Early on we decided that we wouldn’t potty train. We would let our kids learn to use the potty in their own time and at their own pace. This hasn’t stopped us from bringing up the potty and reminding our littles that it is there to use we don’t say much beyond that. That was until Edith turned 3 and she hit the point where using the potty would be required, for example to get into the next level of swim lessons.
When we talked with Edith about this she immediately declared she wanted to use the potty and wear underwear. We were excited for her but also the idea of potty learning was new and strange thing for all of us. Suddenly we started to get stressed out about Edith using the potty and we would get frustrated when she chose to not use the potty because she didn’t want to stop (fill in the blank).
We kept having conversations about how if she was to wear undies that she had to use the potty, that she couldn’t go in her undies but it just kept happening. We got more and more frustrated and finally feeling frustrated and out of options we chose to have her go back to diapers.
Feeling a bit defeated we tried to figure out how we were going to make it work. Did we need to buy her cloth training underwear – ones where if she peed or pooped she would know it and feel it right away? Or were we trying too hard?
We finally realized we were just trying to force it and we were working far too hard because the reality is when Edith feels fully ready she will use the potty. We decided to stop stressing and meet in the middle. We are turned to pull-ups which allow her to use the potty when she wanted but it also means when we were not having to deal with a huge mess.
After many months of patiently letting her take the lead she finally decided to fully commit at around 4 years old. I know this may sound crazy to some people out there but it’s what worked for us. Being on our second round of potty learning as well it we have passed the 4 year mark and Alder still has no desire to even try the potty. So we will wait, offer, make underwear, pull-ups and the potty available. We will ask and encourage but NO pressure.
When Edith was finally ready to fully commit to using the potty we celebrated with new underwear and we will do the same for Alder. While I realize our approach isn’t the one most people would take it’s what works for us. And whenever I do find myself getting annoyed I remind myself of the wise words of my friends mom “They won’t walk down the aisle in diapers.”