My husband and I have recently taken on the tough task of potty training our son, Ryan. It has been quite a challenge, but I’m so glad we started when we did. There are so many reasons to start potty training, but I think one of the biggest reasons we wanted to move along is diapers are expensive! Our baby girl is nine months old, so we had been buying two boxes of diapers about once a month, and the cost started to add up!
Many steps were taken before putting Ryan on the potty. About a week before we were going to start religiously putting him on the potty, we told him, “Ryan, guess what we’re going to do next Saturday! We’re going to throw ALL your diapers away!” We said it with a lot of excitement which in turn made him very excited. As Saturday approached, we would remind him every morning until then that we will be throwing his diapers away. We also told him, “Since you won’t have diapers anymore, we’re going to start going pee and poop on the potty,” just to make sure he was mentally prepared.
On Saturday morning, we asked, “Ryan, it’s Saturday! Remember what we’re doing this morning?” and he responded, “Throw diapers away!” We made a big deal out of throwing every one of his diapers in the garbage. (Of course, when he wasn’t looking we grabbed all the unused diapers out of the garbage–no need to waste good diapers!)
For the rest of the day, we let him run around completely naked. If he started to pee, he would look down at himself and stick out his pelvis. As soon as we saw him do this, we quickly picked him up and put him on his potty. The first time he peed on the potty, we celebrated like it was midnight on New Year’s Day. We clapped and danced all around the room. We continued this routine for the rest of the day, and he only had one accident.
The following day, we put underwear on him, and he had a couple more accidents – I think his underwear felt similar to a diaper. However, he did not like the feeling of wet underwear, so his accidents did not happen as often. When he did have an accident, we always told him, “It’s okay, buddy. You’re still learning. Next time try to go pee on the potty.” I think it’s so important to remain encouraging with your child while potty training. All they’ve ever known is a diaper, so it’s brand new territory for them.
It has now been two months since we started potty training. Ryan still has a few accidents during the week, but I’m so impressed with how well he’s been doing. When I told his teachers at New Horizon Academy that we were potty training, they were so eager and accommodating. I’m so thankful for his teachers; they have been incredibly encouraging and patient with him. They tell me if he has an accident, it’s usually when he’s playing with friends or with a toy and is having too much fun to want to go to the bathroom. I am glad he has stability with potty training at home and at school because it makes this process go so much more smoothly. It has been very challenging and frustrating at times, but I’m so proud of our big boy!