On our 3rd day of potty training we quit.
And here is the thing that I am not sure that everyone is on the same page on: we were never disappointed that we had to quit. No part of me, or my husband, felt that we failed or that we were frustrated that it didn’t work. Both of us felt bad that we drove her to feel pain and both of us felt guilty that we pushed her for something that we felt she was ready for but she clearly did not want to do. But never did we ever feel disappointed that we stopped potty training and went back to diapers.
In fact, one piece of advice that it seemed that everyone kept giving us was to not get frustrated with the first couple of days of potty training. And I’m the kind of person that gets frustrated with things in general. But I didn’t feel frustrated at all during any of the potty training. Maybe it was because I was well warned. But mostly because we were asking an almost 3 year old to do something completely different from what she’s done her entire life and that takes time.
So here are some of the most common comments we get and some answers.
Why didn’t you stop sooner if you knew she was in pain?
Because I know that change takes time and I know that my toddler takes a long time to adjust to change. We honestly believed that she was ready to do this and further than that, we believed that she wanted to do this. But we also knew that she would be stubborn because it was a change. Peanut is the kind of person that you have to shove into change and hold your ground. So we held our ground for what we believed to be an appropriate amount of time.
Why did you stop? You were so close!
Everyone has their limits. We really believed that she had reached hers.
Did you try stickers/charts/different approach/start slower/start sooner/etc?
Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Not all at once. In case you’re thinking we confused her. I promise you, we didn’t. The 3 day approach was mostly by the book (well, PDF) and we did start introducing her to the potty around the age of 1 so it wasn’t a big “omg what is this thing and you want me to do what in it?” We have tried a variety of methods for reward over the course of the last year for a variety of different things and she just doesn’t seem to cling to any particular method. To her it’s more about what’s leading up than it is what the result is. I know every kid is different and I’m pretty confident that I know mine fairly well.
Now we stop. Regroup. Wait. Wait some more. And start to slowly reintroduce it. The first couple of weeks after the 3 day potty training the potty was put away and never mentioned again. It took almost a whole week for her to start acting normal again. She still holds her bodily fluids from time to time. We want her to relax before we introduce anything potty related again.
That being said, this past week she mentioned the potty (on her own) and we started to casually broach the subject again. We “found” the book again and she’s asked us to read it to her (she knows all the words in the book and basically recites it on her own). She has even asked to sit on the potty a number of times. We are not pushing her. We are not forcing her. We are, however, listening. The last day or so we suggested it to her when she told us she has to go potty. (“I need to go poopin’” “Do you want to use the potty or your diaper?” ”Diaper.” Sometimes she says potty. But doesn’t go.)
Our plan is to take it easy and let her lead the way. We are also going to talk to daycare and keep track of what she’s doing there and what her friends are doing. If they feel that she’s ready and we feel that she’s ready again, we’ll give it another go.
Bet you could have succeeded if you had done this earlier/later.
Maybe. Maybe not. I actually have a really big feeling that for someone like Peanut we probably shouldn’t have waited until this age. I really think that we could have succeeded had we done it around 2. That being said, we didn’t know that back then and thought that waiting longer was the right thing to do.
Any final comments/reflections?
You know what? We could totally be wrong. We could be wrong that she was ready. We could have been wrong to stop. In fact, we could have this whole parenting thing wrong all along. Like everyone else, we educate ourselves and make the best decisions that we can for our children. And chances are. We are probably wrong on some of them. Hopefully we’re right on the ones that matter (like the ones that will cost us thousands of dollars in therapy funding).