I was absolutely, without a doubt, lied to. After struggling for almost a year with my now 9-year-old son, I was told potty training my daughter would be a breeze. I heard, over and over, that “Girls are so much easier.” Lies.
Okay, I am being dramatic. My friends and the internet didn’t exactly lie, but they gave me false hope. When my daughter turned 2 and a half, I figured it was time to get started. Little did I know she’d become terrified of the toilet and refuse to go near it. Picture full-on tears and a high-pitched scream only little girls can make — a piercing, deafening scream. Despite this, we started what would end up being a very expensive endeavor into potty training with an Elmo seat for the toilet. I figured something with her favorite little characters would make the experience less frightening.
That was $15 down the drain. I will add that my husband was of the mind to just “leave her alone” and let her do it on her own time. But he wasn’t the one changing all the diapers. There was more than just a glare headed his way when these comments came out of his mouth, and little did I know that I wasn’t even close to throwing money at this potty training business.
Her 3rd birthday came and went, and by this time she was actively coming up to me saying “I just peed” and “I just pooped.” The fact that she was able to articulate that she went to the bathroom in her diaper told me that she knew what was happening, but she just didn’t want to actually use a toilet. I ended up forking over $20 on Moana underwear — her favorite character — in an effort to make using the bathroom “like a big kid” more appealing.
I figured for sure she wouldn’t want to dirty those up. Nope. After the second peeing on the floor incident, my husband was over it. Back into diapers she went.
While I did give in during that moment, I was secretly on Amazon looking for creative ways to entice my resistant toddler. I ordered a stand-alone pink toddler toilet, one that came with stickers to personally decorate it. Then I ordered Pull-Ups because I needed to make my life easier, regardless of their ridiculous price. That wasn’t enough though — I also purchased a beautiful dinosaur-themed potty tracker with cute little magnets. Around $100 later, I was armed and ready.
We decorated the potty. She loved using it and felt like it was something special just for her! She’d sit on it without fear, but getting her to actually go was still a challenge. So, I did what any losing-their-mind parent would do: I bribed her with candy. Personally, I chose M&Ms since they are small, and I could easily leave a baggie of them in the bathroom for each successful trip. She started going. There may have been tears. On my part.
If I didn’t bring her to the potty every hour and a half or so, she’d go in her Pull-Up. As a mama who works from home full-time, it was difficult. This is when I had the bright idea to buy her a potty watch that sang a little ditty every 90 minutes. Well worth the $20, right? Except she hated it. “It hurts my arm” or “I don’t like the song” is what I heard any time I tried to put it on her.
Do you know what was working? Those $1 bags of M&M’s! She loved getting rewarded with those. We also continually praised her and told her what a big girl she was turning into. It was something she loved hearing since she was always trying to emulate her older brother.
Slowly, I knew she was ready to graduate to underwear from the Pull-Ups, at least during the day. Although we had those unused Moana underpants in the drawer, I wanted to see if there was something a little more substantial. Surprisingly, I found potty-training underwear! They had thick fabric liners that promised to catch most of the mess. They didn’t, but they were cute and at least made the puddles a little more bearable and the number two accidents less messy. They are totally worth it.
Finally, after around two months of diligence and continuous patience, it clicked. My 3-and-a-half-year-old now proudly tells everyone she’s potty trained. Do I get annoyed that she constantly tells me she has to go when I am in the middle of something? Of course. Heck, she interrupted me twice during the writing of this article. But man, I’ll take it all day compared to continuous diaper changing and buying. I will add that we still keep a Pull-Up on her when she goes to bed, as I am not secure enough that I am willing to risk having to change the bedding. She might even wear one to bed till she’s 4. Or 5. And that’s fine with me.
Potty training accessories that may or may not help your potty training child
All in all, I spent around $150 on potty training accessories. Did we need them all? Probably not. But when you are a parent who is trying to find the best ways to help your child succeed in potty training, you’ll do just about anything. Some of the things I used might work wonders for your child. Some of them might fall flat as they did with my daughter. But here is a list in case you want to give one (or all of them) a try:
- Potty training seat
- Potty training toilet
- Sticker chart
- Potty training watch
- Potty training underwear
The moral of my story is I did all the things and then some. Around $150 later I had a potty-trained child. I felt it was my duty to warn you all of the length’s parents are willing to go to make this transition from diapers happen. I was one of them and I don’t regret any of it!
I listened to my mama’s intuition and I listened to her. When she was ready, she did it, and I supported that. In the end, that’s the best thing we can do.Read comments