I had two kids in diapers at the same time, which meant I was changing 200 diapers a day. OK, that's a bit of an exaggeration, but it felt that way. I daydreamed about my oldest being able to clean his own behind — so I started buying him underwear. Diving into research mode, I begin investigating how to potty train. Friends and books were giving me so much conflicting information, and it wouldn't be until going through the process myself that I would learn there are some myths about potty training that are actually true.
This phenomenon was most clear to me after potty training my second son. The differences in the experiences with the two of them were completely opposite. Noticing these discrepancies, I started to understand how some facts end up becoming so widely excepted as myths. Each person's experience gives them information to share with other moms, and as the stories are passed along some pieces emerge as myths or what "doesn't work" when you're attempting to potty train. So if you're embarking of the journey that is potty training, take into account these six myths that are actual true about teaching your child to use the toilet.
1. They'll Let You Know When They're Ready
The idea that kids know enough about their own body to discern when they're ready to potty train is often dismissed as a myth since most preschools expect little ones to be using the potty no later than 3 years old. Additionally, plenty of books and articles tell you to start between 2 and 3 years. But as psychologist Dr. Peter Stavinoha told the website for Parents magazine, you should start slow with potty training, and wait until your child is ready before diving in.
2. Being Naked Helps
People will tell you that letting your little one roam the house au natural when potty training doesn't work because it's not "real life" circumstances. But don't let anyone convince you that this "myth" isn't magical. Aside from my own personal experience potty training my kiddos in the buff, Baby Center explained that spending time bottomless helps little ones learn when they need to head to the potty.
3. It Can Be Done In A Week
After potty training my first son, I would have told you this was the furthest thing from the truth I had ever heard. Then came baby number two, who not only potty trained in three days, but did it himself. (I hate to pick favorites, but he kinda took the lead with that move. I kid, I kid.) But my little guy is no trailblazer, plenty of toddlers can be potty trained in a week or less, as Parenting magazine pointed out.
4. You Can Start Over
Finishing what you start is a good approach to a goal, and when it comes to potty training some will tell you that forging ahead is the only way to teach your kid to use a toilet. But as Mayo Clinic explained, if your child resists using the potty chair or toilet for a few weeks, take a break.
5. Preschool Will Lend A Hand
I had always heard that daycares and schools want nothing to do with potty training, and expect you to have this on lockdown by the time you send your little one their way. Which is why I was surprised to learn that some preschools (including the one I sent my kids to) will help encourage potty training at school with children who are learning at home. This way, they don't have to miss school while they're getting that hang of using the potty.
6. They Need A Special Wardrobe
This is dismissed as a myth since some people don't see how what you dress your child in has anything to do with potty training. But anyone who has tried to wrangle a toddler out of some overalls while he's doing the pee-pee dance knows that is totally true. According to What To Expect's website, opting for easy to remove bottoms, such as those with stretch waist bands, makes it easier to undress quickly when potty training.