As parents, we’re often torn between wanting our kids to move into that next exciting childhood phase OR to remain our little newborn baby forever!
Our son Harrison turned two-years-old this weekend. In some ways, he feels so much more advanced than Jack was at this age and in other areas, he still feels so much like our baby. Turning two is a pretty big milestone for tots. They can walk, they can talk, they play and they create. Two-year-old toddlers often know the difference between treats and veggies, they’re curious about their environment and they push boundaries (nearly every day). They’re also starting to venture into big-kid territory. With our boys being 23 months apart, Harrison is super excited about saying goodbye to babyhood. From riding a little scooter to potty training, he’s showing an early interest in learning things – fast!
Jack’s been potty trained for over six months now with little to no setbacks whatsoever. We still travel with Pull-Ups in the car and on long trips because the easy-open sides make accidents-on-the-go much easier to clean up. They also help Rick and I feel “armed” if an unforeseen circumstance shall arise (like turbulence on a plane when your child needs to use the potty). For Jack, all it took was the motivation to be a “big kid” and get ready for school (similar to neighbours and friends) to finally master the toilet.
Now, as we embark on Harrison’s potty training adventure we clearly understand the importance of keeping it fun, playful and offering rewards while trying to eliminate any pressure or stress. We’re much more confident because we know that all kids get there eventually – in their own time. It’s not a race. Potty Training is an exciting (albeit difficult at times) milestone but your child will get there!
Keeping Potty Training Fun!
Remember, it’s not meant to be a walk in the park. But, that doesn’t mean that potty training can’t still be fun and exciting for everyone involved.
Sometimes, toddlers simply need a fresh look at an old toy, book or topic. They like things that seem new, fun and educational so we’re approaching potty training in that same vein. We’ve seen from Harrison (around the age of 20 months) that he’s curious about potty training. He watches his brother use the little seats on the big toilets and often asks us to use the potty. So we’ve jumped on it and we’ve started his potty process.
This time around, we’re really focusing on the fun of it all since we now know that there’s a finish line – no matter how old your child is when he/she manages to finally potty train. Our boys love the Disney characters on the front of Pull-Ups, and our youngest actually feels like he’s wearing ‘Big Kid’ underwear (like his big brother) because he can slide them on and off himself and they have playful designs (just like Jack’s underwear). Harrison loves Mickey Mouse (that was his 2nd birthday party theme) so seeing the renowned mouse on the potty training products helps in that regard too. He sits his plush Mickey Mouse on the potty and talks him through the process so we know he’s internalizing the steps.
Harrison also seems fixated on the “big kid” experience because he sees his brother doing big boy things. Simple gestures like picking out his training pants from the drawer, pulling them up and sliding them off, and choosing his clothes, are all little things that he enjoys. With young toddlers the more fun something is, the longer they’ll stay focused so with potty training (which isn’t a quick task) it’s important to keep things fresh. If you’re looking for some new games or rewards, check out Pull-Ups.com.
We explore the games together, as a family. Since our boys love crafts, we love the DIY reward ideas online (they love the bathroom science and creative story telling) and are hoping to try to DIY storybook. The simple fact that rewards and incentives don’t need to cost a lot (like the penny in the piggy bank idea) is an important reminder for parents (although we did end up buying Jack a playful rollercoaster when he finally completed his potty training).
As it now stands, we’re using Pull-Ups training pants with Harrison, to reinforce the idea that he’s becoming a “Big Kid,” even though we’re not currently taking a strict approach to potty training at this age/stage. As I mentioned, we’ve seen signs of readiness, but I can tell that the focus isn’t quite there yet. Training pants are ideal for this in-between stage (where you’ve introduced your toddler to the idea of using the potty but they’re not quite there yet) to help keep them out of diapers and on track. When he has accidents, Pull-Ups easy-open-sides make clean up much easier than having to slide the mess down his legs.
We’re now really embracing a laid back approach to keep the process positive. He’s mastered peeing on the potty (but sometimes goes when he sits on any similarly shaped item like a kids chair, for example). So, for now, we’re sticking with the training pants until he’s ready for underwear.
Overall, the second time around feels a lot more relaxed for everyone. We’re embracing the “fun” as a family. Harrison is a keen learner and my husband and I learned a lot the first time around so we’re both more confident. We know it’s not a race and that Harrison will get there at his own pace. We keep Pull-Ups in our vehicles, bags and travel items to make sure we’re always prepared and this time around we’re refused to go back to diapers as a backup.
We’ll keep you posted on progress this second time around. And, we’d love to continue hearing about your experiences. Let us know if you noticed a difference with your kids. Was there any one thing that really worked for your family? Are you currently potty training and feel like it’s hopeless? For more potty training resources and to learn more about Pull-Ups® Training Pants, visit Pull-Ups.com
Note: this post is in partnership with Pull-Ups Training Pants. It reflects our honest story and experiences.