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What not to do when potty training…

Potty training is causing me extreme stress and anxiety and I know it shouldn’t…which drives me even crazier. My big boy, who is now 5, was potty trained in three days right before his third birthday. So, you would assume that I’m a pro at this, right? Absolutely not! I’m totally failing the second time around with my 2 ½ year old twins. You would think the thought of being completely diaper free would motivate me, but I’ve been dragging this on for way too long. Within the last week I’ve realized the biggest obstacle has been ME! Hey, admitting that there is a problem is the first step… So here are the things that I would recommend NOT doing when potty training!

What not to do when potty training...Don’t get upset! Potty training doesn’t happen overnight and it can be a very messy situation. These are two simple facts, but I can’t help getting discouraged, especially when my daughter goes all day staying dry and then pees on the floor right next to the toilet. I’m learning to quickly get over it. There is no reason to dwell on the mess, instead I’m trying to focus on celebrating the success.

Don’t compare children! This is so hard…especially when you are a mom of twins. Like I mentioned before their big brother was potty trained in 3 days, this time around it’s been months. It’s also hard to avoid comparison when it’s the topic of conversation at your moms group or you see things pop up on your Facebook newsfeed. All I can do is remind myself of their differences and take it one day at a time.

Don’t fear the public potty! Public restrooms can be so gross! At least with my boys I can have them stand to avoid contamination, but with my daughter it’s an awkward dance to get her to sit without too much contact with germs. Especially when it takes a few minutes for my children to get over the shyness of going in public…no one wants to sit and wait! Instead, I’ve found that Lysol wipes are my best friend along with disposable seat covers, or even a travel potty cover. And don’t forget the hand sanitizer and extra bag of emergency clothes…just in case.

Don’t be inconsistent! I’ve tried rewarding with M&Ms, setting a potty alarm every 45 minutes, and I even made up a little potty song…don’t ask! All of this sounds great, but it’s been a major flop because I haven’t been consistent. I’ve tried so many different things that my kiddos don’t always know what to expect. To avoid this pick one thing to motivate your little one and stick with it!

Don’t rely on pull-ups! They really aren’t any different than diapers, besides the fact that you can indeed pull them up. When my kids have an “accident” in the pull-up it’s quickly absorbed so they don’t feel wet and bothered. My biggest concern is taking them out of the house without the comfort of a pull-up. I definitely don’t want to clean up a huge mess in the carseat or mop up a puddle on the library floor. But what you can do is have your child wear a pull-up over their underwear, so that when they do go, they still feel it, but the mess isn’t so bad.

Don’t force it! Some kids just might not be ready for potty training and that’s okay. Like everything else they all develop at their own rate. I knew my little guy was ready because he started staying dry for long periods of time and my daughter is on a super regular poop schedule (oh, they are going to hate me when they’re older!). These two factors definitely help, and I am trying to follow their lead.

Now if only I could take my own advice! What mistakes did you make while potty training?

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