As Kenna nears 1.5 years old I have heard so many parents, family, friends, and even strangers say “Oh my getting close to potty training time” or “Dont you think its time to potty train?” or “She’s telling you shes going so it must be time to buy a potty!” I have regularly provided care for many years now for kids ranging from newborn through preschool age and especially after Bailie I learned a few things about potty training. “You can lead a horse to water but you cant make them drink” just the same “You can lead a kid to the potty but you cant make them pee”. When Bailie was the age Kenna is now, like so many other parents, we bought her first potty. It had all the bells and whistles! We bought the panties and candy and stickers! Everything we thought we needed to teach her how to use the potty! We even let her pick most of it out because that would make her excited and willing to go!
There was excitement, using the potty, more excitement, accidents, frustration, regression, and then it started all over again and went on that way for a year! I thought something must be wrong! We talked to her doctor and she said that with girls you dont need to worry till 3 years old and boys 4 years old due to anatomy, brain development, and muscle control and then the linking of all those together. She also warned me of the “dangers” of teaching children to potty train too early, teaching them to hold it and then in turn they dont want to stop playing at times and will hold it so long infections and other complications emerge.
So what do we do then? What if we NEVER teach our children to potty train? Thing is even if we dont force our kids to learn to use the potty eventually they will. Children all develop differently. Some WILL be ready by 2 or sooner and some 4.5 or later. Both are extremes but completely possible.
We will probably get a potty seat in a year or so (maybe sooner if she shows interest on her own) and let her lead the way. I might talk to her while I go (because lets face it when your a mom with littles there is usually one or two hanging out while you use the bathroom, throwing jelly beans in the tub and pulling out the bath toys) and Ill say things like, “I sure am happy when I use the potty” or “I feel so good when I use the potty” or “It sure is fun to use the potty” and then let her decide when she wants to try it to.
Most importantly as parents its best to leave all negativity and “go or else” statements out of it. If you start to get frustrated with your potty training kiddo ask yourself what your motives are! Are you potty training for them or for you?
Now I must share some of the ridiculously funny potty chairs out there intended to pray on the desperate to potty train parents of the world and their wallets!
Most of these potties play on the fact that parents dont want to sit with their kids on the potty for hours any more than the kids wanna sit for hours so they have to make it fun! Truth is that when its not forced or rushed it can be fun and relaxing even without seats like the ipotty!