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More than You Ever Wanted to Know about My Toddler's Potty Issues

You know that point in potty training your child when you think you’re finally home free?

When the little guy or gal is wearing undies instead of diapers or training pants and it all seems to have clicked?

When, even during jaunts about town running errands or visiting the homes of friends, your toddler uses even unfamiliar toilets with ease?

My daughter is there. Finally.

Or so I thought, until we left for vacation over the weekend (more on that momentarily).

Potty training my daughter has not been the easy process I assumed it would be when, at 18 months, she started showing signs of readiness. After potty training her two older brothers with a good deal of difficulty and stalling and one step forward and two steps back, I thought she’d be a breeze.

I mean, girls are easier, right?

Wrong. She may have shown signs of readiness at 18 months old, but she soon reached a potty training plateau where she stayed for a year. It wasn’t until she was two and a half that she started using the potty consistently, and it wasn’t until her third birthday that she could be trusted to leave the house in panties.

In the 6 weeks since she turned three, though, she’s made a lot of progress. She wakes up dry. Goes to the bathroom without assistance. She even refuses to wear training pants when it’s not bedtime. I’m so proud of her for how much she’s grown.

So proud that I’ve perhaps become a bit smug about the whole thing. Smug is not a good look.

When we were making plans for our vacation I had no reason to think that it would cause a frustrating potty training backslide for my toddler. Three days into our trip, though, she started complaining of a stomach ache and that’s when I realized that she hadn’t had a Code Brown in days.

Suffice it to say that what followed was an unpleasant experience for all parties involved.

Her potty issues have not been limited to poo, either. She hates rest stop bathrooms and refuses to use them (and I can’t really blame her).

This bafroom’s NASTY, Mama.

So she holds it until acceptable facilities can be found, the little diva.

She sounds very prim and proper, I realize, but you must know that this is the same child who pees in the backyard alongside her brothers and once told me that she wished she had a penis so that she could aim better at the tree.

I suspect that her issue is the sitting on toilets that she perceives as dirty, and that if she could stand we’d have no problems. She’s even started asking for her training pants again, and although I did pack some just in case, I really don’t want her to regress to wearing them.

Has anyone else had this issue with their toddlers? Any and all advice is appreciated!

Unless you want to tell me that I shouldn’t be letting my children pee outside. That is not my hill to die on.

Mary Lauren Weimer is a social worker turned mother turned writer. Her blog, My 3 Little Birds, encourages moms to put down the baby books for a moment and tell their own stories. Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

More by Mary Lauren:

How to Think Like a Toddler

Ten Truths about Toddlers: What Parents Should Know

Potty Training Tips from the Experts: Moms!

Photo Credit: Terry Johnston/Flickr

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