We are in the very early stages of potty training our youngest. And to be honest, I should say SHE is in the very early stages of potty training herself! Apparently this girl has decided she's ready to go potty just like her older sisters and brother.
This probably would have surprised me a few years ago, but Gracie is actually the second of our children to do this. Olivia potty-trained herself completely, without any help from us. She just woke up one morning and said "No more diapers, I'm wearing underwear today" and that was it. Now, we did have to help her and remind her, but she took the initiative because she was ready, not because we mapped out a potty-training plan for her.
I realize this is a unique situation and we are incredibly blessed. However, there are a few things we learned along the way.
- When potty-training an older child, it helps to get the younger ones in on the act, no matter how young they are.
- When a child shows an interest of any kind in using the toilet, encourage it. We did this with all three of our youngest and it really helped.
- Don't pressure. This has been true with all 4 children. Isabelle was started with potty-training before she was ready, just because I thought it was time. That backfired! I ended up just backing off and leaving using the potty as an option any time she was ready for it. It took a couple months, but once she was ready, she was fully trained within a week.
- Expect accidents and be prepared for them. We have never made a big deal about accidents. Just clean them up, set them on the toilet to finish or as a reminder, and get back to life. Carry extra underwear and pants when you go out.
- In the beginning, or whenever there is a slip in training, remind your child(ren) every 30 minutes or so to go to the bathroom.
- Nighttime training is a whole separate beast. At least this has been our experience. And from what I've read, this is perfectly normal. So instead of worrying about it, we just accept it. The kids will not be wearing pull-ups forever.
- Ignore the inconvenience. I am not ready to potty-train Gracie yet, but I would be foolish if I let this opportunity pass me by. When we are out, it is normal for our kids to have to go to the bathroom frequently (VERY, very frequently in the beginning). Sure, it would be easier to put a pull-up on them before going out, but that really is just counter-productive. Better to just add a potty-break buffer into all outings.
Stop by Rocks In My Dryer for more Works For Me Wednesday.