Key Take aways:
- Don't focus only on your child. You need to make sure you, and any potty training partners, are getting rest and lots of liquids as well
- Try and avoid times when you'll be distracted or overwhelmed. It's ok if your child waits until you're ready, too
- Identify scheduling conflicts (travel, moving, work deadlines, etc.) and have plans for them or reschedule
- Touch base with others who provide care for your child
- Find support
article summary: The area you may neglect to prepare is yourself. But, you, as the parent/caregiver/adult in your child's life, make a huge difference in how this journey goes. And, some people may find there is no amount of self-preparation that can ready them for this next phase. Yet, there are some steps you can take to make this next phase of parenting as smooth as possible. For example, don't start potty training when you have a looming work deadline, a vacation, or a significant change headed your way. Also, try to rally support from your partner and other fellow potty trainers in your life, so you have someone to share about your good and not-so-good moments.
Potty training takes a shit-ton of grace and patience. It also forces you to block out other people's opinions of how you are doing. All of these things are challenging on a normal day, in normal circumstances, but potty training can take it to a whole new level.
Get your head in the game
Let's be real: You need to be in a good headspace for helping your child achieve this next milestone. That probably feels like a ton of pressure, but you are their partner in crime when it comes to slaying this whole potty training thing. How you react to any bumps in the road will influence how they react and feel about their progress.
If you are feeling maxed out mentally (and physically) from other things in your life, such as a new baby, moving, job frustrations, relationship issues, etc., it may be best to wait to start potty training until you have a clearer head. However, if your child is showing signs of readiness, you will want to get going ASAP, because it is much easier to train when they are ready than when that ship has sailed. All in all, don’t delay too long if your child is interested in using the potty, but you are allowed to make sure you, too, are ready to get after it.
Make time for it
This process is going to eat up quite a bit of your time, especially if you are trying to get your L.O. to master this skill in a short amount of time. Also, you may have an idea in your head about how long this is going to take. Prepare yourself ahead of time that this process is likely going to take a lot longer than you initially thought.
Jaime Glowacki, author of “OH CRAP!” recommends that if you're doing an intensive program (like the 3-Day Method), do yourself a favor and clear your schedule for the next week or two after you start. Keep your focus on the child and this phase, and try to limit activities. This helps keep you less stressed and puts less pressure on the child.
Also, plan to stay close to home as much as possible. Introducing activities while being away from home during this time can just cause confusion and lead to accidents that could have been avoided.
Indeed, even if you are not planning to do an intensive program, it can help to give yourself a few weeks at the beginning where you limit your tasks and time away from home so you can quickly recognize the signs that your child needs to go to the bathroom. Wiggle room in your schedule also allows you to feel less stressed when accidents inevitably happen.
On that note —> if you have any travel plans or looming work deadlines, it may be best to wait until these things pass to really get after it.
Snag another partner
Looping in a spouse, close relative, friend, or child care partner (like a nanny or someone at daycare) can be so helpful in this process. You will probably not be the only person helping your kid potty train, so make sure you and whoever else is helping you are on the same page about your child’s specific potty training needs.
Just like your kid needs your unwavering support, you also need someone to lean on. Keep in touch with a fellow potty training parent, join a virtual parenting group, or reach out to your pediatrician or potty experts. Keep in mind: do not measure your child’s progress against anyone else. And for heaven’s sake, don’t give any fucks if anyone blesses you with their opinion on how you and your kid are doing (unless it’s your pediatrician and they have medical concerns. In that case, grab a pen and paper and write that shit down. 😜)