Guest Post by Alina Joy of Good Old Days Farm
A few weeks ago, I told you about what a great experience I had using Infant Potty Training to toilet train my first child. When I discovered that I was pregnant with my second child, I was pretty sure that I had this whole toilet training thing down pat.
I would go out in public and see 2, 3 and 4 year olds still wearing diapers and pull-ups. Knowingly, I would look down at my fully toilet trained 18 month old and smile, thinking to myself, “if only they had put their child over the toilet as a baby the way I did–they wouldn’t still be changing a toddler’s diapers now.”
Oh yes, I had it all figured out. I just knew that Infant Potty Training is the way to go and I would never potty train any other way…
And then our second baby arrived.
Image by Wu’s Photo Land
I began Infant Potty Training with him the day after he was born by holding him over a small bowl when it was time to go potty. I wanted to be diligent about it, but the fact was that I had a two year old who needed my attention almost as much as the new baby.
I couldn’t be in two places at the same time and often I would miss the baby’s physical cues that he needed to go potty. As he grew older, this baby also developed health issues. This put me under a lot of emotional strain and I was more focused on keeping him healthy than on catching his potty.
The day he turned 18 months old (which was the age I had finished potty training his sister) he was nowhere near being potty trained! I realized I would need a new method to potty train this little guy!
Image by Manish Bansal
And so I did something I thought “good parents” never do…I bribed him. I told him, “If you go potty in the toilet, Mama will give you a carob chip!” (Carob chips are similar to chocolate chips, but are healthier. You could substitute any other little treat your child likes.) Our son responded really well to this method!
Sometimes we wouldn’t even see him go into the bathroom, but we would see him come out with his pants still half-way down, run through the living room to the kitchen and stand in front of the fridge, expectantly holding his hand out, waiting for someone to notice him and give him his little treat!
It wasn’t too long until the treats became fewer and farther in between and eventually stopped completely.
I feel compelled to tell you that we also have a third child. By the time he was born I had three children ages 4 and under. When I was pregnant, I somehow got the idea that infant potty training this baby would be a breeze, since my older children were no longer infants and were becoming more and more independent.
Image by abbybatchelder
Again, I set the expectation on myself that this child should be fully potty trained by 18 months old. This child is 3 years old now and he is fully potty trained, although he was not potty trained by 18 months! In fact, of all my babies, he was the most resistant to using the potty.
For a long time I thought he simply didn’t understand what he was supposed to do on his potty chair. A friend was giving away their potty, so we made a big deal about bringing it home as a special gift for him. He sat down on it and said, “psssssssss!” Ah ha! so he did know what he was supposed to do!
Finally, his older sister potty trained him by lining up some toy potties up in the bathroom, setting the dolls on the potties, putting her brother on his potty and telling them, “Now you all go potty!” Potty Parties!
Image by oksidor
Moms and Dads, parenting is a season of life that requires grace. We need grace from God, grace from others and, most of all, grace from ourselves!
Children develop at different rates and what worked with one child may not work with another.
Circumstances and seasons of life change. What you were able to manage with one child may not be reasonable with another simply because of a change in circumstance.
Please don’t compare yourself and your child with friends, relatives and what you read in magazines and online.
As my story demonstrates, even the moms who might seem to have it all together with one child, may not be quite so pulled together with the next! Yet somehow we all manage to have our children potty-trained before they start school!
Do you have a potty-training story to share that worked really well for you?
Alina Joy Dubois writes the Good Old Days Farm Blog which is the story of what happens when a software engineer (her husband!) comes home one night and out of the blue says, “I wanna be a farmer!” then actually quits his career and takes up farming! You can follow her family’s adventures in homesteading, vegan & gluten-free cooking and nature study at www.GoodOldDaysFarm.com.
Don’t miss a post in this series!
- Potty Training Readiness Signs
- Tossing Aside the Pull-Ups and Pulling Out the Undies
- Potty Training a Strong-Willed Child
- The 3-Day Method, Part 1
- The 3-Day Method, Part 2
- Potty Training a Child with Food Sensitivities
- Potty Training Regression
For all the posts in this potty training series, click here!