Several of my friends have young toddlers, and they’ve all recently picked my brain about potty training.
How old was Noah? How did you do it? When is normal?
And I’ll tell you what I told them.
Calm down and it take it easy.
I started the potty training at 18 months because I convinced myself that he was showing signs of “readiness” (meaning I read one too many magazine articles), and the battle raged until he was almost 3-and-a-half.
A battle that included potty seats, potty times, potty charts, potty rewards — I even put blue food coloring into the water so that his urine might turn it green, just to entice him. We tried little potties, potty rings, and even standing up with Daddy.
A battle continuously lost each time he’d put on a diaper, immediately soiling it even after sitting on the little potty for what felt like forever.
A battle that left me frustrated, feeling like a failure, muttering things like “I can’t physically MAKE him go to the bathroom,” and “WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO?”
I was done with the diapers — so very, very done — but 2-year-old Noah insisted, “But I yike my diapers, mama.”
And then one day, a few months after his 3rd birthday, I put the potty ring back onto the big-person toilet. It scared him the first time around, but that was over a year ago. Maybe….
Noah sat down and peed.
A couple of hours later, he pooped.
And from that night forth, he stayed dry at night — even waking up to go to the bathroom.
MARCHING BAND! SOMEONE GET ME A MARCHING BAND!
The transition was so easy — so seamless — and so simple: wait until he’s ready. Maybe your child will be ready at 18 months, or 24 months. But mine wasn’t ready until almost 40 months, and it was OK. It all turned out OK.
So again: Calm down and take it easy. It will happen, I promise.