Little boy potty training

Potty Training Bootcamp

In school, we all had subjects that caused us undue stress. In the school of parenting, mine was potty training. My anxiety around starting was so unreasonable you’d think I was the one who might wet my pants in public! I couldn’t decide when to ‘enroll’ — two? Two and a half? What should we use — a small plain potty, a small potty adorned with cute characters, a potty seat atop of big potty?

I read so much on the dangers of getting this potty training wrong and how horrible setbacks could be that I was virtually frozen for a period of time. But there was so much peer pressure to start. I had friends tell me we ‘missed the window’, my parents were saying “she is too big for diapers!”.

But I knew a few things for certain 1) my daughter is a worrier (sorry kid, I did this to you!) and if she wasn’t ready the frustration could get the best of her. 2) I wanted to be the one to train her (not so easy for a working mom). 3) Because of #2, I needed something that would work quickly.

Enter Dr. Suzanne Riffel’s “The Potty Boot Camp”. There are so many great things about this book. Most important to me:

  • It is a very short book (call me a lazy student, but I just couldn’t read a lengthy book on this subject).
  • It’s a simple straightforward concept.
  • It worked!!!

We started at 26 months and Emma was accident free by the end of her first week. I used a seat on top of the big potty (the Baby Bjorn Toilet Trainer works great because it’s a secure, easy fit) rather than buying her a little potty of her own. I’m a fan in all circumstances of limiting the number of transitions, so if we could get her trained on the big potty from the beginning, we’d only have to conquer potty training once. Plus Emma loved the idea of using the big potty just like mommy.

If the Boot Camp is too extreme for you, I looked into some other books before picking this one. The most recommended by my trusted circle of friends was “Oh Crap” by Jamie Glowacki. I bought it, but Emma finished the Boot Camp before I could crack it open!

OK, so before you think I’ve aced this entire subject, let me tell you the place I continue to struggle–getting her to go in public (by the way I totally need to call this something else as I do realize peeing in public is not desired behavior at any age, but you know what I mean).

I think it’s my fault. She asked me to go while we were out to dinner and I did not foresee the blood curdling scream and terror that would ensue when the automatic flusher flushed whilst Emma was mid-pee. Thinking on my feet, I cheered wildly exclaiming this was a magic potty! The most awesome thing I’ve ever seen, and Emma must be magical like Abby Cadabby, but it was too late and this fear has continued for the past month.

I just read this great post on ParentHacks that made me realize I’m not alone. If you have any other tips, would love to hear about them in the comments!

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