Potty training is a messy milestone in every parent's life. No one really looks forward to the work, though everyone eagerly anticipates the reward. Potty training can feel frustrating and borderline infuriating for parents, especially when it's not going as planned, but have you ever stopped to think about how the trainee feels about the process? There are things your toddler wants you to know about potty training that you've probably never stopped to contemplate. That kind of reversed thinking might be exactly what you need to get things flowing (pun definitely intended) so you can reach the finish line of your toddler's potty training journey.
Potty training is a struggle for most, no doubt, but we all have to conquer it at some point. No matter how many potty training tips and tricks you've got up your sleeve, it will inevitably drive you slightly insane at some point (or many points, actually). Most potty training moments are pretty gross, let's be honest, and the other moments are just downright maddening. In fact, the only good part of potty training is the results it yields: an independent and diaper-free existence for your child. That's the dream, you guys.
It's important to remember that potty training isn't about you, though; it's about your child. So, with that in mind, here are 11 things your toddler wants you to know about potty training. Maybe, just maybe, this is the perspective you needed to help your kid conquer the commode.
Taking A Break From Playing To Potty Doesn't Fit Their Schedule
Why would they want to pause the construction of their castle to strip down and sit their little booty on a cold potty? Think about it: if you're watching your favorite show, you don't want to get up in the middle of it for a bathroom break, do you? If you're at a football game or a concert or something relatively similar, you don't want to step out to pee and possibly miss something big. There's a reason that bathroom lines are so long at half-time, and why people wait until commercial breaks to go pee. Same goes for toddlers.
Their Diapers Are Convenient
They've been going in their diapers since birth. To them, it's normal and convenient and they don't see any point in fixing something that, in their opinion, isn't broke. They don't have to pause in the middle of exploring or playing to go pee, and they're pretty content with their break-free schedules (though their parents definitely aren't).
Toilets Are Scary
If you've ever fallen in the toilet in the middle of the night because your partner forgot to put the toilet seat down, you can understand the terror toilets hold. You're a full sized adult, though, and your toddler, well, isn't. To them, the toilet looks big and intimidating,and the thought of their little butts falling inside that big beast can be unnerving. The first time I tried to put my son on the big potty, he looked like a cat trying to avoid a bath.
Pooping Is Also Kind Of Scary
Unless you keep your kid filled full of fiber on an extremely consistent basis, pooping can occasionally be a little painful, and scary, for them. So, when it comes time to go #2, they may be hesitant to hop on the already intimidating potty when they're physically uncomfortable.
There's A Lot Of Other Really Cool Things Going On That Are Distracting Them From The Potty
After their initial introduction to the potty, it just doesn't seem quite as cool as their pillow fort or their toy cars. Toddlers don't exactly have solid attention spans, so if there's anything else happening outside of their potty, and I do mean anything, they're likely going to be distracted.
Maybe They Aren't Ready Yet
Even if your toddler has given you some potty training cues, that doesn't necessarily mean that they're completely ready. Showing interest in the potty is definitely a good sign of what's to come eventually, but maybe just not right now (or when you, parents, want it to). Give they space and time to figure it out on their own. It will save you both a lot of grief, in the long run.
Maybe They Are Ready, But The Potty Feels Foreign
On the other hand, maybe they are ready to potty train, but they're not exactly sure where to start. I mean, why would they? It's your job as their parent to teach them the basics of potty training. It's hard to put yourself in their tiny shoes when you're unable to remember your own potty training struggle and you (probably) take things like being able to wipe your own backside for granted.
They Need Support
Toddlers need constant support during potty training. They also need a cheering section. It's harder than you probably realize for them to connect the dots between their brain and their bladders, but encouraging them and actively cheering them on will help them to associate doing the deed in the toilet with positive feelings. Potty training is a team sport, and they need your support every step of the way.
They Also Need Your Patience
Some parents find success with things like the three day potty training method, while others don't find success with, well, anything at all (at least for a while). Some kids might get the hang of it immediately, but it's more likely that they won't. When potty training isn't going as planned, it's important to give your toddler every ounce of your patience. It's frustrating for you, yes, but imagine how they feel about not being able to master something, and not knowing exactly why it's difficult. Give it time, momma.
They Want To Make You Smile
Just as we love to see our toddlers smile, they love to see their parents smile, too. That look of joy on your face when they successfully used their potty for the first time is something that they made them beam with pride, and it's something they'd definitely like to see more often. Kids want to learn and grow just like we want them to, but they really want to make their parents happy, too.
They Will Let You Know When They're Ready
Potty training is about physical and emotional readiness, rather than a specific age. Some kids are potty trained by the time they're two, while others might not get the hang of it until they're four, or even older.
Forcing your toddler to begin the potty training process just because you think they're at an age when they should be ready, will likely only cause a lot of grief for the both of you. Remember, every child is different, but the odds are that when your toddler feels ready to potty train, they will let you know. Try to let them find their own way, and offer them as much support and patience as possible, in the meantime.