Updated: Aug 23, 2020
I literally went down stairs to grab Tristan a cup of juice to hopefully make him have to pee. At this point, I had just started the whole potty training process and we got off to a rough start. I was gone for approximately one minute and when I came up the stairs and proceeded to enter his room. I immediately smelled urine. So i assumed maybe he got a little on the floor next to his potty. I was in for a rude awakening... there was PEE EVERYWHERE! I'll spare the details but just know there was no pee in the potty that day.
For most parents, potty training is defined as the transitional period of conditioning your child to no longer use the bathroom on themselves. No more diapers, no more stinky stinks, your child is finally gaining a sense of independence during this stage. I started potty training my toddler after his second birthday. It has not been an easy journey to say the least for either of us but we are making positive strides to our ultimate goal. With any new task comes the research phase. This is the phase in which we as mothers gather information on best practices, tips and tricks about potty training. Some may call this the fact finding stage...
I purchased books, read countless articles and I still felt like what I was doing, just was not effective as I wanted it to be. So while scanning the web, I found that this quiz on the Huggies potty training program website helped me identify the type of personality Tristan had and helped me to identify what would work for him. Dr. Heather Wittenberg partnered with Huggies to create this one of a kind quiz. The quiz consist of 9 questions that are fairly easy to answer and BOOM! In a matter of 3-5 minutes you have great resources at your fingertips to help you potty train your little one. Like all companies, they try to sell you on huggies products but even if you decide not to use their products the information is transferable to any brand. For more information, visit the site here.
Of course I was skeptical to this idea that in 9 questions I could really categorize my son's traits so I did not think this would work for Tristan. Until a couple of days after taking the test, he mimicked me. I turned the water on in the sink about to wash my hands and he beat me to it. He grabbed the soap, put the soap in his hands, rubbed his hands together, rinsed them and then grabbed a hand towel to dry his hands. Looking at him in amazement I just started clapping and gave him a high five. I could not believe that he just literally did all that by himself. For some odd reason my mind went to the personality test I had taken days prior that said to Embrace Enthusiasm and that's how I learned that he likes to learn how to do something the right way and then e praised for it. Honestly, at this point I think he only does it for the praise now. Tristan and I have come a long way from him peeing on the floor or beside his potty so for that, I am thankful. Tristan identified as having the puppy personality which means he likes to do things right, he likes praise, reward oriented and responds better to positivity throughout the process.
Coupled with my own experience here are MY top three tips I would recommend for potty training:
1. Find out what they like
Identify a good book to read to them or if reading is not their style, try playing a game of peek-a-boo to keep them occupied. Tee likes to build with his blocks while on the potty. The more relaxed they feel, the easier it is for them to go potty.
2. Every hour method
This is one of the first methods I learned about. As you are in the beginning stages of potty training try letting them sit on the potty once every hour for as long as it takes for them to pee or go #2. This will help you determine how long he/she can go without going to the potty as well as how often they need to go. As working mamas, we lead very busy lives so this is something that I tried on the weekends and it helped me to determine that he can stay dry for up to 2 hours if given no liquids. When given liquids, he needs to go to the potty around 20-30 minutes after drinking.
3. Make sure your little one is ready
In my experience, I have tried to push Tristan or I become impatient with him and that does not work for him. He will completely shut down if he feels like he is disappointing me. So although we have started and stopped this journey of potty training about 3 times. I can now say that with my new understanding of what he responds to and things that incentivize him. We are almost completely potty trained, minus going to the pot at night. We are not quite there when he wakes up out of his sleep to go potty but I know we will get there, because potty training is all about consistency and discipline. As long as you can be consistent with your child, you have beat half the battle.