna, and since she was at our house all day, my Mom did a lot of her potty training. Well, in the South, bugs find their way inside sometimes, and like any housewife in Dixie has had to do, my Mom saw a roach, smashed it with a wad of toilet paper, and threw it in the toilet. Well, she forgot to flush it down, and the nasty little roach floated up to the surface of the water. The next time Jenna ran to the bathroom to go potty, she saw that roach in the toilet, screamed and refused to sit on a toilet for months; she didn’t even want to go near the bathroom. I guess she thought that’s where roaches came from, and if that was true, I wouldn’t want to sit on a toilet either haha. It might sound crazy, but it happens. Just make sure you flush those bugs down before your kid’s traumatized haha.
Now, Sawyer is potty trained, so must have done something right; here is my potty training arsenal-
1. Like I said above, good toilet paper, and lots of it. All the toilet paper in that picture is from the one pack of Charmin I talked about before. I’m telling you, it’s the stuff to get.
2. Cleaning Supplies- Look, pee and poop aren’t always going to happen on the potty during potty training. I’m about to say something gross but new moms need to know: at some point, your adorable, wonderful child is going to have diarrhea on your carpet. They all do, and the only way to get that out is with a carpet cleaner. I bought a small, portable one when Sawyer was a baby and it might be one of the greatest purchases I’ve ever made. It has made potty training so much easier for me, and has been used for a million little spills or when my kids have the flu. Get yourself one, its worth every penny. Also, I keep cleaning wipes under the bathroom sink for anytime someone misses.
3. Treats- See “bribery” above.
4. Extra clothes and undies- I did a lot of laundry during potty training, you want to make sure to have plenty f extra undies and pants around. I kept an extra set in the car too. It never hurts to be prepared.
5. Entertainment- When you’re teaching your kid to go potty, they spend a lot of time on the toilet. They’re much more willing to sit there and try if you entertain them. We read books and blew bubbles and he loved it! It also kept my littler one from trying to play in the toilet water.
Well I hope with all my heart that your potty training takes less time and effort that ours did, and hopefully with these mistakes behind me and one successful potty-training under my belt, I’ll have an easier time with the next one! If you’re that parent who is in the trenches still and it seems like your kid will never get, don’t be too hard on yourself. Sometimes it just takes time. If you have any great potty training tips, here’s your chance to share them and maybe win one of 53 $50 gift cards to Sam’s Club!