Should We Have Gotten A Cat Instead?

Pantless tantrum over not wanting to get on the potty. #notworthit

“Don’t use a little potty. Use a potty seat on the big toilet.”

“Use a little potty and plop them in front of the TV with no pants for three days and tons of drinks.”

“Don’t reward them.”

“Get a sticker chart.”

“Use pull-ups.”

“Don’t use pull-ups.”

“Just use diapers for naps, car rides, stroller walks, and sleep.”

“Cut out diapers completely.”

“Ease them into it slowly.”

“Bootcamp them for three days straight.”

I heard it ALL!

Everyone I knew had a theory, a piece of advice, the “best” way to do it, and told me to read 30 books on it.

Why couldn’t this kid self-train like a cat? Could we put a litter box in his room? Hmmm….

The dog was trained in a couple of days. Why can’t Kane?

Kane had been showing an interest in potty training according to all the “experts” since he was 18 months. Telling us when he went or had to go, wanting wet diapers off, liking to flush the toilet, or wanting to watch us go. But, when we would put him on the toilet, he’d cry...a lot. That told me, the non-expert, but still, his mother, that he was not, in fact, ready to go on the potty!

Everyone tells you, “Oh don’t worry! Boys are closer to 3 or 3.5.” I didn’t need reassurance. I’m not a keeping up with the Jones-es type of parent.

I cared for two reasons. One, I was tired of buying and changing diapers. (I cannot express the delight I took in throwing out that stinky Ubbi diaper pail!) and Two, his school wouldn’t move him to the preschool class at 3 unless he was potty trained. I wanted him to stick with his buddies that had been moving from class to class as they aged and he is bright enough to be a little more challenged in the three-year-old program.

So, we started with not just the seat on the big toilet, but also the small potty. We let him pick his favorite underwear. I started with the adorable boxer briefs to be “just like Daddy”, but he ruled me out with Elmo, Spiderman, and Minions. I opted against pull-ups even though school advised me to try that. I also plopped that potty in front of a movie in our living room and let him drink a cup of milk while he sat there pantless. My husband and I celebrated like nobody’s business when he peed or pooped on that thing. We would sing rousing renditions of, “My son likes to potty all the time, potty all the time, potty all the time….” and other clever jams we thought up in our 3 day lock-in.

We added the “Used the Potty” section on his current sticker chart and gave rewards…m&m’s, fruit snacks, gummies, cookies, chocolate coins…whatever was working that week.

We asked every 20 minutes and then didn’t wait for an answer, but plopped him on that seat and we slowly watched the accidents go from several a day to none a day. We are still on the occasional one a day, but for the most part, he’s good. We wake up dry from naps (no diapers at naps in our house) and he makes it through long car rides without a diaper too. We are still working on a diaper-free bedtime, but I feel confident that the Spiderman skateboard he has demanded once he is off the nighttime diaper is working in our favor as he asks about it daily. (Lord, help me!)

Do I think I’m a super hero because I boot camped for a long (disgusting), wine-fueled weekend in my apartment with no fresh air or swimming? Absolutely not! In fact, it was torture! Do I think we are rock star parents because we got this handled? Nope. Do I think I’m an expert at this? Oh, god no! I think we chose our own way for our own kid and it worked. Do it when you want, how you want, and how it works for your family. As long as he or she heads off to college out of a diaper, you’ve got this!

As a helpful side note, I also have these two items that go everywhere with us and are angel-sent from heaven! Both were recommended to me by fellow moms and I have to pay it forward!

Travel Potty Seat

Travel Urinal