Experience is always helpful in any situation, and this is why I have decided to include this section into PottyHQ.
The aim is simple; we want to have it directly from mothers. I would be interviewing mothers on various topics every month, the topic would directly relate to the general theme of our website, and as such we hope that users would find it very resourceful to read.
This is the first edition, and I am very glad to have a mother, and a paediatric nurse as my first guest. On this edition, we would be talking about potty training in general. How to get it done, who should get it done, things needed and mistakes to avoid while potty training your kids.
Cassie is a mother to a beautiful baby girl, and also a registered nurse, she specializes in paediatrics and women’s health, she runs a blog about family, kids and life experience. Her blog is a documentary of her effort in raising her baby girl, Cassie intends to teach mothers from her experience and as such, she documents everything along the way.
Before you continue reading this post, check out her blog, hop in the email list and learn directly from a mother that isn’t shy to tell you about her success and mistakes.
Jasmine: Thanks for Honoring Our Monthly Mommy Interview request. Can you tell our audience a little bit about you?
Cassie: My name is Cassie and I am a pediatric, women’s health, and labor and delivery nurse and a mother to one. I currently have a blog, Mommy, RN, that shares my knowledge with other parents but it’s more than that.
I share parenting advice, health and wellness tips for women and children, and even my parenting blunders on my blog.
Jasmine: With your experience as a pediatric nurse, when do you think it’s appropriate to commence potty training for toddlers?
Cassie: This is a little more challenging. So many people have this thought that children need to be potty trained by a certain age, but this isn’t the case.
The most appropriate time is when your toddler shows interest in using the potty chair, can stay dry for at least an hour or more, and you have the time and patience to spend training your child.
Your child also needs to be able to get to the bathroom by themselves, be able to communicate with you that they have to use the bathroom, and they are able to pull their pants up and down.
The timing really depends on you and your child, but generally anywhere between the ages of 18 months and 3 years old.
Jasmine: There are different ideas and potty training method. Most people adopt the the three days method, what’s your take on this method?
Cassie: In theory, it’s a great idea, but no child can really be fully potty trained in 3 days.
The idea behind the 3-day method is that you consistently put your child on the potty chair at regular intervals, usually starting at every 15 minutes the increasing the time between breaks.
You may find that your child learns when they have to go to the bathroom, but there will still be accidents, it can take up to 6 months before there are no accidents.
Jasmine: Some parents believe that the use of “bribe” during training is not ideal, what’s your view on this?
Cassie: This depends on your child and what motivates them. The bribe will not last forever, so if it helps your child want to use the potty chair then that’s fine.
It doesn’t work for every child, though. You have to figure out what works for you and your child.
For some children stickers or candy work, while for others just being in “big kid undies” works. Some children do better with pull-ups, while others do better if they run around naked.
Jasmine: I know you deal with kids; considering your line of work. Sometimes, it’s pretty hard to get them to do something if they’re not willing to. In this case, how do you get them to agree to potty training?
Cassie: Plain and simple, you can’t get them to agree to it. As I mentioned before they have to be interested.
There will come a time when your toddler doesn’t like the way a wet or dirty diaper feels and that is when you can get them to potty train.
They have to be interested and willing to do it, you can’t get them to agree to potty training if they are not ready or developmentally able to hold their bladder.
Jasmine: Let’s talk about mistakes during potty training. Without thinking too much, what are the few mistakes that might arise during training and possible tips on how to deal with them.
Cassie: There are several mistakes that can be made during potty training, but there are 2 big mistakes that parents need to avoid.
The biggest mistake is getting upset about accidents. It can be frustrating when you have cleaned pee off the floor 15 times, trust me I have been there, but do not get upset or shame your child.
If you get upset with your child they will get frustrated with themselves because toddlers want to please you, and when the sense you are upset this may push them away from the potty chair.
The second mistake people make is switching between diapers and pull-ups or underwear. This is not a good idea because diapers are made to pull water away from the body, meaning it’s harder for them to feel when they are wet.
With pull-ups and underwear, they will feel when they are wet and know they should have gone to the bathroom. You should even use pull-ups at night when you are trying to potty train. The best way to avoid making this mistake is to get rid of all the diapers and not buy any more.
Jasmine: Let’s assume am about to commence potty training for my baby girl, what are the ideal items to get in preparation for the training?
Cassie: You really don’t need a lot to get ready for potty training, but you need to decide how you want to do it.
You need to decide if you want to use toddler underwear or pull-ups. Depending on which route you go will determine what you need to buy. Either way, try to get underwear or pull-ups that your child will like. For example, if you child has a favorite cartoon character try to get underwear or pull-ups with that character on them.
You also need to decide if you want to use a potty chair or the regular toilet. If you want to us a potty chair then you need to purchase a potty chair, but if you want to use the regular toilet you need to buy a toddler toilet seat cover (again you can get them in them in your child’s favorite character if you want) and a stool for them to get up on the toilet. You also need a stool (some potty chairs can be used as a stool as well) so your child can reach the sink to wash their hands.
Cleaning supplies and other miscellaneous items. If you decide to go straight to underwear you will need to make sure you have paper towels and cleaning supplies to clean messes up. If you want to offer your child a bribe for using the potty then you need to have those items handy as well.
Jasmine: This is a quick one, baby boy or girl from your experience; which of them learn pretty fast when it comes to potty training?
Cassie: This one really depends on the child. Generally, girls are easier to potty train because they always sit on the potty, so they don’t have a problem going pee and poop in the potty. Boys can be a little harder because they generally stand (though this can be made easier if you start by training your boy to pee sitting down).
Some moms opt to let their little boys pee outside, and this sometimes makes it easier to potty train them because they enjoy being able to point their stream. Also, children who have an older sibling to set an example are often easier to potty train. It really depends on the child and the situation, but in general, I think most people agree that girls are easier to potty train.
Jasmine: Finally, Do you have any other tips for mothers, it might not necessarily be about potty training. Just anything that you think mothers with toddlers would find useful.
Cassie: The biggest thing is to not compare your child to other children. Every child develops at their own pace and doing something early or late does not mean that your child is any more or less smart than another child.
This goes for everything, not just potty training, but walking, talking, crawling, rolling and so on. For example, my daughter was walking by 10 months, and talking by 18 months, but she is 2 1/2 and she has no interest in potty training.
I am not worried and not going to push it until she is ready because I know that she will get there. Just let your child develop and learn at his or her pace and don’t think that because another child around their age is doing something they have to be doing it too. If you are ever concerned about your child’s development, talk to your doctor.
PS: For experienced moms that would like to get featured in our series, please contact me using the form on the contact page, and I will get back to you as soon as possible.
You never can tell; you story might help someone halfway across the globe.