Oh, potty training! Three words I dread.
When it came time to potty train my kids, I thought it would be pretty straight forward. You pee and poop into the toilet. How hard could it be? Little did I know it would take a year and a half for my son to be fully potty trained. So, if you’re in the woes of potty training, there is hope-they will eventually poop on the toilet.
The biggest piece of sage advice I received was to wait until they’re ready. This proved to be true for us. I pushed the issue when he was three- years- old and it didn’t go well at all. It was hard for everyone and there was lots of crying. Then we tried at three-and-a-half years old for a hot second. That didn’t work either. So right before he turned four, he finally pee-trained. There was laughter, lots of dancing and celebrating! It was a happy day!!
For pee training, we tried the 3-day method. This is when you don’t leave the house for 3 days and focus on the potty with the intensity of a ninja. You can read more about it here. We went commando for a weekend, gave lots of treats, and watched a lot of TV. This actually worked for peeing in the toilet, but not pooping. Pooping turned out to be our big issue. No matter what bribe we gave (I’m talking a Paw Patrol Sub Patroller!) or which celebration tactics we used, both my children refused to poop on the toilet.
At this point, I became so desperate to finish potty training we went to the PEEP Clinic in Littleton. This stands for Pediatric Effective Elimination Program.
They have a statistic which states that 1 in 5 children are affected by bowel and bladder dysfunction. Turns out both of my kids struggle with bowel dysfunction and need extra help. It’s a very rigorous program, but the results are amazing. They start with x-rays and then you go through desensitizing your kids to the toilet. Once we started the program, it took two months and the kids were both poop trained! To say I’m proud is an understatement. Bye, bye pull-ups!
There are a few caveats to keep in mind. My son has a slight fine-motor delay, and delays can be tied to increased difficulty with potty training. It all comes back to knowing you child and their struggles. We also separated the potty training into phases. I believe this is against what the experts say, but it worked for us. We wanted to get a win in with peeing, so we started there. Once peeing was under control, we felt we could move onto the hard stuff. Who knew pooping was so difficult?
So, grab a glass of wine, a good book or tv show, and get ready for the long ride. Some kids potty train easily, and others take time. Don’t forgot there’s help out there, too! Reach out to places like potty training clinics, therapists, and in-home potty training services.