What we have learned from potty training so far...
Wow! I am now convinced that potty training is not what most people say it is. I now feel that every child is different in the length and help needed to get out of diapers. I really just thought “put them in undies, get a potty and you are done.” I know that kids are ready at all different developmental levels, but what I did not know is all the different “stuff” that you “need” to be successful in the 21st century. Here’s three things that are helping us in our potty training journey so far.
I vaguely remember being potty-trained at our Aunt’s house who watched several kids out of her home. We had a kiddie potty and that was all I remember. We never had “training” underwear, pull ups, or flushable wipes. I also remember not going many places, or even traveling far from home during that time. We went to the neighbors house, or granny’s, maybe to the grocery store and back. We did not have many play dates, toddler sports, parties, eating out or car trips. Today, life looks much different for our kids. Now, we travel many places, go on trips to the beach or mountains, eat out and have activities. This becomes especially relevant when the toddler who is potty training has older siblings.
I also want to add that not all potty seats are created equal. Little boys need pee pee shields. NEED. NEED, NEED. We had a potty seat without the shield for our oldest bubba and it was a bust. Pee went all over. Now talk about a big bummer for a kid in the ‘autonomy vs doubt and shame’ phase of Erik Erikson’s psychosocial development. Making a mess can cause a lot of tears in some kids; it did for ours.
1. The Travel Potty
Our favorite purchase has been the Oxo Tot 2-in-1 travel potty. If you are a busy family out running errands or traveling, maybe you live in the country so you travel far no matter what, then this one is for you! We really love the brand Oxo in our house and this travel potty seat does not disappoint. I love that it has a nice plastic, easily wipeable bag to keep the seat in. Its legs can be swung outwards to be a regular potty seat for restroom stalls. It was perfect for us when bubba had to go potty for the first time outside of the house at Target. We sprang into action, popped the legs out and success! First potty on a real potty outside the house! Winner winner! We can even use it from the back of our Jeep. Recently we were on the way home from our local Zoo. We asked bubba before we left the Zoo, “Hey, do you need to potty” and he said “No.” We loaded up the BOB Double stroller and the two boys into their car seats. We pull out of the parking lot and what does he say, “I got to go pee pee.” We quickly pull over and set up the potty right there in the back of the Jeep. Boom, he went! We put tied up the bag, double bagged it just in case and drove home. Bubba was dry and no tears.
2. The Potty Seat for Home
The next best item for potty training is The First Years soft grip training seat to use at home. Our bubba really likes the side handles to hold onto while using the potty. The pee pee shield is nice, obviously with boys this is very important. It does not have a large opening so even the smallest of bottoms would fit well. The training seat is also a small enough size that it could fit in a reusable grocery bag and sent off to grandma/grandpa’s house for a weekend.
3. The Little Potty
Our “little” potty that we keep in our main living area is a Munchkin Arm and Hammer 3-in1 Potty. We keep it out in the open for the moments of “Mommy/Daddy I got to go pee pee” and we need to rush to avoid an accident. It has a great pee pee shield in the seat. It is easy to clean out and wipe down. When we needed a step stool, it has served well too. It also has the handles built into the seat to if your child prefers them.
I hope all of these tips help in your potty training adventure. Remember, keep it fun, use small rewards (we use chocolate chips) and they will do it when they are ready.