When you begin potty-training your child, you expect it will be bad, but you’re never prepared for it to be that bad. It’s like when Evie the dog and a Roomba got together and decorated everything with puppy poo at its worst, and at its best, your child’s bum actually touches the training seat. Who knew peeking in a toilet would be on your list of successes as an adult? Meanwhile, you’re also concerned about your child’s fascination with the toilet as some magical portal in which TP goes down the hole, Ducky goes down the hole (in theory) and all Hades breaks loose in your bathroom. Reinforcements have arrived. Here is your survival list of tips to preventing a hazmat team from salvaging what’s left of your bathroom from the typical poopsplosion aftermath of potty-training:
Show-and-Tell Diaper Time
Your toddler brings you everything under the moon and stars because of the importance of psychological development and the power of parental approval, and well — your nose needs booping with it. Experts probably didn’t intend you to use reverse psychology this way, but whatever: Reveal to your child the humongous human excrement that manages to squeegee its way out of your tiny human. Does physics explain this poo? Step one: Show the poo. Watch your child’s eyes grow wide with shock and weird toddler fascination. Step two: Tell. “Your poop is too big for your diaper, like you are. You need to poop in the toilet.” While this tactic sounds more like a Cards Against Humanity win and potential potty-training fail, give it a shot, and maybe your toddler’s analytical skills will surprise you in a positive way.
Cleaning the Tiny Human Potty
Whoa — that actually worked! Sort of. Your tiny human’s bum touched the toilet. Some of it got in there, and well — it’s better than Evie the dog and Roomba’s fun indoor adventure. Here are a few quick cleanup tips:
- Dump the contents into the toilet.
- Keep a spray bottle with baby-safe cleaner nearby.
- Use antiseptic wipes for the toilet to spot clean, and use flushable cleansing cloths for the tiny human.
- There’s always the garden hose for catastrophic level cleanup.
For the sake of all stomachs, don’t clean the potty in the dishwasher. Dog toys and Legos are fine, but your child’s potty is not on the list of surprising things you can clean in the dishwasher. Science says it’s a nope. Prioritize family health over convenience, please.
Circumventing Clog Chaos
Your toddler loves to flush everything down the toilet, but clogged drains create backup issues that lead to a burst pipe. Your toilet may also keep running due to a faulty pipe, and then you have to call the plumber. Placing flushable items out of reach helps. Reinforce that items outside the bathroom aren’t allowed inside. Place a basket outside the door for your child to drop their toys into before entering.
It’s Like Clockwork
Finding out what the urge to poop and pee feels like, and when, presents challenges when toddlers set out on their potty-training journey. Like the rest of your child’s life, try working training into a schedule to make them more comfortable. Set them on the toilet after they wake up in the morning or from a nap and before bedtime. Try a bell. Set the timer, and tell your child when it goes off, “We’re going to go potty when we hear the bell!” Your child will say no to pottying if you give them a choice by asking if they need to go. Slowly, a positive potty pattern will emerge. You should also trust your child when they need to go — eventually, they will make potty when needed. Your child needs to learn their body’s natural rhythm. Your child may also have technical problems, such dangling legs from the toilet making the process like pooping uphill. So, slip a stool underneath their feet. Humans are supposed to squat when they go.
Foiling the Great Toddler TP Unraveling
Toilet paper rolls fascinate tiny humans. Stop the TP thief in their tracks by slowing down the roll with a child-safe TP lock, or make a fun measuring tape with a bead to show your child when to stop rolling. You and your tiny human will survive the potty-training journey successfully, without the visit of a hazmat team. Here’s to potty power!