Potty training is awesome, said no mom ever. But I must admit, potty training my second child has not been the screaming, stressful, stinky mess it was with my first child.
For round one, meaning my first child, I began potty training when I felt the pressure from other moms who were already potty training or had finished before I began. I researched every online method that apparently had resounding success (Potty Boot Camp, Potty Training Your Child in 3 Days, Potty Training Basics, No Stress Potty Training, etc.). Of course these potty training methods would work for us too, right? I bought 900 matchbox cars as rewards, rolled up all the rugs, threw away the diapers and completely set myself up for failure by putting so much stock into when and what worked for others.
By the end of week one, the walls and floors had seen more poop than the potty. I got impatient, yelled and expressed disappointment. How can this kid not get it?! Poop and pee go in the potty. They do not linger in diapers and mold to the contour of your butt! I so wish I could have a chat with me as a first time mom and remind myself that my son has been crapping in his diapers for 3 years and I have been wiping his rear faithfully with a giant smile on my face and singing songs about poop during the process. To my son, crapping his pants/diaper and having me clean it up was a fun and entertaining part of the day. What was his motivation to change a good thing?
After 6 hard fought months we finally stopped having regular accidents and the potty was finally incorporated into our daily lives. But it wasn't without many regretful moments and unneeded stress placed on my son.
I cannot claim complete success for round two of potty training (i.e. kid no. 2) since we are still fine tuning the speed at which she is able to drop-trou and mount the toilet. But thus far it has been a stress free task mostly because I am totally not stressing about it. I know now that potty training usually doesn't happen overnight but it usually does happen well before 1st grade. So, we're good. It will happen.
I gave my daughter all the instruction and tools she would need to understand and learn this "pee pee & poo poo on the potty" thing -
Visual instructions, check. (I'm a mom so peeing in private and modesty were things I gave up long ago). I am a shining example of what to do and where to go.
Princess underwear, check.
Motivation, i.e., closet full of Barbie, pony and princess paraphernalia, smiley face chart and gold stars, check, check, check.
I had one new tool in my arsenal this time around to clinch the deal. Princess Pristine – the potty training version of a cleansing spray created by my partner and me. This is not intended to be a shameless plug of my business (well, maybe a little bit), but rather a tip, advice, a little secret I can share with fellow potty training parents.
I’ve been using Pristine Sprays to change my daughter’s diapers since she was 6 months old. It’s been magical – no diaper rash, no irritated or broken skin, no residual smell. Just a smooth, clean, comfortable wiping experience – at least as much as it can be when cleaning crap off of a baby bottom. So, why stop using the spray now that my daughter is potty training? She loves it. It works. It cleans a hundred times better than dry toilet paper. Why, when my daughter is finally old enough to poop on the potty, would I remove the one item that makes butt-wiping easy, efficient and effective? It was then that Princess Pristine was born. Princess Pristine is a pink, exciting version of the diaper changing spray and she mounts a princess carriage and delivers magical cleansing powers directly to your bathroom.
With my new found patience and understanding and with a basket full of princess toys and Princess Pristine my daughter and I tackled the toilet as a team. She still craps her pants on the very rare occasion, but the game has been called. Potty training is over.
Moving on to the next challenge – teaching my daughter how to wipe her own butt.