By Kristen Bird
(Note: The detailed method explained in this article works best for the Type A, control-freak organized and focused mother who encourages her toddler to throw a good old-fashioned tantrum express his/her emotions effectively. Regardless of your parenting style, this method can work for you!)
After seeing the nightmare success of my potty training regime, many of my friends and neighbors asked me to detail the steps I took when potty-training my now four-year-old daughter. I hope sharing my moments when I tore my hair out insights will help you achieve the same success. You too can potty train in only 15 months! My process includes three easy steps.
Step 1: Choose the Right Time
I was fortunate enough to experience this step twice. The first time was two months after my daughter’s second birthday. We stupidly thoughtfully chose a daycare that required potty training for a barely two-year-old, so this gave us the hardship and pressure incentive and motivation I needed to freak out encourage her every time she had an accident. It certainly helped that I was shooting hormones into myself daily blossoming as a woman as we embarked on our second round of IVF.
The second time I learned about the “Right Time” concept was two months after my daughter’s third birthday. We hadn’t quite mastered the potty training yet, so I despaired decided that the next-best perfect timing to “newly-pregnant mothering” was “post-partum mothering.” We’d just welcomed new twin girls to the house. What better time to harass nurture our oldest daughter and her aversion affinity to potty training? This proved to be our perfect storm situation.
Your situation may be different, but be sure to ask yourself, “Is this the Right Time?” Some examples of the Right Time for you may be after a major move, just before taking a new job, or at the beginning of an economic recession.
Step 2: Choose the Right Place
One of my most horrific special memories of potty training was the time I refused declined to use Pull-ups while at a dinner party at a friend’s house. After listening to ridiculous well-meaning advice from family and friends, I decided that Pull-ups would unfairly stunt my child’s fifteen-month potty training experience.
It seemed other guests at the party laughed at respected my decision until one of our single friends offered to leave, drive to Walmart, and buy Pull-ups. What kind of mother did he think I was? Never. I stood my ground even after my daughter peed all over my friend’s new white Pottery Barn rug.
Again, I understand that not everyone has this kind of frightening ideal situation. Your Right Place may be at the museum, at the movie theater, or even in your car on the way to somewhere “dressy.” Just be sure that you do NOT train in the comfort of your own home. Staying on your toes is one of the keys to our fifteen-month method.
Step 3: Choose the Right Potty Training Accessories
Gone are the ancient days of potty training with a child and a toilet. Now, you have a selection of items to complicate enhance your journey from wet to dry. Here are a few of my favorites:
*Mrs. Panda (or any favorite stuffed animal): Use a special friend to help your little one inaccurately learn what it looks like to pee on the potty. These special friends are also a great way to take out your aggression remind you of your unholy special day of training after your little one is fast asleep, wearing a diaper.
*Candy and juice: What better way to punish reward yourself and your little one for attempting a new skill than to hype them up on sugar? The extra stimulant will enable them to go more often all over your couch, thus giving them even more chances to try their new talent!
*Traveling Potty Seat: These colorful seats come in all colors and never become disgustingly covered in urine or feces. Dora, Thomas, Elmo, or even the Disney Princesses. Choose the face your little one would like to defecate all over!
*Thick Cotton Panties: These thick-lined panties not only let the pee leak out the sides; they also get extra-wet, reminding you and your little one of their continued inability opportunity to fail at practice potty training.
*Potty Watch: These devices provide an obnoxious memorable tune that will replay in your dreams. Every 15, 30, 60, or 90 minutes, you can hear the potty time theme song and fight with encourage your child to use the damn potty.
If none of these accessories sound like your cup of tea, no worries. Just visit your local money-sucking baby store and peruse a variety of unhelpful accessories.
I trust you have found the potty training method I underwent with my oldest daughter filled with warnings and “do-not-attempts” insightful and encouraging. And remember, if fifteen months seems too short, feel free to add a few months here or there. Not everyone can experience success as quickly as me. I would rather poke a fork in my eye than I cannot wait to practice these tried-and-true steps with my twins in just a couple of years though we may wait until they are ten years old to begin.
Kristen Bird lives near Houston with her husband, five-year-old daughter, and two-year-old twin girls. She teaches high school English, and her work has appeared in The Galveston County Daily News and on LiteraryMama.com.