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    Potty training secret

    By lizmcg | July 13, 2008

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    Recently I’ve been looking at a lot of books and internet information about potty-training. I have to say, there’s a lot of stuff out there (books, audio downloads, ebooks, equipment) that doesn’t seem too worthwhile. Even potty chairs have become quite expensive, and having just thrown out a perfectly intact three-piece potty chair because it was too hard to clean, I’ve come to the conclusion that simpler is better.

    Many of the resources I’ve found try to squish potty training into a very brief period — some even tell you to try to accomplish this in three days or less. Those that have this short time-frame also recommend that during those handful of days you send your other kids somewhere.

    I don’t know about you, but I don’t have a magical place I can just send my kids for one-to-three days while I only deal with my little one. When I do have the luxury of time with just one kid it’s usually for less than four hours — and it’s usually so I can play super-fun games like “find that smell” or “clean out the basement before free-bulk-garbage-day-pick-up.”

    So I’ve settled on the fact that potty training, at least for me, needs to be a much more organic process. It has to happen, but no way am I enforcing a three-day window… using up a summer’s-worth of “me” time by sending the other kids to their Godparent’s… and then spend the morning modeling how a teddy bear should go to the bathroom. I think I’d go crazy (and my toddler definitely would).

    We have a terrific Dora the Explorer potty seat (found at Lowe’s), pull-ups, a tiny one-piece (from IKEA for $3.99, possibly the most brilliant piece of furniture ever invented), and we have stickers and M&Ms for rewards. We also have a potty book, and some brand-new panties for once we are getting successful. We’re all ready to go. And, if you read my last post, we’re making progress.

    I must admit that I also have a secret weapon. My sister-in-law imparted the greatest piece of wisdom ever relating to potty training, which I’ll now pass along to you. Here it is:  THE SECRET IS THE SOUND. Don’t refer to it as “peeing” or “pooping”, call it “making music.” You go into the bathroom to “listen for the music.” It works like a charm.

    About 15-20 minutes after having something to drink, get a few picture books, go into the bathroom, and wait for the “music” to happen.  The big potty is great, because when she “sprinkles” it sounds much cooler than it does in the plastic potty chair. We have the potty chair because she can get onto it quickly by herself. She can also sit on it while one of her big sisters are on the big potty, thus using peer pressure to the fullest extent possible.

    With little boys, whom I’ve never had to potty train so I don’t know this first-hand, my sister-in-law told me she gave her son a big jar to aim into (like the super-big kind with a wide top that you buy spaghetti sauce in). Filling up the jar makes an awesome sound, and it’s much more like a game. Then start aiming in the big potty once filling up the jar has become routine. I’m sure that my nephew, now nearly 30 and a newlywed, will be delighted that I’ve shared this with the world.

    Making “poo” is a little harder and is often the second skill in potty training that kids aquire, although I find it easier to predict since kids tend to get this “poo look” on their faces or start making a definite sound or movement. If you can get to the potty in time, waiting for the splash to happen in a big potty can be quite fun. It’s also incredibly fun to flush… the whole process is very Freudian.

    Well, I hope this helps (and I hope it hasn’t ruined jars of spaghetti sauce for you). If you have potty training secrets, I’d be happy to post your comments. Take care.

    Topics: potty training toddlers |

    One Response to “Potty training secret”

    1. Says:
      July 17th, 2008 at 7:56 am

      I’ve really enjoyed this article, and am about to email it for my missus to read later.
      We are potty training our 2 year old at the moment, and are having only a partial success.

      He loves his ‘big-boy pants’, and gets upset if he wee’s in them, but he loves his nappies more, and when wearing them seems oblivious to his weeing or pooing!

      He’ll get their… one day