Oh potty training! I hear many moms say this is their absolute least favorite parenting challenge (especially in the early parenting years). Many of us have written about it here on the Right Start Blog. I shared earlier why I was in no rush to start training our 2.5 year old. Kate shared about having an almost 4 year old who still wasn’t potty trained. We’ve shared potty training tips and potty training essentials. It’s a popular mom topic. And, here’s the thing I’ve experienced – NO two kids are alike! Our first experience with potty training was horrible. I often referred to it as the “bane of my parenting existence” (dramatic, I know). It lasted for almost a year. You guys…poopy underwear for a YEAR!! I was at my wits end. Ironically enough, it was actually a poopy chart that finally “worked” for him. Yes, really! In truth though, I don’t really think it was the chart. I think he was just ready and it finally clicked. So, needless to say, I was in no rush to start potty training Little Brother. I gave it a little trial run just after he turned 3, which didn’t go well. And by didn’t go well, I mean that he would cry hysterically when you could even attempt to put him on a toilet or potty seat. So, we put it off another few months. And, he still had no interest. So, again, we didn’t push this time. Then, at Christmas time (4 months before his 4th birthday) we gave it a go. He was interested. There was no screaming, no fear. He wanted to try it; he liked his new underwear. In a week, he had only had maybe 5 accidents – total. And, even more amazing…he never (knocking on wood) had a poop accident.
Now a few months in, the difference between the two kids was astounding! Potty training Little Brother was ridiculously easy. In fact, it was hardly even training. It was like he just “got it” and wanted to do it. He was ready! Granted, he was almost 4. But, so was Big Brother who was still having multiple accidents.
So, like many things with parenting multiple children, remember that no two kids are the same! And I say, where potty training is concerned, do whatever works to help your kiddos and save your sanity–whether it’s a poopy chart, or candy, or waiting until the kid is older than all his potty trained peers!
Have you had very different potty training experiences with your kids?