Potty training is easily one of the toughest parts about parenting a toddler. No matter how many books you read or friends you ask, getting a small child to willingly do their business on the toilet (any toilet) can feel like an impossible pipe dream. Perhaps you started out thinking parenthood would be easy. Then you finally started parenting, only to find out it’s complicated, stressful, and well, messy. Not all moms are willing to put 100% effort into this particular challenge, though (and who can blame them, right?). That’s why every mom should know about the lazy mom’s approach to potty training; a method that requires no hand wringing or breath holding or hitting ones head repeatedly against a wall.
Alright, so maybe it’s not entirely fair to call it “lazy.” It’s not that we don’t care about our kids enough to try harder, it’s that we would rather spend that energy on other tasks that might be more important. This is about efficiency, people, and we're all about being as effective and efficient as possible. We also value our children’s independence and don’t want to stress them out. So, in the end, this isn't just for our benefit. (Although, the benefit we gain from being "lazy moms" definitely doesn't hurt).
In fact, some doctors warn about the dangers of early potty training, which can result in numerous accidents as well as kids developing UTIs. Why on earth would any parent want to put their kid through that when you can easily wait a little longer and let them potty train when they’re ready? Maybe you’re cool with calling it lazy, maybe you’re not, but either way this is the relaxed approach; the “chill” guide to potty training your rugrat that will help you remain relatively sane during this difficult, pee-soaked time.
We Avoid It For As Long As Possible
Some parents try toilet training their kids before they turn two. Others wait to potty train until their kids are going to preschool. Lazy moms are OK with waiting for as long as it takes and until their child is ready.
We Ask Them (Or Wait To Figure Out) If They’re Ready. If They're Not, We're OK With It.
Once our kids give us cues that they’re ready for potty training, we finally decide to start giving it a go. However, if they decide that potty training (for the time being and until they're comfortable) just isn’t for them, we say, “OK” and put those diapers right back on. No need to fight them on it and definitely no need to guilt them into trying something they're not comfortable trying.
We Introduce Them To The Potty, But Don’t Really Make Them Use It
We got my son his first potty last Christmas, shortly before he turned two. He knows what it is and he has sat on it a few times. Still, I don’t really force him to sit on it every day (and yes, sometimes I just forget or am tired and overworked and changing a diaper is just easier). The last thing we want is a negative association to the potty.
We Hold Off And Try Again A Few Weeks/Months Later If They Don’t Take To It In A Few Days
Some parents dive into potty training head first. They want their kid out of diapers as soon as physically possible, and dedicate an entire week to teaching them how. Lazy moms are OK with ceasing or postponing potty training, when and if it's necessary. There’s no shame in potty train not going well. We’ll just try again a little later.
We Buy Them Pull-Ups (But Probably Don’t Use Them Very Often)
Lots of parents will tell you to buy Pull-Ups (or some other kind of training diapers) to encourage using the potty. So, as a result, we all usually buy them, only to realize there’s nothing special about Pull-Ups. They’re basically the same thing as regular diapers except more uncomfortable, so we often just “forget” to buy another box. No biggie.
Then We Let Them Pick Out Undies (But Forget To Use Them For Months)
My husband and I jumped the gun when we bought our son underwear a few months back, thinking we’d have our son trained by now. Didn’t happen, so they’ve just sat in his drawer collecting dust. Oh well. He'll use them eventually and hey, if he doesn't, that's fine, too.
We Let Their Diapers Get Heavy Until They Get Sick Of Wearing Them...
Sometimes we might employ this approach. You don’t change your kid right away and wait until they’re just sick and tired of their diaper that they take the damn thing off themselves. Or they never do, and eventually you take it off for them. As with all lazy parent techniques, you don’t blow up when it doesn’t work right or in a way that you envisioned.
...Or We Let Them Run Around In Their Underwear...
There are lazy parents out there that don’t mind letting their kids roam around in undies without any proper training. The idea here is that once they feel wet (or otherwise icky), they will start requesting to hit the potty. Sometimes it works, sometimes not so much.
...Or Even Better, We Just Let Them Go Commando
Many friends of mine have sworn by this tactic. Once I’m not feeling so lazy (because I know there will be a massive clean-up involved), I might try it. Might. Maybe. You know, we'll see.
We Wait Till They Pee The Floor A Few Times Before Getting Up To Clean All The Wet Spots
If we’re feeling brave enough to let them go diaper-free, we know there will be plenty of accidents happening. While it’s best to keep your kid confined to a single area of the house, you might just want to wait until they’ve had a couple accidents and then do one big clean up. If you’ve ever had a puppy, you know exactly what I’m talking about.
We Try To Take Them To The Potty When They Ask Or Show Signs (But Sometimes We Don’t. Whoops!)
In true lazy mom fashion (because yes, this is lazy), we don’t always manage to get our kid to the potty. Especially when they’ve asked a few times and just sit there for a few seconds and don’t even pee and walk away. Especially when you enter the bathroom and they want to do other things like play with their trucks instead. Nope. Not falling for it.
We Read Them Books About Potty Training (But Other Subjects Are Fine, Too)
Just because we’re lazy doesn’t mean we don’t totally love children’s books. Seriously, kid books are the best. I try to stick to the potty books in the potty, but sometimes he wants to read about owls, and I just shrug and get to reading.
We Buy The Stickers But The Construction Board For The Chart Will Probably Be Forgotten...
I still have a giant piece of construction paper in my closet that’s supposed to become a potty training sticker chart. It will happen someday. Maybe.
...And Sometimes A Simple High-Five And A, “Yay?" Is Enough, Once They've Done Their Business
Lazy moms keep it simple. Of course we encourage our child and cheer them on once they finally potty in the, uh, potty. However, instead of candy and toys and whatever other bribery, we usually just say, “Good job!” and let them go on their way.