If any of you have ever potty trained a child (or 2 or 3) you know this: Potty Training Stinks!
And to make it even worse, these days there are SO many different options in potty seats and methods to use to try and coerce your child into doing the deed on the toilet. From potty chairs, to potty seats, children’s books to a ‘potty party’ help is here! Well, I don’t know about help but I’ll share what I now know and make you feel better that it isn’t easy and your not alone in cleaning pee off of carpets.
I have successfully, NOT potty trained my 4 year old daughter and we are getting ready to potty train our 2 year old son, all in time for baby #3 to arrive and stink up the house with dirty diapers again!
Now I say NOT potty trained because if there is one thing I have learned it is that children do things on their own time and most children are stubborn (mine more than others) and lets face it, they are going to do it when THEY want to, not when WE want them to. The best advice that I ever got when teaching P1 to use the potty is: “she won’t start kindergarten in diapers so stop worrying about it.”
That’s not to say that there aren’t a few things, like a new potty seat, to try to convince them that it’s the ‘cool’ thing to do. Here are some of the ones that we have tried in our house.
This is the Safety 1st musical talking potty & stepstool that can be found on www.safety1st.com and sells for $19.99. I’ll be honest in saying that I bought it for the sole reason that I found it on sale somewhere and thought the concept looked good. It is supposed to ‘flush’ and play some music. ‘Supposed to’ because I couldn’t figure out how to attach the handle and music box correctly so we never used it. And when you close the lid it’s a great step stool. There is one big problem with this chair though, there is no cushion, it’s flat across and really uncomfortable to sit on. It is easy to empty though, because the there is nothing you have to take off to get the cup out. A little too easy since my daughter never used it as a potty and instead put snacks in it and dumped the cup out very frequently.
The Safety 1st Pretty in Pink Comfy Cushy Potty can be found at Babies R Us and is only $16.99. this was the special potty chair that my daughter picked out because it was pink! And it worked! She loved this chair and because it has a cushioned seat it was very comfortable to sit on. The downfall of the cushion is that, lets face it, kids don’t ever get it all in the toilet at first and the cushion would soak up any pee that landed on it. I tried everything, soaked it in lysol, bleach, you name it and still couldn’t get the smell out. The lid on this one also closes to make a great step stool. There aren’t any fancy sounds or songs but I think this one is great for comfort and price!
The Elmo 3 in 1 Potty Chair can be found at Walmart and sells for $21.50. This is the seat that my son chose for his potty training. He LOVES Elmo. This Potty can be used as a Potty Chair, a Potty Seat on top of the toilet, and as a step stool. But, it takes some reconfiguring to change it up so we just kept it as a potty chair. I found that this seat is great for larger toddlers (my son is very tall/big for his age and his butt didn’t fit comfortably onto many of the other seats), and it’s also great for boys since the splash guard is large and covers the whole area making it less likely for them to pee OUT of the chair and onto the floor. Elmo is pretty cool too, when you press his hand he shouts out encouraging comments!
Of course my son quickly decided that he didn’t want to use a potty chair at all and wanted to use the big toilet like the rest of us which brings me to my last option: the potty ‘seat’ that fits onto the top of the toilet.
This Dora potty seat, as well as many others like it, can be found at places like Target, Walmart, Babies R Us and sells for around $12. I think potty ‘seats’ are great for transitioning smaller bottoms onto the big toilet but they also are better in theory than they are in practicality. First, small children usually can’t get themselves up onto the potty so unless you have a stair contraption to help them get up, you will still have to do a lot of work to get them on and off the toilet. Also, it is really hard to position them on there just right and that usually means Pee on the floor! Probably not great for beginners but definitely something to consider for a skilled potty goer who may be slightly afraid of the big potty.
Other tips on toilet training:
1. Sing Songs (make them up if you have to). A favorite in our house is “pee pee in the potty!” sung while dancing around doing a conga line! And the Hand washing song: “top and bottom, top and bottom, in between, in between, rinse them of and dry them, rinse them off and dry them, now they’re clean!” to the tune of Frere Jaques.
2. Candy rewards: many people choose to use candy such as M & M’s or mini-marshmallows as rewards. Usually 1 for a pee pee and 2 for a poo poo. This backfired on me and my daughter would only go for a candy or say ‘No I don’t want a candy’ when she didn’t feel like going.
3. Read books: make sitting on the potty relaxing. reading books or even playing a game can help accomplish this
4. Lots and Lots of Praise: When your child DOES finally make it in the potty make a HUGE deal out of it. Sing, Dance, Clap, call Grandma and Granpa…
5. Don’t push it: They are all ready on there own time. Don’t force them or they will REFUSE to go and then you have a whole other problem on your hands. And remember…none of them go to Kindergarten in diapers so don’t worry about it!
Good luck and Now, if you’ll excuse me…I have to go clean some more Pee off the carpet! hee hee 😛