10 TRUTHS You Need To Know About Potty Training

When I began my research on potty training tips, tricks and how-tos, I found a wealth of information. But what I didn't find was the parent support I needed. I never read warnings about how daunting, messy and LONG potty training can be.

So, my friends, for today's top 10 Tuesday, I am going to share 10 of parenting's dirty little secrets about potty training a toddler... 

1. Potty training is not an event, it's a process. Potty training can literally take years! It's not over when your kid becomes a daytime potty pro, nighttime is a much different story. 
Sure, some parents will tell you their kid was "easy" to potty train, but chances are, they have blacked out just how long and messy it really was.

2. Expect regular golden showers. You WILL get peed on, and so will every hard to reach crack and crevasse in your home. Especially if you try the 'free ballin' for a weekend' method with your little. Kids are really good about hitting those spots, especially boys. Parents of girls, just because your little isn't equipped with a firehose, don't think you are exempt from golden rainbows of pee, accidents happen to the best of us, especially the little streakers.

3. Daytime potty training is a completely different process from nighttime training. Some parents report an extra year (or two!) of nighttime potty training. Ollie is three, has been potty trained for about four months now, and still wears a pull-up to sleep.  I read until he wakes up for two weeks with a dry diaper, or begins to wake up and go at night, don't even bother skipping the nighttime nappy. 

I mean, how do you teach a sleeping kid to wake up and pee? Especially when you are asleep too! (See my post on the Chummie of you are out of your mind with nighttime training.)

4. It's Messy. Messy. Messy. Messy.  Do yourself a favor, stock up on antibacterial disinfecting wipes (For EVERY room in the house!) and LOTS of hand soap for you both.

5. Your days of wiping ass are FAR from over. Just because your kid can crap on his own, doesn't mean he can wipe his bottom on his own. I know my sister was still wiping my nephew's butt until he was nearly five.

TIP:  Buy stock in a flushable wipes company. The amount of money you will spend on the things will make you sick. Owning stock in a wipes company will replace your child's college tuition you had to spend on the damn things.

6. Not all toilets are created equal. Just because your kid is a potty pro at home or daycare, doesn't mean he'll crap in any ol' can. Kids are fickle about their potty place at first. Some will happily pee in their pants over an unknown potty.

TIP: Remember those nasty seedy public potties you had to use when you were pregnant, and SWORE you would never use again? Well... It's time for an Encore. With your child. Don't pass a potty without offering it up. Or, at the very least, decide which is worse, using that vomit vortex, or having pee pants? Plan for it by keeping a makeup bag in your handbag with travel size flushable wipes, antibacterial wipes and gel, and a folded paper towel or two for those bathrooms that are out of towels or only have a "super scary dryer". Also, investing in seat covers is not a bad idea...

 They come in a pack of 6 ($5.99 on Amazon) Buy it here

7. Teach the fundamentals first. The potty training game changer came for us when Ollie learned to take off his diaper on his own. (Pull-ups helped!) When he was able to take off his diaper and climb up his little stool to the potty, he really turned the potty training corner. It was like he was so proud that he could do it ALL on his own.

8. This Is Not A Boy Girl Thing! When we started potty training, EVERYONE told me to be patient, because, "Boys take longer to potty train than girls." Not. So. Much. Ollie potty trained before three Girls the same age as him. It's not a boy-girl thing, it's a one-child-to-the-next thing.  

9. Forward mail to your bathroom, because that's where you'll live for the next year. After talking with a few parents (read: trading war stories) about how our children are CONSTANTLY in the bathroom now that they can go alone, we came to the conclusion that our children never had a reason to go into the bathroom alone. Since most children find bath time a waste of time, the bathroom was never a fun place to be... until they controlled what went on in that tiled playground. My child is OBSESSED with the toilet. He loves being in the bathroom. If he's not climbing on the bathtub, he's playing in the toilet. You may remember the post on Be Very Afraid If Your Child Says This To You...

That one time Ollie mopped the floors with toilet water...

10. Age is not a virtue when it comes to potty training. Some kids get it immediately after turning one. Some get it, but don't want to bother with it until they are three. Other tots are just not ready, and won't be for some time; possibly not until they turn four. Your frustration will spill over to your child, so try to keep it together. The last thing you want is potty training regression. 

Your best bet is to wait for the cues before forcing the poos. And what ever you do, don't get discouraged, or your child will too.

What were you surprised to learn about potty training?

April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit AprilMcCormick.com