Potty Training: Every Kid is Different
- Each child responds differently to potty training. My oldest child, Qetuwrah, caught on pretty quickly. It just came pretty easily for her, and she wanted to go to the bathroom. I would give her directions, and she would follow them pretty well. All I did to get her prepared for potty training was to get her some training pants and a potty, and she went, pretty much right away. Everyone told me that potty training was going to be kind of difficult, but with her I thought it was is a breeze.
My other girls just took more time. I don't think I did anything differently in the potty training process between my oldest and my youngest. Qetuwrah was potty trained around one and my twins, which are the youngest, were three. That's definitely a big difference, but every child is different.
- Getting them comfortable on the potty is the first step. The only thing we did to make them comfortable on the potty was to get them a potty top. They liked that because with the big potty they felt like they were going to fall in, like the potty was going to swallow them. Now when they get ready to go to the bathroom, they put their Dora potty top on, and they love their Dora potty top. They know how to use it, and they know it's their potty. We keep it next to the toilet, and they just put it on there and say, "Mom, I need to go to the bathroom."
- Siblings can be great motivators.
Potty training my twins was a little easier because their big sisters were helping them. With my oldest twin, I told her, "Your birthday is coming. You're going to be 3. Big girls don't wear diapers," and she said, "I want to be a big girl." She started going to the bathroom right away, so I told her if she went to the bathroom a few times I would start putting underwear on her. And she said, "I want to start wearing underwear like my sisters."
Their sisters were great when it came to celebrating. We didn't do anything too big because we wanted them to know that it was expected, but I wanted them to know that we were proud of them. Anytime they went, I would tell all of the girls to go into the bathroom and clap. They loved the attention. That seemed to be a good reinforcement for us, especially with all their sisters saying, "You're a big girl." They liked that.
- Staying dry through the night takes getting up during the night.
With my first three girls, I would wake them up in the middle of the night and take them to the bathroom to make sure they didn't have an accident overnight. But with the twins, I really did not have to do that. They woke up on their own and came to me or their dad to take them to the bathroom. I don't know how it was that I didn't have to wake them up like I did the other three.
I also don't let them drink things late because I don't want them to have an accident. Those would be my two tips if you're having problems in the middle of the night with bedwetting: always wake up in the middle of the night and take them at least once, and don't give them anything to drink late.
- Accidents happen. We didn't have too many accidents, but when we did, they would just come tell me. A couple of months ago, we were going to my husband's graduation, and Qowlayah and Qawah, my twins, were still potty training. We had just parked and started walking to the stadium and Qowlayah stopped walking and stood there. She just peed. My first thought was oh no, we just got here and I don't know what to do. That taught me to always bring a change of clothes when you're potty training. If you're going to leave the house, make sure you pack extra clothes.
- Be patient and consistent and you'll be successful.
You definitely have to have patience when you're potty training. They're not going to go when you put them on the potty, and you're not going to know what to do when you first start training them.
You also have to be consistent. My husband gets on me about being consistent, but he's right. Consistently take them to the bathroom, and whatever your form of underwear or diapers or big kid's underwear that you put on them, be consistent. Consistently have a little routine that you do. They'll get the hang of it, and then you'll feel proud of them and of yourself.