When the time comes for potty training it is met with mixed emotions. On the one hand, there are no longer diapers to purchase, or if you use cloth there are no longer dipes to rinse out. On the other hand, it's much easier to change a diaper than clean up an accident.
But regardless of what type of diaper you use there are lot of emotions behind this major milestone for both you and your toddler; frustration, stress, relief, sadness, shame, pride, and the list goes on. Ultimately everybody wants it to be as smooth as possible and here are some ways to help make for more peaceful potty training:
Try to avoid a power struggle. Although it is frustrating for us when we are ready for our kids to potty train, if they are not ready, it can lead to a lot frustration for them. As adults, we are capable of managing our emotions and it may be more preferable for us to feel annoyed than it is to handle frequent meltdowns from stressed out toddlers. Follow their cue; they will let you know when they are ready.
Cotton trainers vs. Pull-ups. If you use cloth diapers, the cotton allows your child to instantly be aware of what is happening. If you change them as soon as it happens and talk about why you are changing them, it brings that awareness to sharp focus which can help them to better understand the concept of potty training. Another thing to keep in mind when looking for a cloth trainer is to get one that has snaps because there is nothing worse than having to slide down a trainer when there has been a poop explosion.
A lot of what our kids learn is through modeling. Talk about what you are doing in the bathroom, let them see you using the toilet, use a doll to imitate using the potty. Even if they aren’t showing interest, saying step-by-step instructions out loud is beneficial.
Reading potty training books and having a dialogue about it is helpful. Let them be involved in picking out the books or if you are going to be buying a training seat or potty. It gives them some investment in the process.
Toddlers struggling with potty training may feel shame when they have accidents. They may not even want to tell you they have to use the potty and instead will go somewhere private to do their business. Accept that these accidents will happen and try to avoid calling them out for not using the potty. It goes back to being frustrated, it’s a lot easier for us to handle the emotional roller coaster of potty training than it is for our littles.
Lisa is a babywearing, brestfeeding, cloth-diapering mama that will one day be sad when she can’t buy cute Smart Bottoms anymore.