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Pregnancy & Parenting

5 Tricks To Know Before Potty Training

Potty training has got to be one of those stages that mums find, tricky- This, admittedly, was not a phase I was looking forward to, especially having had all those stories (some of which I discovered were true, and some of course were not).

That said, here are 5 things I wish I knew prior to the potty training phase.

  1. Every baby is unique, and there is no magical age when you ‘need to start potty training’. I’d heard from my friends and aunties how they got this phase all figured out by the time their babies were 2 and it amazed me. And so, when my son turned two, just about the time I stopped breastfeeding, I set on the journey of getting this milestone. The first few days I was super disappointed. My son would not take on the whole idea of having to pee in a potty, and preferred the diaper to the lime green potty… or anywhere else, the carpet, the floor, the doormat… Simply put, he wasn’t ready, yet. Figure out when your baby is ready to take on potty training. Sometimes they will remove their dry diapers and pee wherever they are (message loud and clear!! Hah!), or they will get fussy when it is time to put on a fresh diaper. Other babies will let you know verbally, that they hate diapers, or as my friend’s baby girl kept saying, “diapers are for ‘small’ babies”.

  2. Do not expect perfection in the initial stages. I cannot overemphasize this, for the simple reason that this is a new phase for you (first time moms) and your LO. There will be mishaps, there will be many times you will know baby has peed only when you see the outline of a wet patch on the pants you just changed baby into. It is unrealistic to expect smooth sailing, that’s why it is called ‘training’.

  3. Figure out what works for your baby. Again, this is all about babies been unique, so find out what routines work best. In my case, I realized my son was more willing to use the potty after meals as he was i) satisfied, so no crazy hunger pangs and ii) been satisfied means he’d leave a little something in the potty. So, what routines would you create to ease this transition from diapers to potty?

  4. Day potty training, night potty training or both? What I mean by this is, some parents choose to start with day potty training where they get their child to stop using diapers during the day and learn to use the potty. At night, your child gets to wear the diaper. The reverse is true for night potty training. When I was starting off, I opted to do day potty training first since I found this far more manageable and less taxing for my son (read waking up at night).

 

Once he was done with day potty training, night training was a breeze. Some parents choose to go the whole length and do potty training both during the day and at night. At the end of the day, it is best to choose what works for you and your baby.

  1. Eventually, they do get potty trained. Isn’t this the most amazing bit really? That eventually, kids do get the hang of it. It may take a few months, 1 year, even 2… but they finally get fully potty trained, and you can bid the diaper budget adios! (until the next baby)

 

BONUS: You may have to make some adjustments, like in my case, we had to get rid of the carpet for a while. It was becoming a little too much to have to wash off ammonia stains almost daily.

What are some of the things you wish you knew prior to potty training? What tips have you picked along the way?

 

Related: Checklist : What to carry in your diaper bag

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