3 Tips for Keeping Your Sanity While Potty Training Your Toddler

Monday, September 1, 2014

Oh my heavens.  I don't like potty training.  I don't like it at all.  We're actually just coming through on the other side with Max, and I honestly don't even know how long we've been at it.   All those Pinterest posts that promise your child can be potty trained in a weekend?  Lies.  At least for us.  I'd say Max has been potty trained during the day for probably 5 months, but staying dry through the night has just clicked in the past month or so.  Which means laundry for days and days.

I finally figured out a system that requires less laundry most of the time and I feel like banging my face on the washing machine for not having figured it out sooner.  If I would've known these things when I started potty training rather than at the end of potty training, I'm 80% sure there would've been fewer swear words.  Without further ado:

Plastic pants + training underwear = significantly less pee everywhere.  Max wigged out when I first put the plastic pants on him, but guess what?  I'm the mom and I'm bigger than he is.  Somehow I convinced him to keep them on.  Added bonus, not having to wear them anymore is an extra incentive to stay dry through the night.  It did take a couple of times for me to realize that although Max had stayed dry, the underwear was still damp because he's a sweaty little boy and that plastic is not breathable.  So before you heave another disappointed sigh, make sure you figure out why the underwear is damp and maybe you can celebrate instead.

I didn't start doing this until probably a month ago and I wish I had been doing it all along.  I don't know what I was thinking...I'm pretty sure this is the first thing most people put their kids in when potty training, unless you're me.  *facepalm*

I know.  This may seem a bit much, but let me explain.  The waterproof zipper pillow case keeps the pillow dry.  The cotton zipper pillow case makes the vinyl a little less crinkly sounding when your kid lays their head down and if you put the zipper side into the pillowcase first, they don't realize it can come off (unless they take the pillowcase completely off).

My washing machine is basically the size of a thimble, so washing Max's pillow on a regular basis was out of the question.  Even if you're washing three pillowcases, they still take up significantly less room in the washer than a pillow.

If you're diligent about tip #1, you may be able to disregard tip #2.

Let me preface this tip by saying how much I loathe removing the fitted sheet and the mattress protector, washing them, and then putting them back on.  It drove me insane.  I don't know why, but it did.  That's why I used a waterproof crib pad and a flat sheet in addition to the fitted sheet and the mattress protector.  That way, I only had to rip off the top two layers (which took two seconds) and throw those in the wash AND his mattress was still protected in case he slept on it before I had made it up again.

There are also nights where Max decides to sleep on the other end of his bed, which doesn't have a crib pad on it.  It is still covered by the mattress protector though, so not a big deal (except that then I have to strip the entire bed and wash it...).

There you have it.  What's worked for you when potty training?

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