I suffered more years than most potty training ONE child.
I can't blame it all in him though. Because when things became frustrating, I looked back through time to when he was a BABY. Not even a year old and he was trying to HOLD IT IN. I can still see my little guy holding on to the couch (he was in that I-can't-walk-yet-but-I'll-hold-the-edge-of-the-couch-phase), crossing his legs, and his face would turn red. We all figured he was going.
NO. He was holding it IN.
At 2 we dabbled with the idea of potty training. At 3 we committed. At 4 I was so frustrated I would cry.
"Oh, boys take a lot longer than girls," they would say.
"As long as he can go by Kindergarten, there's no need to worry," others would say.
And "No one will remember this when he is 16."
Well, first off, your kids were potty trained by 2. Thanks for pretending not to judge me.
Second, I am worrying. This kid might be the only kid that will have potty issues in Kindergarten.
Third, I will.
Well, now that he is 5, I am happy to report THIS TOO SHALL PASS. If any of you moms are in the same boat I was, I am SO SORRY. I could cry for you just thinking about it.
It really was horrible. First there was the feeling that I was being judged for the shortcomings of my child. Maybe this was all MY fault. Was I feeding him the wrong things? Maybe. But kids are picky. Sometimes you just want them to eat, so you make it easy for you and them. There was the nice coaxing, the pleading, crying, yelling, apologies, threats, rewards, crazy rewards, potty movies, potty books, google searching, and doctor visits.
Finally we found the right mix. We used Miralax, but that was messy. So that came in MUCH smaller doses. Then came my friend's suggestion to use a homeopathic remedy (we diagnosed him using a homeopathic website and gave him Hyland's dissolving tablets as directed---for his symptoms he needed Silicea 6x). If you are looking for a remedy this site has a section to help you.
And I think between the two things a miracle occurred!
He had just turned 4 when all of a sudden, we were a happy family again. I cannot begin to tell you how much stress this put on my relationship with my son and me. I hope he never remembers how hard that was for the two of us. But we made it.
Please tell me I am not alone in that battle?
Anyway, I am sorry for the long post if you were looking to head straight to my top potty tip.
Here it is:
Put a panty liner in the rear end of your child's underwear.
I thought I might be a genius when I discovered this. Someone most likely thought of it before me, but I had never heard it suggested nor had I seen it pinned on Pinterest. So this is revolutionary.
If your child has "accidents" I'm sure you hate to clean them as much as I did...
When you put the panty liner on, say they do go. Welp, the fabric in the prime target area has been protected! You just rip it off, dispose of the mess, and then the underwear can go in the laundry!!
So that's all I've got. There's a million "How to Potty Train Your Kid in a Weekend" tutorials, but those never worked for me.
So this is for all you other gals and pals :)
I just might have to delete the "details" soon since this is the internet and nothing is worse than Mommy blabbing your secrets. But for now, I hope it really does help someone else!