When I told Z’s preschool teacher that we were going to start potty training the weekend after school was over, she said, “Just know that it might not work.” Knowing that Z is young (21 months), and that potty training is tricky, I said, “I know. If it doesn’t work we’ll try again later.” But at the time, I really didn’t think we’d have any problems.
We used the same 3-day method that we did with Nic, and the first week was AWESOME. We had very few accidents after the first day and he’d go almost every time we put him on the potty.
However, after a few days, I noticed that he wasn’t really “self-initiating.” He wasn’t going over to the potty and sitting when he needed to go, rather he would wait for us to put him on the potty. This didn’t seem like a big deal, we just thought he needed more time to get the hang of it.
Then at about two weeks in, he started having accidents. MAJOR accidents. Poop on restaurant benches accidents. He started to resist sitting on the potty and then having accidents just a few minutes after we had put him on the potty. We tried to stick with it for another week, but after a big accident on my husband’s watch, we gave up.
This was hard for me. Potty training is exhausting and I felt like we had come so far only to have it slip away. But I knew that I couldn’t let the potty be a stressful thing for Z and that was what it was becoming (and for me too!). Ultimately, I told myself that I had to keep my word to Teacher Carol and that I had to take a few steps back.
At first I thought of it as defeat, like we had failed. Then I realized that was a silly way to look at it. Despite him showing so many signs of readiness (literally pulling off his diaper when he saw anyone use the potty, asking for potty books all the time), he just wasn’t ready.
And it wasn’t a total waste of time and effort. Z still does about half of his business on the potty, he’s just wearing a diaper in between. This is much less stressful for everyone. I still haven’t decided if we’ll try the 3-day method again, or if we’ll do the more gradual pull-ups thing. I’ve always been all for the 3-day method, but if being a mom has taught me anything, it’s that not everything works for all kids. I might just have to invest in some cloth pullups or follow one of these tutorials on Pinterest!