My daughter is extremely easy-going, intelligent and she started to ask for the potty before she turned 2. We didn’t totally ditch daytime diapers until 3 months before her 3rd birthday. She could have been fully potty trained around 2 years old, I have no doubts about it at all, but instead we potty trained slowly. These are our reasons why.
She has always viewed the potty in a positive manner and we didn’t experience any regression in her willingness to use the potty over the course of training. We didn’t bribe her to ask us when she had to go nor reward her when she did go. She proudly announces when it’s time and we go without any theatrics.
Over the course of about 8 months that we used a mix of pull-ups and big girl underwear, we only had 2 accidents. Both accidents were pee and not the other unfriendly movement. She was devastated both times and not because we got mad at her but rather because she didn’t like the feeling of having peed herself. We were very encouraging and told her that it was okay.
We do still keep her in pull-ups at night and for naps. She does not have bladder control when she naps and this can be challenging in 3-year-old preschool. She has had 2 accidents in her sleep during school. There is not much we can do about that but to have a spare change of clothes in the classroom. I do not see the need to rush to be without diapers at night.
Potty training really seemed to be a pain in the butt and not something I was looking forward to at all. Not pushing really kept the stress at bay for us and it ended up being a very low-stress experience. If only I could figure out how to apply this method to her thumb sucking!
This is probably pretty obvious for a lot of working moms out there. I am sure many of you can relate. I am not with my daughter around the clock and thus having a consistent method for using the potty was not enforced the same at every place she visited. Given that, it made the decision not to rush potty training very obvious for us.
Being at Peace with Parenting Decisions
To every parent out there that feels the pressure to do things on someone else’s timeline. STOP. This is your child! You make the rules and you decide what works best for your family. We have crazy, busy and chaotic lives, sometimes you have to choose your battles. Meltdowns over the potty was not a battle I wanted to have, so we didn’t.
Do you know what the end result was? She willingly used the potty without being pushed. I know we could have ditched daytime diapers sooner than we did but why rush? It just didn’t seem like something that important to stress about.
Becky Mansfield’s book Potty Train in a Weekend (affiliate link) provided many useful tips that I used during our transition. If you want to take the process fast or slow, this book is a good resource to keep on hand.