Ingrid is two and a half now and isn’t quite potty-trained. For whatever reason, she’s not excited about potty training. Not at all. Sometimes she wants to use the toilet and other times, she doesn’t. Most people say that the second child is easier to potty train than the first, simply because they see the older sibling using the potty, so they want to, too. Not really the case here…
Addie (the oldest) started going #1 in the toilet when she was two and never EVER had an accident. It was easy as pie! Going #2 in the toilet, however, freaked her out. She didn’t master that until several months later. We tried all the tricks in the book and nothing was working. She ended up in tears every single time and we were exhausted and frustrated as a result. We finally decided to give up. We had been too hard on her and what we were doing was not working. We decided to wait a little longer, until she seemed “ready.” And of course, as soon as we gave up and stopped pressuring her, she decided she was, in fact, ready to go #2 in the toilet. Not an accident since. (Go figure.)
We’ve tried bribing her with sticker charts and M&Ms and songs and YouTube videos, but she’s just too smart. She’ll actually say, “I don’t want a sticker! I want to wear a diaper!” or “No! Not the potty song!” She knows that all of that bribery is a scam and she will not be a part of it. Not for anything. Not for eating her dinner or staying in bed at night or anything. Believe me, we have tried. She does what she wants, when she wants, and that’s something we kind of love about her, even though it drives us madd.
Ingrid will be potty trained the day SHE decides. It’s totally up to her. Instead of using these things to bribe her to go in the potty, we’re going to use them as rewards for when she does choose to use the toilet. Right now, she goes once or twice a day, and I know that someday she’ll be ready. Until then, we just keep on keepin’ on.
So, if you have a toddler who is ALSO too smart for their own good and will not buy in to your fun songs and bribery charts, here is my advice:
- Lots of asking. I ask Ingrid all day long if she’d like to use the toilet, especially if her big sister is going or if we are all in the bathroom. Sometimes she says yes and sometimes she says no. I am okay with either.
- Pull-Ups. Because she is so wishy-washy about when she’ll try the toilet and when she won’t, pull-ups are a MUST. They are so much easier to use than diapers when we are trying to go on the potty, all the livelong day.
- Potty cushion. Ingrid definitely prefers to use a cushion on the big potty versus a small toilet. Fine by me, since I don’t have to worry about cleaning one!
- Her favorite rewards. Because Ingrid is too smart, not just any prize will do the trick. It’s got to be her FAVORITE. She loves Skittles and M&Ms, and she really loves fancy stickers to put in her very own sticker book. I’m keeping all of the above on hand.
- No pressure. The more laid-back about it we are, the better our outcome will be. I’m sure of it. When we finally stopped pressuring Addie to potty in the toilet, she did it on her own. Ingrid, as strong-willed as she is, I’m sure will be the same.
If you need more ideas, coupons, songs, advice, etc. check out the Big Kid Academy. It’s totally free and such an awesome resource. You can customize it to fit your needs, and depending on where you child is in terms of potty training, it will give you all kinds of advice and fun things to use during your journey!
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• How to talk to day care providers about potty training
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*The post is sponsored by Pull-Ups. As always, the opinions are my own.