I attempted potty training my eldest when he first turned two because he showed all the signs. My munchkin hated diapers and would take them off every chance he had, he seemed interested in the potty and had started to tell me when he needed to go.
He was ready… or so I thought. Turns out he was afraid of the little potty and adult toilet and wasn’t ready until he was three.
Here are some potty training truths no one tells you about.
1. Regressions Happen
After my son was finally potty trained at three he took it upon himself to decide not to be anymore. His younger brother had hit a needy stage and was getting a little more attention than normal, and my eldest decided the best way to get attention was to pee on everything and anything. You may find if you have any big changes in your life, your potty trained toddler may regress for a bit as well.
2. The Pee Smell Lingers
There will be accidents and no matter how much you Lysol, bleach, and use urine off meant for pet accidents you will feel like the pee smell follows you everywhere. Don’t get me started on their underwear and pants really hold onto that urine odor. You can try sunning them and bleaching some more… but eventually, you may just want to give in and buy more underwear.
3. You need a Portable Potty For the Car
Toddlers are adorable, but they really have a knack for inconvenient timing. You will get to the car, strap your little humans in and get about ten minutes from a clean toilet and that’s when you will hear, “mom, I need to potty.”
You will ask them to wait. You will beg them to wait. They can’t, they have tiny microscopic bladders and inconvenient poop timing.
Get the tiny potty and stick it in the back. Bonus points if you Mom-Hack it and stick a diaper in it to catch the deposit and just toss it in a plastic bag until you get to a garbage.
4. Public Restrooms Will Be Your Enemy
Even on a good day, in a nice place that you frequent, you probably tolerate public restrooms. But, when you’re holding a screaming toddler that demands to be naked every time he uses the ol’ throne, you will hate those poop infested places more than anything.
Toddlers don’t understand that everything is covered in particles that are one second away from the stomach flu that will take down the house. Oh, but they do understand how much fun it is to watch mommy squirm every time they try to touch something.
5. You Will Still Have To Wipe Poopy Butts
Unless your kid is seriously coordinated like an Olympic athlete I wouldn’t trust them to wipe their tush until they can…write? I think that’s probably a good rule. You’ll be wiping butts for a long time still until they can figure out how to maneuver and make a bigger mess that will make your head explode.
6. Boys Have Terrible Aim… and So Do Girls
Teaching a boy to pee standing or sitting will inevitably lead to pee on the floor at some point, but I didn’t know that girls had that problem as well. Many friends have complained that their girls make just as big of a mess as their boys did in the beginning.
7. They Will Need To Potty at The Worst Possible Moment
When you’re late to an appointment, when you already left the grocery store and are packing up the car, or you’re stuck in a long line at the DMV. They will need to go after you already asked or took them to the bathroom, and you will want to pull your hair out.
8. Not All Kids Potty Train at Night at The Same Time
It’s normal for some children to take a while to potty train while they are sleeping. Some kids sleep really deeply and it can take up to age 10 for them to stay dry at night, and others are ready at ages 2 or 3 – every child is different.
9. Some Kids Do Better When They Aren’t Home
Kids are an anomaly. As adults, we often prefer our home commodes, but some toddlers (like mine) do 100x better when they are out in public. I’ve been told it’s because he is too comfortable at home and just ‘let’s loose.’ Either way, don’t be alarmed if you have trouble transitioning from outside the house to home, or your home to the public.
10. You will Wish You Were Back In Diapers at Some Point
Your sweet child will scream like you are torturing them in a public restroom, and while sweat drips down your back you will wish for the time of diapers. There will be pee on your hardwood floor, fancy couch, or your bed and you will want to cry. Accidents are inevitable, but they will eventually stop.
So, if you are potty training any time soon, hang in there mama, you are not alone. But, hopefully this little dose of real talk when it comes to potty training will get you through.