Friday, September 19, 2014

Potty Training: Pros and Cons

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I recently wrote about potty training. We chose the slow and steady method of potty training and it really went much better than I could have even hoped. My first child was potty trained at 27 months and I had a 5 month old at the time. The first time around really wasn't all that bad but I still absolutely dreaded the thought of having to go through it a second time. 
Potty training just isn't the most pleasant or pleasurable of the parenting responsibilities. No matter how you choose to potty train; slow and steady or 1 day crash coarse, there are pros and cons once your child is toilet trained!


1. Pant removal.

In the beginning, the pants and underpants have to be fully removed each and every time they go. Every single time. Not around the knees, not at the ankles. Completely off.  Every. Single. Time.
2. Even later leaving the house: 
As if it wasn't hard enough to get out of the house in under an hour already, now you have to make sure the child has tried to potty - at least once - before leaving the house. This is rarely as easy and straight forward as saying, "Now it's time to go potty."
3. The diaper bag is bigger than ever. 

In the very beginning of potty training "success" the size of the diaper bag does not change. In fact, I find myself bringing at least 4 changes of clothes instead of 2 with 8 pairs of underpants because I just don't want to jinx myself. Or smell pee all the way home. 

4. A new wardrobe.

Those 2T pants that fit perfectly with a diaper on are now falling off that tiny booty in big girl underpants and I find myself wondering if they make belts that small. And while onesis are essential for the diaper-clad baby they are no longer practical. Unless you like fighting with crotch snaps while your child is doing the potty dance.
5. Public bathrooms! 

Need I say more?!  I can actually count on my fingers how many times I took my babies into a public bathroom and changed their diapers. I avoided this at all cost and often chose to change them on the front seat of my car over taking them into public bathrooms. Now, we must go in there and for some reason the kids find it necessary to touch the floor during each visit. 
6. Bedtime delays.

Even in diapers, kids are great at bedtime delay tactics. But while in the trenches of potty training when their interest is peaking, I could NOT tell them no when they ask to go. Even if it's during bedtime and they have gone 3 times in the last hour. Even if I tell them there's no way they have to go again. We must go through the process. And when they manage to push out a drop, I must sing and dance and be happy. 


1. No more diaper changes.

As that sweet baby turns into a wild toddler, changing diapers begins to feel like wrestling a tiger. It's exhausting! Asking them to sit on the potty is actually much easier.

2. The clean-up. 

It is so much nicer to just hear, "Mommy! I'm done!" and then do a quick wipe than to have to deal with smashed poo.

3. They are so proud of themselves. 

It is so great to see the look of accomplishment on their faces and how proud they are of themselves when they succeed. It's truly adorable. 

4. Less laundry. 

We used a combination of cloth and disposable.Toilet trained means at least one less load of laundry a week. And even one less load of laundry is a big gift. This is assuming they aren't actually going through the 4 changes of clothes mentioned above.

5. Serious money saver. 

Enough said.

6. They are potty trained!  

And that is a big, big relief. The truth is that we have very little control over the timing of potty training. This is something a child has to decide on their own and we are just there to guide them. It's a bit daunting having so little control. So when it's over, it's definitely a relief. 

And now, I can focus on other more pleasant and pleasurable parenting responsibilities. Like teaching the kids to STOP drinking the bath water...which may or may not have pee in it. Despite the fact that they are potty trained! 

What are some potty training pros and cons you have experienced? 


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