“Drink wine? I am kidding! (sort of). I am a firm believer that frustration is a motivating tactic for all of us. We have to learn to deal with our frustrations and remember that this is a very new and different skill. We have to give it time.” – Chelsea Kunde.
I wanted to give you an update on how Vivienne is doing with potty training and a little more about the process to those of you interested in starting it yourself. In this blog, I’ll be answering frequently asked questions and of course, giving professional insight from Chelsea Kunde of Building Blocks, AZ.
To start, I want to mention that I considered myself pretty prepared day one. I received a full plan from Chelsea, with step by step instructions on how to go about these next three days. I ordered all the necessary accessories, stickers, and had two prize bins fully stocked with poop and pee prizes. We were ready! A few days later, I wrote this blog post about how I was feeling and an update on the PROCESS. Please take note on the word process being in all caps as not all children potty train in 3 days. It doesn’t mean it won’t or couldn’t happen, but I’d mentally prepare yourself that it could be longer and the biggest thing is to keep reminding yourself that it will get better. Chelsea adds, “I cannot stress enough how important it is to prepare yourself and them. Make sure you have all of the equipment you need (new underwear, rewards, etc.) and discuss the plan with them.” Set yourself up for success! “Expect 3 days of being inside and at home. Remember of course, it will take longer for lasting change.” How much time is needed to take off work? “I recommend 3 days to be at home. If three days doesn’t work, two will do. Just remember that Potty Training is a process. It takes time and does not happen overnight. Even after the 3 days, you are still working with them and they are learning.”
One of the common questions I got regarding potty training was how did I know Vivienne was ready?I heard from many different people that they potty trained their child at 18 months and others wouldn’t even recommend trying until 3 years old. We personally wanted to at least attempt it earlier than later, as Vivienne is starting preschool in August and we are traveling the month of July… so we just went for it and thought 2.5 was a good number. Chelsea states, “There are several signs to look for. Your child is able to follow instructions, pull pants up and down, tell you when they have gone to the restroom, and interested in the potty. The age of when the child is ready ranges between 18 months- 3 years of age. You just want to make sure they can walk and sit independently. They do not need every sign to be ready but watching out for some would be helpful.”
What if your toddler isn’t very verbal? Chelsea replies,“There are many ways to communicate. As long as they can communicate their needs to you and you them, I think it is fine. If you are nervous about this because of the communication piece, there is no harm in waiting.”
What are you doing for naps and nighttime? Vivienne is wearing underwear throughout the day and Pampers Pure Diapers during her nap and bedtime. I find no reason to make any changes to her routine for sleep as Pampers Pure has always been the best fit for our family and I truly love using this brand. Vivienne is protected, supported, and comfortable while sleeping thanks to that 100% Pampers Pure protection that I know and trust.
Did you buy underwear or training pants?We bought underwear. Make it apart of your “getting ready” stage and pick some fun ones out together!
When do you plan on training for naps and nighttime? Vivienne always wakes up with a wet diaper, so we are not ready. Chelsea adds, “You train them when they are ready. Biologically many kiddos are not ready to night and nap train when they day train and this is fine by me. Wait until they ask or are dry after sleeping.”
What toilet seat insert and accessories did you use?I’ve linked everything in my Amazon page under Potty Training. I decided to not use a mini potty as I didn’t want to clean it out often and new eventually she would have to make yet another transition. Did the potty training watch help?Honestly, Vivienne wasn’t into it. I linked one on the page and you can also buy it for $5 at Target, but I personally would have skipped that purchase had I known. I have heard it is very helpful to other kids though.
What prizes did you offer for poop, pee, and trying?When she was sitting on the potty and attempting to go, she always got one sticker. She could take it with her or decorate her squatty potty. We also had a sticker chart, but that was only for when she would actually go pee or poop. If she went pee, she would pick from the pee bin: bubbles, lollipops (she once got 3 lollipops one morning- oh boy!), etc. The poop prizes were a little larger of value: coloring books, Sophia book, etc. Target and dollar store had amazing options for this.
True or False: It’s harder to potty train boys than girls? Chelsea answers, “This is stated often but I don’t know if I buy it. I think that every child is so different. Boy or girl! So, I think we should evaluate when to start each child based on readiness of child and the parent.”
How to react when she pees/poops in her pants? Chelsea answers, “I think just be real and genuine about the situation but don’t shame. Accidents happen and are normal. But they are also gross. I would always say, “Oh no! We don’t want to pee our pants. Yuck! Pee in the potty.” Then move on. Simple, real, no shame. But also, being realistic because …yuck! We don’t want that to continue to happen. They can also help you clean up the mess.”
What to do if toddler refuses to go poop in the potty? She keeps asking for a pull up. This happened to us a lot, and we are still dealing with accidents. Some days she does it, some days she goes during nap or bedtime, sometimes she refuses. We personally just have her come off of the toilet and try again when she wants to. Some nights, its going on and off often. I try not to show stress about it. Chelsea adds, “I would not give them a pull up to poop in but I would also not pressure them to use the potty. The pooping will happen and we don’t want constipation to happen. Make sure you have a stool for them to rest their legs on while sitting on the potty. Time and patience.”
Tips for a frustrated mama? Girl, I feel you. Potty training put me over the edge and made me have some really hard days. It is FRUSTRATING. A concept you’d think is so simple… is NOT to the little people who have never done it. I think the best medicine for feeling this way is knowing you are not alone and talking to other moms out there who may have done it or are doing it with you! Chelsea adds, “Wine? I am kidding (sort of!) I am a firm believer that frustration is a motivating tactic for all of us. We have to learn to deal with our frustrations and remember that this is a very new and different skill. We have to give it time. So before starting potty training, I would make sure you are ready. Really ready because it is frustrating! Lean on your friends and partner for support. Take breaks when you need to. Deep breaths and tackle one day at a time. You are doing great!!”
How do you remain calm?This is a great question. Honestly, I don’t feel like I had it together for potty training. I thought it would be so much easier, yet, I KNEW it would be something so simple that would help make it all click for Vivienne and we would be (for the most part) golden after that. Just try to mentally prepare yourself for a tough few days of sitting on the bathroom floor. Tea? Wine? Deep breaths?
How did you get V to sit on the toilet and wait for pee to get out? My toddler seems to be holding it in. Vivienne did the same. It was awful and I knew she really needed to go, just didn’t know how to. An amazing tip that Chelsea taught us was to have them sit on the toilet and push twice, if nothing happened then they could get up and try again (if fighting sitting on the toilet). That was a huge light bulb for Vivienne, once she made the connection with pushing and peeing.
Does Vivienne still go every hour or do you wait for her to tell you?For the most part, I wait. There are some moments where I’ll look at her and ask if she has to go (I know I shouldn’t be asking) and she will tell me yes or no. I always see if we can try to go to the potty before we leave the house and if not before, then when we get somewhere.
How has it been going out in the public restroom? It’s been the same as home. Sometimes she will go and sometimes she won’t. For the most part, she’s really good at going to the restroom in public when she needs to. Poop, we are still working on being consistent with in general. I was taking the potty insert with us wherever we went, until i learned about the foldable options they sell on Amazon. I’ve also linked that in my page.Any tips when going out for the first time? Chelsea adds, “Just got for it! Bring extra clothes and know that accidents are part of learning. It is scary to leave at first but then it becomes normal fairly quickly.” How many accidents happen per day approximately? Vivienne has been 0-1 accidents per day, more none than one as of the last few weeks. Her main accidents have been pooping in her underwear.
My two-year old was potty trained, but then all of a sudden completely regressed. What do I do? “Be consistent, stay with it. Add back in the rewards if you need to. Try and problem solve the issue. Time and patience.”
Will you do it earlier next time with Alice?I’ll judge it based off her readiness. I have heard siblings could have interest earlier, so we will see. What did you do with Alice when V had to sit on the toilet for so long? Oh, poor Alice! She was either on the floor next to me, in my lap, or in her skip hop activity center outside of the bathroom door. You do what you have to do. It isn’t forever.
So, the official update.
The first couple days were tough. For everyone. It was frustrating, exhausting, and confusing! After the fourth day… it clicked and made such a change in everyone’s mood. Since then, she has maybe had one accident with pee. Like I mentioned above, we are still working on the consistency with pooping… but as Chelsea mentioned, it takes time, patience, and practice. I am so grateful to have had Chelsea help me through this… as it really was a tough one for us! When I wanted to quit (constantly) she reminded me of our successes, even small, and encouraged us to keep going. I am super grateful for that. I know not everyone is local to Arizona, but if you do need some help with potty training, Chelsea offers FaceTime consultations (includes full plan and materials) as well as a 30-minute phone option for people who just have a few questions. I’m here to share our journey but also bring you resources! I hope this was helpful!