In my experience, 90 percent of parenting a toddler involves breaking concepts down in age-appropriate ways. You teach them the words for things, how to do tasks with your help, and then finally watch them master skills without you. The other 10 percent? Well, it's an undeniable obsession with poop. From their birthday until they start school (and sometimes beyond), you will spend so much time dealing with poop. And sometimes,both of these skill sets are needed to get the job done. For instance, explaining the need to poop to your kid.
What's the best way to explain pooping to your potty-training toddler? You, yourself, probably don't remember not knowing the unique feeling of having to go number two. And you want to get this right so they understand what they are feeling and finally for the love of the porcelain gods stop pooping their pants and start putting number two in the toilet where it belongs. When I brought up this topic with other parents I know, I learned that there is definitely more than one way to relay this important message.
For my oldest, the key was helping her understand what was happening before it was too late to make it to the bathroom. I threw away so many pairs of poop-filled underwear, you guys. So many damn pairs of underwear. But my middle child figured it out without any explanation from me, and to this day I have no idea how. For other potty-training parents, it was important to help their kid recognize when it was time to take a break from playing to do their business, and not be afraid of pooping on the toilet.
If you are potty-training a toddler, or will in the future, read on for the best poopsplaining advice on the internet from moms in the know.
"Our family talks a lot about listening to our bodies. We eat when our stomach tells us it needs more food. We pee when our body tells us that our bladders are full. And our bodies tell us when there’s poop that needs to come out, too. A lift-the-flap kids anatomy book that showed poop in the colon was also a big hit."
"I didn't really. My 2-year-old finds farting to be hilarious so we encouraged farting on the potty, and asked if any poos need to come out. He got the hang of it pretty quickly, and now he'll usually fart, laugh, and run to the potty."
"Mostly, I just waited until mine pooped his pants, and we talked about the funny feeling in his bottom and how it felt like pushing in his bottom."
"I didn't. When he was sh*tting his diaper, I would inform him that he was pooping and tell him to do it in the potty. He was a breeze to potty train, admittedly."
"It kinda backfired. I was on the toilet, and my 3-year-old came in and said, 'Mmmm strawberry jam all gone.' He'd eaten a strawberry jam sandwich. I said, 'Your sandwich went in your mouth, down to your belly and out of your bum when you do a poo.' He laughed and said, 'Strawberry poo.' I had to wipe and flush, and it was my time of the month. He, of course, saw my period blood on the tissue and happily exclaimed, 'Mama strawberry poo.' He now thinks every poo is strawberry poo. It's said around here a lot."
"I let Daniel Tiger do it. 'If you need to go potty stop and go right away. Flush and wash and be on your way.'"
"There's a book I would read to them. It said, 'feels like a stick poking you in the tummy.'"
"My oldest had a very definite poop face and posture. No matter what she was doing, she would go very still. When we started paying more attention to her cues, we would say it looked like she needed to poop and took her to the bathroom. It didn't take long for her to start associating that feeling with using the toilet."
"'In your belly, out your butt.' He's 15 months. He's got no idea what I'm talking about. It's just fun to sing this to him while I change his diaper."
"How about from a mom whose son was born without the ability to poop? The amount of poop-talk in our house is unreal."
"No, but when our dog was a puppy she tried to explain it to her. 'That’s when we go for a walk! Grab your leash!'"
"We started reading the Flip Flap Body Book before anyone ever thought to explain pooping. Both my kids are pretty uninhibited poopers, so we never got around to discussing the feeling until one of them sharted while dealing with a stomach bug. We now know to 'never trust a fart.'"
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