Let me tell you about potty-training a toddler with a newborn.
It is messy.
It is aggravating.
It will get done.
Yep, that’s right. No matter the difficulties, it will happen.
Prior to our sweet baby boy’s arrival, Angel Baby had already showed interest in using the potty. She was about 18 months old when she became aware of Mommy and Daddy using the big toilet and wanted to try it. We purchased her two potties, one for our upstairs bathroom and one for the downstairs bathroom.
She would use each for doing her business sporadically, but at least we now had colorful stools for her to use to reach the sinks for washing hands and brushing teeth.
I did a big push for using the potties one week when I was about 6 months pregnant, after she had turned two. This was a big mistake. She *knew* when she had to pee or poop; it was a matter of desire for her to do so. She didn’t want to. Simple as that. No amount of bribes or scolds was going to change her mind.
Don’t you realize it is much more fun to keep playing and just pee your diaper than to go allll the waaaay to the bathroom every time? Sheesh, Mom. Pay attention.
Skittles and M&Ms are great “rewards”. But it really only worked as a way for her to get candy. She would pee in her diaper if she felt like it; she would pee in the potty if she wanted treats. For real, kid?! You’re killing me, Smalls!
About two weeks before my due date*, I personally was done done DONE with the diapers. (Note: we were using cloth pocket diapers at the time.) I mean, I knew I was soon going to have another small person whose butt needed wiped. And much more frequently, I might add.
Angel Baby had been going Number Two in the toilet every day for a couple weeks, but she was still peeing in her diaper. It’s like she KNEW poop is gross and didn’t want that on her butt but the pee was a different story.
My darling little sister-in-law** had potty-trained her boy by spending just a few days with him at home where he wore big boy underwear. If he had an accident, he would learn to recognize when he needed to pee and that he had to use his potty or get pee all over himself. She said she even carried the potty from room-to-room during this time
I tried that for two days. Disastrous. Angel Baby didn’t care when she peed down her leg; Mommy still was the one cleaning it up. I swear she was biting her thumb at me.***
Some family drama, a baby boy born at 41+4****, Thanksgiving, 7 days in the NICU, and we were back to the start.
Not only had the potty not been a big focus while I was gone from her, but I WAS GONE FROM HER! This was traumatic, to say the least, for both of us. Then I come home with this noisy, needy thing that I tell her to be nice to because she now has a brother.
I need to find the photo of her that clearly says, “WTF, Mom?!”
Since I was changing the baby’s diapers, that must mean I’m happy to change her diapers, too.
Aw, hell, no.
I let that happen for about a week. Just to give Angel Baby the idea that I did love her as much and wasn’t doing the potty training as a way to brush her aside so I could be with her brother more.
Then it was Christmas. Santa is so freaking awesome that he stuffed her stocking with Big Girl Panties. Into the panties she went and the diapers went away.
She was using her toilets for everything. In 6 months, she has wet her panties twice and pooped them once. And that poop? She was sick and couldn’t make it to the bathroom on time.
What about bedtime?
Now we have one more battle to fight. She still goes into a diaper right before bed for the overnight. She doesn’t wake in the middle of the night so we don’t take her to the potty.
And I’m not going to set an alarm to wake me up to wake her up. Not just yet. I mean, I still haven’t slept a solid 8 hours in months. Until the little guy is ready to be a bit more independent in his sleep patterns, I am going to catch all the Zzzs I can.
We’ll get there. I mean, it isn’t like she’ll be 15 years old and still putting on a diaper to go to bed.
Although, let’s be honest: don’t you think sometimes it would be nice to wear a diaper to bed so you wouldn’t have to get up in the middle of the night? Hell, there are times where I’d take a catheter!*****
On the road again
Because we live in the middle of nowhere, one of the potties travels with us. I put it in a great big plastic bag, carry it out to our suv, and keep it in the back. I do have to pull over sometimes to get Angel Baby out so she can sit in the back of the car and do her business.
Luckily, she only poops at home.
Public restrooms are the worst. Any time we go someplace, she just *has* to use the bathroom. Every. Time. Which means I get to squat in front of a public toilet to hold my tiny toddler so she won’t fall in.
The bonus is that I am holding a baby, too. Luckily, I have an Ergo. I wear the baby while holding the toddler while squatting with my face inches from a public toilet.
Yeah, the glamorous life of toilet training a toddler with a newborn.
Share your pains and triumphs
Tell me about your toilet-training experiences. You know you want to get that out, vent about the poop up to your elbows, the pee all over the seat, the ridiculous advice you got from the people who swear they potty-trained their kids at 10 months. Wait, 10 months?! Like, before your kid could freaking walk?! So, explain to me how the child got to the toilet, pulled pants down, got on the toilet, did the business, wiped, and washed the hands WITHOUT BEING ABLE TO WALK!?
Oh, seriously… your kid was walking at 6 months. Huh. That would explain why, at 14, he or she is walking like John Wayne. Whatever.
*The “due date” most people are referring to is a date calculated to be exactly 40 weeks from the first day of a woman’s last period. By no means is this a deadline. Too many (ridiculous, uneducated) people consider this “due date” to be a deadline. C’mon, people! It’s just a possible date around which a pregnant woman may go into labor. Really, frighteningly, you can go at any time. Statistically, when I last checked, most babies that are not rushed from the womb by surgery or any artificial means, come around the 41 week mark. Just so you know. But you can Google it all you want.
**She’s younger than me, yet wiser in so many ways. And she’s, like, a foot taller than me. But she’s my little sis!
***Shakespearean reference. I’m a nerd.
****He was born healthy at a calculated 41 weeks and 4 days gestation.