Potty Training Mistakes with My Two-Year Old

Mistake #1: No definitive preparation.

We, as a family, dove into this process with no warning. It was the beginning of the year and we had a 3-day weekend so that Friday morning I decided that it would be a great idea to potty train my 2-year old, Gabriella. I definitely should have done more preparation as far as going into it with a game plan.

Mistake #2: Not having a reward system in place.

I feel like I made the mistake of using food as a reward for my son way too often. Now, at the age of 5, when commend him for doing something he immediately asks what kind of dessert he can have. I’ve been trying to explain that he doesn’t get dessert or candy every time he does something well but it has been a hard habit to break. So for Gabriella I didn’t want to make the same mistake. When she successfully used the potty I would just make it a huge deal and showing her with praise and high fives. I think it worked for a little bit but after a while praise was no longer a good enough motivation to keep using the bathroom. Im thinking I will try something else like stickers to see if that works.

Mistake #3: Making sure everyone is on board.

When it is time to potty train and the toddler goes to daycare it is relatively easy to ensure that he/she stays the course because the teachers at the school will assist, plus the toddler sees their classmates doing it as well. This encouragement is not as strong when stuck at home. My mom-in-law watches Gabriella right now and since it was such a spur of the moment decision, she had no idea that she would need to take over the training once the 3-day weekend had ended. I definitely should have discussed it with her first so that she was on board and prepared to continue training Gabriella.

Mistake #4: Recognizing my own readiness and limitations.

I should have really just checked in with myself to make sure I was ready for potty training. It takes quite a bit of time a work to ensure that Gabriella is being placed on the toilet every few hours, and to clean her up when she has an accident, and to rush her to the restroom when she says she has to go (even though she really does not have to go). If I had put all of these factors into more consideration I probably would have waited to start the process until I had more time to dedicate beyond the first 3 days.

Due to the above mistakes there was certainly a regression that occurred about a week after we started training. I’m not defeated though and I am honestly okay with it. At the end of the day she did just turn two so there is plenty of time and I’m honestly not in a rush. I thought about potty training her this early because I wanted her to stop taking her diapers off herself right after she went. At least this particular behavior has stopped. And in that there is success.

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