Potty training has no doubt been the most exhausting and difficult thing I've had to do during this parenting journey, it comes easy to a lot of people which will forever confuse and baffle me but I understand that every child is different and each parenting journey is unique and beautiful in it's own way.
Before I started potty training I bought all the books, watched all the YouTube videos, read all the blogs, asked all the mommas.
You might remember a previous post I'd written when I first started (Oh Dear! We're Potty Training!), Oh the naivety!
Here are the mistakes I made while potty training my daughter, I wish I can make a ( 7 Tips for successfully potty training your child) but I cannot, because it took me just under a year before we had no more accidents and stress free outings, so instead here is what you should not do when potty training.
1. Don't change your method/ strategy.
This might be obvious to a lot of you but it wasn't to me, mainly because whenever I heard of a brilliant plan or strategy and I implemented it until it stopped working (this usually took two weeks) which would then drive me to search for a new method, a new '3 day potty training plan' which in turn wouldn't work and I was back at square one again. This was the main cause for the delay - I believe, because I was not consistent in my method and it was very confusing for my daughter. Do your research, find a method you think makes sense to you, your lifestyle and your child and stick to it. Any method will work if you stick by it long enough (well not exactly any, but you know what I mean).
2. Don't interrupt the training.
This is a major mistake I made, I would potty train for 2 weeks, then pause it to either go away for a few days, or give her (and myself) a break, or be busy with a birthday/ holiday/ event and think to myself 'It's fine we can just carry on at home'. No! Never interrupt the training. No matter where you are, or what's happening, keep training your child. this is the only way you can successfully train their bladder.
3. Don't keep nappies at home.
This is actually not a mistake that I personally made, but I wanted to add it in, say goodbye to the nappies, have your child throw all the nappies away herself and explain the process. By keeping nappies at home you are allowing yourself a relapse situation, a way out or an escape. Also by allowing your child to physically say goodbye it provides closure for them and an opportunity to move on to the next stage of your plan. You can still use Pull-Ups if you prefer but make sure your child knows they are not nappies but are in fact Big Boy or Big Girl pants.
4. Don't start without a plan.
Before you start, write up a plan, with a timeline that you can follow step by step during your training, make sure you and your child know what the plan is and follow through. This way you are always on top of the game and can stay focused and motivated to get to the finish line.
5. Don't over-reward.
You hear a lot about potty training methods that include having a jar of sweets by the potty to reward your child whenever the pee or poop in the potty, although this is a successful strategy, it is easy to go over the line and after a while it loses its appeal and your'e left with a child who tantrums and will do anything to get to the sweets while completely avoiding the potty. I know this has worked for a lot of people and I guess it depends on the child too but I certainly over did it with the rewards and that did not end well.
6. Don't punish your child for accidents.
I'm a big old softie when it comes to my kids (that's not to say I haven't turned into the hulk a few times) but never during potty training, but I know a lot of parents do punish their kids for accidents. You have to understand it isn't their fault and they have no control over it, certainly not at the start. Be patient and use positive language instead. Explain that the pee or poop belongs in the potty and not on the floor and involve your child in the cleanup process. By punishing your child you are adding the fear-factor in this process which has been proven to cause bed wetting and delays.
7. Don't be hard on yourself.
This journey starts with you. If you are not ready it won't matter if your child is ready. If you are not okay mentally, you will be releasing that on your child and it will have negative repercussions later on. It's okay to make mistakes, it's okay if your child has accidents, it's okay to have bad days, always remember you are doing great and this is never easy. Stick to it, take it one step at a time and try and find the fun and joy in helping your child get over this milestone.
What are some tips or mistakes you made while potty training your child? Comment below!