I had enough of diapers and I didn’t want to waste any more money on them since Ethan outgrew my stash of cloth diapers and I also didn’t want to invest any more money on buying more cloth. He just turned 23 months old and by the books he met all the requirements developmentally and physically and was ready to be potty trained.
Or so I thought.
With my first born Braden I used the 3 Day Potty Training method and it was amazing. He was trained at 2 years 3 months and took to it very well and was fully potty trained by 1/2 way through day 3 with more successes than accidents in days 1 and 2. I liked that the method teaches the child to learn their urges vs. taking them to “try” on a timed schedule. I brushed up on my 3 Day Potty Training notes and was ready to go and train Ethan.
But it didn’t work.
The thing is, as silly as it might sound to you, this was the most humbling experience of my life, because I did not succeed in potty training my 23 month old in 3 days. Or even 6 days. I prided myself on teaching my kids to sleep and Braden to be potty trained at a fairly young age. Ethan took me down a notch and apparently I needed it! I begrudgingly (at first) waved my little white flag and put him in a diaper on day 6 at noon and suddenly a million pounds were lifted from my chest. Ever since Monday when I slapped that diaper back on…we have both been happier and just enjoying life. I did not really leave my house for 6 days and neither did he. I stayed positive and enthusiastic and was with him side-by-side for the majority of those 6 days. His accidents outweighed his successes, and he did have quite a few successes, but it just didn’t “click”. I gave it my all, but even though “they” say he can be trained and he is ready: he is not. It takes a lot for me to admit that I was wrong and he wasn’t ready. Let me explain further before you think I’m a callous and heartless mother!
I am a Type A parent to a T. I always make sure my children are physically and developmentally ready before doing certain things with them, but I’m not the type (at all) to let them “do it on their own”. That is just completely not the school of parenting I went to. Nothing wrong if you do it, but it’s not how I roll. I sleep trained my babies after thorough research, I did it in a way that worked for me and them and they were both sleeping through the night with awesome naps by 6 months old. If I left them to their own devices? Who knows…but mama needs her sleep and I wouldn’t want to be getting up in the night for years and years and years after I needed to.
Same with potty training. If I let Braden come to me to show interest…who knows if he ever would and I didn’t want a 3 or 4 year old still in diapers. Braden was a very very smart toddler and he trained VERY well, but showed absolutely no interest in potty training, which is why I decided when to do it. I assumed it might be a bit more work with a younger child, but Ethan is also smart (though not as advanced as Braden was) and I felt so defeated and like I’d failed when it didn’t work for him. But, I am coming to terms with the fact that not all kids are the same and I know I gave it my all and then some, he’s just not ready.
Ethan knows how to hold his pee. I know that he knows the “urge” because he more-often-than-not has very small “oops-I-gotta-pee!” accidents and not ones that soak his undies and the floor beneath him. He knows he gets a treat when he pees in the potty, but by the end of our training bout he didn’t even care about treats. He is definitely on the stubborn side (which likely won’t improve with age), but I just have to keep in mind he’s 23 months and that he does things at his own pace—he always has and he’s always hit his milestones later than most kids. I cannot force this, but I know he is smart and I know he is getting there—he is just getting there at his own time and I will wait 4 months and train him in the new year. I just hope I’ve laid a good foundation and that those 6 days are not a complete waste of our time!