Potty Training: Girls vs. Boys

As Potty Training Awareness Month comes to an end, I want to share another post I wrote last year that was originally posted on Orlando Moms Blog.

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Potty training.

Just writing those words makes me want to pour a glass of wine. We’ve survived two potty training endeavors and learned many things from the two very different experiences. One thing I’ve learned is that what they say about potty training boys versus girls is not true.

When it came time to potty training our son, everyone said that boys are so much harder than girls and that we shouldn’t expect him to pick it up as quickly as our daughter did. After potty training a girl and a boy, I can honestly say I don’t find that statement to be true. Whatsoever. In certain aspects of potty training, each of them did something better than the other and there were several areas that differed between the two which would make anyone’s potty training experience different from someone else’s experience.

My daughter is older and was potty trained at 26 months old when my son was just two months old. She was cloth diapered until we started the 3 day potty training method and we were determined to get her out of diapers. She seemed so old at just 26 months, compared to her newborn brother, and we KNEW she was ready to be potty trained. She did a great job, but it took her eight days before she was able to poop in the potty. It was a very long eight days, but since she was our first born, we didn’t know any better. She was staying dry through the night without a diaper or a pull-up before she was able to go number two in the potty. After those eight days, potty training was over!

Fast forward two years when my son was 2 and a half years old. He had also been cloth diapered for two years, but he ended up wearing disposable diapers for about six months until we decided to finally give potty training a go. Based on what everyone had said, my expectations were not high and I was honestly dreading the whole experience. However, having an older sister, my son was far more interested in the potty well before we started potty training. He got used to sitting on the potty and even using the potty just by watching his sister. Since we had such a good experience with the 3 day potty training method, we knew we would use it again. My son picked it up in just over two days, both number one and number two. We were shocked and couldn’t believe that he caught on so quickly, especially after what we had heard about boys. He did a good job at first staying dry at night, but he is a much deeper sleeper than his sister, so it took him a bit longer at night to stay dry. We were changing sheets more frequently than we did with my daughter. He still hasn’t worn pull-ups, but night time was a longer road than the day time.

Overall, every child is different. There are many different factors that play into how well or how quickly a child picks up potty training. Young toddler, older toddler, first child, second child, boy, girl, it doesn’t matter. Every child is unique and every child will get potty trained at some point. I’ve learned many things from our two different potty training experiences, but most importantly, don’t compare your child to another child.

Potty Training in 3+ Days

June is Potty Training Awareness Month, so I thought I’d throw it back to a post I wrote about over three years ago that was originally posted on Orlando Moms Blog.

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I cannot begin to tell you how many times the words “pee pee” and “poopy” have come out of my mouth in the last two months. They are now common words in our vocabulary and here’s how we got there.

We were anticipating holiday break from school for a number of reasons. Obviously, to celebrate the holidays and spend time with family, but also because of this looming reality that it was time to begin potty training our 26 month old.

My husband and I were more than ready, having just had our second child two months prior. We were OVER the double diaper duty. It was time. We decided to try the 3 Day Potty Training method after several recommendations from others.

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Here are a few things I learned during this process (ok, more than a few) and I hope you can use one (or all) of them when it comes time for you to potty train your little one:

  1. Buy the flushable wipes. These would have come in handy with all of the poopy accidents we had. We use them now and they are so much better than the dry toilet paper on their little bums.
  2. Get in the mindset of two steps forward, one step back. Potty training is a process, and as long as you’re moving forward, keep going! Celebrate the victories, big or small, and brush off the accidents. Just keep moving forward.
  3. Stay positive. This is probably a no-brainer, but believe me, it is so incredibly hard, yet so incredibly important. Take a step back, a breather, have a drink, do whatever you need to do, but stay positive!
  4. Listen to the poop song. This was something else I had read about online — and my daughter loved it! We frequently did a potty dance when she was done.
  5. Make the incentives visible. For each pee pee in the potty, my daughter got a “special treat” — an M&M. The M&Ms were in a dish on the counter, so she knew what she was getting. Each day we talked about getting a lollipop (or “pollipop” to her) if she poopied in the potty. But it wasn’t until she was doing the “I gotta go” dance on day eight when I rushed and grabbed a handful of Dum Dums from the drawer. I asked if she wanted a lollipop and she rushed straight to the potty to do her business. By golly, as soon as she saw the reward, she wanted it. Now, if only we would have started that on day one!
  6. Get a travel potty seat. This may have been more for me. I am now infinitely more aware of how disgusting public restrooms are. Having the folding travel seat helps me feel a little bit better about having to go into every public restroom we come across in the city.
  7. It may not happen in three days. I was so discouraged by the end of day three when we still had not had a successful poopy in the potty. I took “3 day” too literally. She picked up the peeing very quickly, but we could not get over the fear of pooping in the potty. Fast forward five more days and we made it! Day eight was the first day I felt she “got it” — and we were completely accident free! Looking back, the fact that it only took us eight days to potty train is pretty amazing, but it was very hard to see while we were in the moment.
  8. Give the night-time a try. If you’re considering doing “3 Day Potty Training” (or 3+ days as I mentioned above), then you should consider going all in. We got a lot of funny looks when we said we were going to potty train day and night at the same time. Ironically enough, the night time clicked faster than the pooping did. I was just as shocked as you probably are reading this. If the night-time doesn’t work, no harm in trying — you probably just did a few extra loads of laundry more than you normally would have.
  9. Every child is different. I know, I know, this is obvious, but we moms know how easy it is to get trapped in the world of comparing our child to someone else’s. We’ve all done it. Just try to make a conscious effort not to do it when it comes to potty training.

While I would consider our potty training experience a success, I will tell you it was not easy, nor fun. It’s safe to say that it was toughest parenting hurdle we’ve had to jump to date. But it was so worth it!

So tell me, what are your successes and challenges when it comes to the “pee pee” and the “poopy”?

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Potty Training Essentials

I shared some thoughts on potty training this week over on Orlando Moms Blog, so I thought I would also share some of the essential items that help with the potty training process.

Potty Training Essentials

The Baby Bjorn smart potty and step stool are a must. Both of the kids preferred the small potty over sitting on the big potty at first. This potty is simple and has zero frills but does the job. The step stool is necessary for all of the hand washes after the potty. Both of the kids still use their step stool every night to brush their teeth.

Just as important as the potty itself are the rewards. We used M&M’s for both of our kids, as well as Dum Dum lollipops. I’ve heard of many different types of treats, small toys, stickers, the whole nine yards. Whatever you use, definitely offer rewards and incentives!

I was very particular about the kids’ undies because one brand fit each of them far better than the others. For Kenley, we really like the Carter’s cotton undies. They are super cute, comfy, and fit her well. For Crosby, we like the Old Navy boxer briefs. They fit him really well and I cannot even get over the cuteness.

We swear by the Kandoo flushable wipes and the Up & Up flushable wipes. These make potty time so much better than normal dry toilet paper. Some reviews have said that the flushable wipes can cause clogs, but we haven’t experienced that and use them sparingly. These are also great to stuff in the diaper bag and go!

For Kenley, we used a folding travel potty seat with handles for those lovely trips to public restrooms. She was a little apprehensive of the large, loud potties and I didn’t even want to think about how disgusting those potties really were. The seat was great to stick in the diaper bag and use it as needed on the go.

We already had a Planet Wise wet bag from our cloth diapering days, but these are great to have on hand in case of accidents. I usually stick a clean change of clothes in there to take with us when we leave the house and then use it for the soiled clothes, if needed.

I am happy to be done with the potty training phase but these items were especially helpful during the whole process. What have you used that is not on my list?

 

*this post contains affiliate links