Big Boy Beds and Potty Training Shenanigans

Little boy relaxing in a toddler bed with hands behind his head.
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Here we are three weeks shy of my son’s third birthday (the BIG 3.0!) and he is still in his crib, and only partially potty trained. I use the term “partially” loosely. Really he has peed in his Cars potty a handful of times and wet through countless pants and underwear. Have we failed as parents? Have we missed the unwritten timeframe for these items on a child’s growing up to-do list?

Okay okay, I realize that not every parent is gaping at my child in disbelief for his lack of potty ability. I blame my first child really. As eager new parents we were anxious to make sure our child was not just meeting milestones at the expected ages but BEATING them. When her little brother came along we realized how rushed these life stages felt and saw an opportunity to slow the process of growing up as much as possible, until now. With his third birthday looming ahead of me I decided that I had not just avoided rushing him but perhaps was a bit overprotective of his baby years. And so, the crib was transformed into a toddler bed. I was afraid he would fall out, miss the crib vibe, and (worst of all) NEVER sleep again. I was wrong. He surprised me by wanting to spend every waking moment in his room. He wanted to watch movies on his DVD player in bed. He wanted to play superhero’s in his bed, and he wanted to nap in his bed (He hasn’t napped in months).

With this much needed change in pace I decided to get more serious about potty training. Even with my first child I did not believe in rushing potty training. I am a firm believer this can lead to a long drawn out process of relapses and frustration for all involved. This being said my little man was probably ready a lot sooner than I was ready to admit to myself. Off came the pull-ups during the day and on went the little boy briefs. Not only did we get the joy of seeing a little pant-less (why do more laundry than I have to?) wonder streaking around in his superhero underpants, but he actually did well. Really well. The first day we had one accident. The second he was dry all morning and asked to go pee while we were at the mall and to my surprise even used a public bathroom. This weekend he remained dry all through church.

I could have probably tried both of these things months ago and he would have been successful eventually. The lesson that I have learned from this is that he will not remember staying in pull-ups and his crib 6-12 months longer than some of his friends. I, however ,WILL remember how easy these “late” transitions were, and how much I cherished the moments when he was small not worrying about charts and enjoying the natural occurrence of his milestones.

Sarah is a mother of two small children, and wife of one. She is a full time mom, part-time shoe seller, and full-time student. Her days are spent planning trips to Disney, studying, writing, and drinking lots of caffeinated beverages. Life can be hectic but it is never dull You can find her on twitter at @TheNMousette

4 Comments on "Big Boy Beds and Potty Training Shenanigans"

  1. Katherine says:

    This is great, and very true. Things work much better when kids are ready and really, years down the road, are we going to remember they were “late” doing certain things? Nope. We’ll remember how well they transitioned or how much they surprised us.

    • Mousette Mousette says:

      I think kids will always have their own timing. Don’t get me wrong though, if he had wanted to go into his 3rd year without even starting that would not have been happening haha

  2. Rebecca says:

    This is very similar to the experience with my son, who is the younger of two; he’s about to turn 4, and although we did get him a potty for his second birthday, we didn’t push him to use it and he was close to 3 before he started making much use of it. Plus, he’s very resistant to change, so we’d ask if he wanted to use the potty and he’d just say “Nope”. It was actually AFTER he was 3 that he started regularly using the potty, so we switched from pull-ups to his own new (Thomas the Tank Engine) underwear… and for the first month or so he had a lot of accidents. Then he just stopped. Hit a switch or something. 🙂

    The big boy bed surprised us. As I said, he’s very wary of changes, and when we switched from diapers to pull-ups he hated it. I’ll never forget him refusing to put the pull-ups on, crying and reaching for his changing table where the diapers were. XD But when it came to the Big Boy Bed, he was thrilled. I thought he’d miss the crib – not in the least. He was nearly 3 when we made that switch too. So reading this is very, very familiar. 🙂

    • Mousette Mousette says:

      That was a really cute story Rebecca. I think when they are the younger sibling they are anxious to be more like their older sibling so the switch to a more “big boy” or “big girl” thing might be easier than expected.

      Kids will always have a way of surprising us.

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