Thursday, June 3, 2010

Potty, Part II

Of course after I wrote the first potty post, I realized that I left out a bunch of stuff. Good stuff. Important stuff.

For instance, don't ever try to potty train a kid right before you go on a vacation. Trust me when I say you'd rather deal with diapers than be constantly looking for a bathroom in an unfamiliar place.

I have talked children into wearing diapers after they were potty trained for long car rides. Not that I expected them to use the diapers...just in case we didn't find a rest stop or non-gross bathroom in time.

Once you feel confident enough with potty training progress to venture into the outside world, bring extra clothes and a plastic bag with you. Everywhere. You. Go. The one time you don't is the one time you'll need it.

Remember that your newly trained toddler still has a tiny bladder. They have to go more often than we do.

If you mention the word potty, know that you have just put them on notice and the clock is ticking. Do not ask them if they have to go unless you are within a few minutes of a bathroom. The power of suggestion is strong.

Even if you have a bathroom tourist (I have two, who have to go to the bathroom everywhere we go, even when they just went), take them. They could be telling the truth. And you don't want to be on the wrong side of that judgement call in the middle of a restaurant.

Don't bother trying to potty train a toddler who is about to become an older brother or sister. If you've got less than 3 months before the arrival of the baby, do something more productive with your time. Regression is common, and you don't want to go through all that only to have to do it again.

Discuss how to handle accidents with every adult your child is with. Consistency and patience are more important than anything else. Floors can be cleaned, clothes can be washed.

Just because a child is potty trained doesn't mean you are off the hook. You have years of wiping ahead of you. Years.

Buy a plunger if you don't have one already. Once they start trying to wipe, most kids use way too much toilet paper for any conventional toilet to handle.

All my kids trained immediately after I opened a huge box of diapers. Never when you are on the last few. That's just the way it is.

There are occasionally easy trainers. The kids that just wake up one morning and decide it's time. Don't count on your child being one of them. Sure, you might get lucky. I did once. But don't count on it. Having said that, if you do happen to be lucky enough to have one of those kids, and they are ready and willing, it is in your best interest to help them learn. Even if you are planning to leave for vacation in a few days.

Just don't forget to bring a change of clothes.

Trust me.

1 comment:

  1. I always wonder how some moms can bear to leave the house without a backup pair of pants and underwear stashed somewhere in their purse. My little wet bag with a pair of pants and underwear is like my safety blanket...and I can't leave home without it.

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