Oh, potty training. Do the words make you shudder? They do for me. We have a 2.5 year old and I’m in NO rush to start potty training with him. Some of his little friends are already done– even ones that are younger than he is! A few years ago, that would have totally stressed me out. In fact it DID stress me out. You see, my first potty training experience is something I over-dramatically refer to as the “bane of my parenting existence”.

Due to a number of different reasons (like moving, the birth of Little Brother, etc.), we didn’t start potty training our oldest (“Big Brother”) until he was a few months over 3. It didn’t “click” right away (definitely NO potty training in a day methods worked here). But, within a few months (by 3.5 years), he was doing really well. However, there was one BIG exception… Poop! Big Brother would NOT go poop in the potty! Instead, he would just go in his under­wear! That’s where the “bane of my exis­tence” part comes in! Bleck! One day, we went through 7 pairs of under­wear hav­ing lit­tle messy acci­dents all day long. This went on for almost a year! Yes, seriously, OMG..a YEAR of poopy underwear!! (And, yes, we tried EVERYTHING. Like seriously, we’ve tried every single idea & trick out there).

At his 4 year well-check, it was something we discussed with the pediatrician. We had to start giving him Miralax to help things along. There were tears (on both of our parts), complete lack of patience, overwhelming frustration, thoughts that something was really wrong with him developmentally, that he’d never be able to go to preschool or Kindergarten. Then, finally, at the age of 4 years and 3 months, we had a BIG “poop in the potty” success. Then, almost a week later (yes, seriously…almost a week), again. We cel­e­brated and cheered and he got a spe­cial new toy! It was all things “poopy” after that. Literally. We had had a potty reward chart (you know, with stickers & bright colors) in order to get a special prize after filling it out. So, I asked him if we should start one again. He said, “Yah mommy, but I want a poopy chart”. After taking some time to figure out what he meant, he literally meant a “poopy chart”. Every time he had a successful moment, he wanted to draw a poop on the chart. Oh.my.goodness.

So, for a few weeks, there was a lovely chart on our downstairs guest bathroom door complete with various shades of brown. I didn’t care. Whatever works!!

And, I’m now all about that motto with Little Brother. Whatever works. And, whenever it works will be ok. Even though he has other friends his age (or younger) that are already in undies, he’s not ready. He says, “Like me diapies”. He’s not consistently dry at night or at naps. Even with the influence of seeing Big Brother go in the potty, he has no interest. At all. Recently I was trying to review a little potty chair and the only way we could get him to sit on it was to hold him there. Not ready!

So, I’m in no rush. I don’t want a repeat of the stress and frustration that happened with Big Brother. It wasn’t good for anyone. And, looking back, it was really dumb! So many older (& wiser), more experienced moms & grandmas tried to remind me that he would get it when he’s ready & that you don’t see kids in elementary school in diapers. It drove me crazy. But, they were right. Patience is key. So, I’m reminding myself of that with Little Brother. It will happen when he’s ready.

What is YOUR experience with potty training?

3 Responses to Why I’m in no rush to start potty training

  1. Catherine says:

    I still say potty training was the most stressful thing I’ve had to do as a parent. This time around I am going to wait until number two shows us she is 100% ready instead of jumping the gun.

  2. Oh man I have heard so many horror stories of potty training I am scared to death to even think about it! And with a new baby on the way I am just holding off. But I do think you are right. WHen they are ready I am sure it will just click.

  3. […] 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 […]

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