My son’s favorite place is our local indoor playground. When it first opened we went at least twice a week. It was a place for both of us. He could run and get his sillies out and I could sit and breathe for a few minutes. Along the way, we started potty training.
Every kiddo has to grow up sometime right? I picked an age and decided to go with it. He was almost 3 so despite the fact he showed no signs of wanting to go potty I took away the diapers, put him in underpants, and decided this was that. And it went excellent for a few days. He had a few accidents but nothing major. Then disaster hit.
We woke up one day and decided to head to my son’s favorite spot. The indoor playground. Everything was going great for about 30 min and then I started to notice this smell. It smelled like the sewers or for lack of a better description really bad poop. I sat there disgusted and noticed other parents looking around too. We were all trying to pinpoint the smell when a mom yelled there’s poop in the tunnels. My first thought was OMG how nasty and why would a kid….. Then have you ever sensed doom approaching? That overwhelming feeling like something just isn’t right. Well, it hit me. So I decided to look for my son. I found him near the ball pit. He sees me and goes It just came out. I look at his legs and they are darker than normal and I realize it’s my kid. The current HAZMAT situation occurring is my child. I scoped him up and run him to the bathroom as discretely as possible. Once in the safety of the bathroom, I strip him down and I wash him up. His underwear went in the garbage wrapped in numerous paper towels. I rinsed his shorts the best I could all the while thanking everything they were black so not a noticeable stain. I asked him again what happened and he tells me that although he squeezed his cheeks together it came out anyway.
As we left the bathroom an employee approached. I tensed ready to be kicked out and then she speaks. She tells me how sorry she is that this happened and she noticed I had washed my son’s hands and she hopes he didn’t get any poop on him. Apparently, a child had an accident and it was in the tunnels, the ball pit, a streak down the slide… They were going to have to close for the day to call in a cleaning crew but wanted to give me 10 free passes for my troubles. First I wanted to confess but then I was like just retreat. Retreat before they notice your child is wet from the waist down. I took the passes, grabbed my son, and told her no worries things happen, and I walked out as quickly as possible. After I got in my car I called my friend who lives around the corner and told her to run a bath and grab a pair of shorts for Alijah because we have a situation. 4 hours later when I drove by they were still closed or cleaning. My child had literally shut down a facility for a day because of our potty training epic failure.
Later that day I had a realization. It wasn’t his fault. It was my fault. I had pushed him to potty train and he wasn’t ready. He had a good start and instead of going at his own pace I pushed thinking he was a big boy. Instead, he was still my little man who got distracted playing and just kept going. I decided maybe we would wait a bit to continue potty training. About a month later he showed signs of actually being ready.He became a lot more interested in the potty and a lot more dissatisfied when his diaper was wet. I decided we would try again at his own pace and boom 6 days later he was a potty champ!
So to save everyone the trouble of an out in public tragedy I’ll tell you what worked for us.
Potty Training Tips
- Prepare ahead of time. When he started showing ready signs I bought supplies. My son is a me do it type of child so the best item I bought was Den Haven Potty toilet seat with step stool ladder. It was literally a lifesaver. He was able to climb up onto the potty and use the nifty handles to steady himself.You should definitely check it out.
Aside from that, I bought training pants for him instead of just going to straight underwear. I chose to go with Best Bottom Training Pants.
They had a snap in insert. It allowed my guy to feel the wet but it did not seep through his clothes. It also made clean up super easy. Just take the insert out and replace it with a different. Another essential I got was bed pads. I decided we would use the same training pants at night but with their extra absorbent lining for night time but just to be on the safe side I bought bed pads that had a sticky back that would stick to the mattress. This way if an accident did occur I just had to wash the sheets and remove the padding. Other important items were stickers and other small rewards for him. The last thing I bought was basketball shorts or basically anything with an elastic waistband so he could get them up or down fast.
- The next potty training step I took was to clear my schedule for a week. I wanted this transition to be as stress-free for him as possible and knew being home would make this more likely to happen.We stayed home and basically had a mommy and me week just hanging out and going potty.
- Next, I increased his fluids by offering anything and everything liquid. LOL we even had soup. I wanted him to begin to notice how he felt when he had to go pee so the more fluid the better. I would set the timer for every 45 minutes and would ask him if he had to go potty.
- Making potty training fun was important. I bought Fruit Loops and would toss a handful in for him to aim for. If he decided to sit down and go potty there was at his height sticky dartboard I set up and he could play while he went. In both instances, different colors were worth points and when he was done going potty he could get a prize from the treasure box. We also had a big board set up and he got a sticker each time he pottied.Once he had a certain amount of stickers he got to choose a big prize. He wanted a superhero party so we had a Superhero Potty Party and invited all his friends. He got to dress up as Alijah the Potty Hero. There was cupcakes, food, a bounce house, and of course gifts to celebrate his achievement. Now I’m not saying you have to throw your kid a party but pick something that they would really want and can work towards. When you add their good job stickers keep reminding them how close to their prize they are. When Alijah would look at his board and see how close he was getting it made him try even more.
I’m not going to lie potty training was not a walk in the park. But once I did it on his timeline vs when I thought he should be trained it became much easier. I had to notice his signals that he was ready. After that, it was a matter of making potty training something he wanted to do. Once all that was in place we still had accidents but not as frequently or disastrous.
Those are how I was finally able to potty train my little and if I’m being honest he mostly trained himself I just provided entertainment and support. If you have anything that worked for you I would love to hear about it.
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