You’ve tried everything and nothing seems to be working.
You know you’re making potty training mistakes that are sabotaging your efforts, but you’re not sure what to do.
You’ve tried all the friendly advice you’ve received but now you’re exhausted and ready to give up.
If this is you, don’ worry. There are usually a few key reasons potty training may not be working for you and your toddler.
First, remember that it’s not your fault.
If this is your first child, it’s normal to not know how to go about potty training. Parenting doesn’t come with a manual.
You also may have gotten bad advice. Many well-meaning strangers offer their opinions, but that doesn’t mean that what they recommend is right for your child.
What about if you’ve had success potty training a child before but now the same methods aren’t working?
Every child is different and what worked for one may not work for others.
With these things in mind, let’s talk about some of the potty training mistakes that could be sabotaging your efforts.
Potty training mistakes
If you’ve been at this potty training thing for a while and haven’t been successful, it’s time to take a step back and figure out what could be wrong.
Here are the five common potty training mistakes:
- Potty training too early
- Rushing through potty training
- Being inconsistent
- Not getting help
- Comparing your toddler to other toddlers
Let’s explore these further!
Mistake #1: Potty training too early
There is a great pressure in society to get kids potty trained as early as possible. And who can blame them?
When your child is potty trained, there will be no more dirty diapers to change, money savings from not buying diapers, and no more diaper bags.
It’s very attractive.
So understandably people try to push potty training as quickly as possible because it’s more convenient.
However, if you are trying to get your toddler potty trained before they are ready, you’re doing him and yourself a disservice.
Mistake #2: Rushing through potty training
Once you’re confident your toddler is ready to be potty trained, you could still be sabotaging your efforts by rushing him through it.
A toddler learns through repetition and practice which can’t be rushed.
So thinking that you can make him grasp the concept, refine it and never have any problems after that is a recipe for disaster.
Mistake #3: Being inconsistent
Start. Stop. Start. Stop.
Being inconsistent will get you nowhere fast.
With any skill in life, you have to dedicate time and patience to getting it right.
Potty training a toddler one day, then letting them go in diapers for three days and then trying potty training again will stop their progress and you’ll find yourself starting over every time with this method.
Mistake #4: Not getting support
Everyone who is involved in the care of your toddler will need to know how you want her potty trained.
If you are not sharing the method you’re using and how you want other caretakers to support your efforts, you’re slowing down progress and making it harder on yourself and more confusing for your toddler.
Not getting the support you need could be sabotaging your toddlers potty training.
Mistake #5: Comparing your toddler to other toddlers
Comparison isn’t just the thief of joy, it’s also the thief of progress!
You could be slowing your progress by constantly comparing what your child is doing with what other kids around you are doing by continuously readjusting your strategy to be like theirs.
This is similar to inconsistency that we talked about above.
A sure way to sabotage your potty training efforts is to always think the grass is greener on the other side and try to be like other moms by doing what they are doing.
How to fix your potty training mistakes
Now that you know what you’re doing wrong, let’s fix it!
Solution #1: Wait until your toddler is ready
Instead of starting your potty training journey before your child is ready, wait until she shows signs of interest and readiness.
When there is less hesitation from your toddler, the process will be smoother for everyone.
Everything doesn’t have to be perfect, but one thing you do want to make sure of is that your toddler is a ready and willing participant.
Solution #2: Don’t rush the process
It’s worth repeating that every child is different.
While some toddlers potty train in a weekend, others take two weeks before they’ve got the process mastered.
Either way is okay.
What’s more important is that you don’t try to rush your child to move faster than their little body is working.
Be patient and let them take their time learning and practicing and everyone will be happier.
Solution #3: Be consistent
In potty training, every step builds on the last one.
That means you can’t start and stop over and over and be inconsistent.
If you start one day continue to build on that progress. Don’t skip days at a time and expect your toddler will pick up where you left off.
Skipping a few days of potty training to wear diapers and then wanting your toddler to wear underwear the next day can be confusing.
Keep it consistent and predictable instead.
Solution #4: Share your potty training efforts with other caretakers
You’ll need to keep other caretakers like babysitters, daycare workers and grandparents in the loop.
You’re not an island, so it will be beneficial to share the things you’re doing to help potty train your toddler with others to have the help and support you need.
It can also help so that everyone isn’t using a different potty training method.
You know what works best for your child so sharing it with others who need to know will reduce the chances of them unknowingly sabotaging what you’re doing.
Solution #5: Stop comparing your toddler
Your neighbors kid was potty trained in three days?
That’s great for them but don’t compare your toddler with theirs. Your child is on her own journey and will progress in her own time.
No need to switch and do what other moms say work better just because that’s how they did it.
Pick a method, stick with it, stay consistent and you’ll see success.
The bottom line
You’ve totally got this. Focus on working with your toddler where they are now and you’ll see progress and eventually success before you know it.