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You Can Lead a Toddler to the Toilet…

Oh potty training – how I loathed thee. The persuading, begging, demanding, hoping, bribing and crying (by me, mostly) were more than I bargained for. And the length of time that it took to be fully finished with the process was definitely a shocker.

Truth be told, if my son’s preschool hadn’t imposed a deadline by which all of his classmates had to be officially using the potty, we may STILL be in diapers! We went into the process knowing that Max has done mostly everything a little late: walking, talking, eating on his own, etc. So we started the arduous process of potty training around his 3rd birthday, and it was a good 8 weeks of struggle.

Sure, we tried the “fool proof” methods that our friends swore by, like promising a small treat when he did used the potty; sitting him on the potty 30 minutes after a meal and camping out there until he accidentally went; even sitting for an hour or more on the bathroom floor reading stories and singing songs hoping that he would relax and let it flow. Of course, the minute we took him off the potty, he went into his room and “went” in his diaper. Ugh.

What finally worked for us was doing nothing. He just decided that he wanted to use the potty like Daddy, and so he started. Seriously. I’m sure we gave him a good foundation by all of the above strategies (plus a cute potty seat, sticker sets and a DVD of Elmo Goes to the Potty), but ultimately he was in charge. It’s the old adage of “You can lead a toddler to the toilet, but you can’t make him go.” We took all the advice we were offered, and he just took his time.

And speaking of the 2 months of agony that we endured, I discovered a website/book by a woman named Lora Jensen called “3 Day Potty Training.” It has gotten coverage in many legit parenting magazines and other forums, apparently. Here’s the link: I have not personally used this method, but surely it couldn’t hurt to try it. Three days sounds heavenly compared to 2 months.

Whatever your method of potty training, I wish you speedy returns. (and minimal tears!)

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