Finishing Our Potty Learning Journey

If you follow me on Instagram, or even just read my posts regularly, you have probably noticed that Gus hangs out in his underwear A LOT. A few people have asked me lately if this means he is still toilet learning. I took that as my cue to update on his potty learning process. Last time, I updated Gus was still wearing diapers out and about, but in undies at home. 

Now, Gus is in underwear 100 percent of the time that he is awake. The answer to the underwear question is that he hates wearing clothes! But, I don't photograph him unless he is at least in undies (hence why he is always in just undies!) I would say he has mostly completed his potty learning journey. Using the toilet just became part of our everyday routine, at some point. It stopped being a conscious effort, and just became life. I really can't tell you when the switch occurred, but that's the beauty of potty learning. We created this new routine together, so it felt unrushed, stress-free, and natural. I didn't spend my time worrying about progress or lack thereof. We did what worked for both of us.

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A look at how we completed the potty learning journey and some tips for how to make pottying in public an easy and successful process.

That's not to say there isn't the occasional miss or accident, there is. We've had some back and forth. But, it's not a big deal. We both know what to do, and how to react. And, shifting my own expectations, helps me remember that this process will have some back and forth. 

I will say the hardest part of the potty learning process was creating our routine in public. Gus, unlike either of my other two kids, was afraid of public toilets. Plus, with three children it just felt harder getting everyone to the restroom in time. But, we did eventually get there.

Pottying in Public

There's a few things we did to make using the toilet in public less of a challenge for Gus, they included

  • Going to the restroom in non-stressful situations. We started a few trips of going to public restrooms just to check them out. Not when one of the kids had to go, or if there had been an accident. Just low key, "this is the restroom." It helped take some of the pressure off of the situation, because mostly before we had avoided them unless a real need arose. 
  • Introducing this travel potty when we were out and about. It's really small so it can be carried around and used on the floor (like what Gus is more used to using at home) or it can be used to make the adult toilet feel more secure for him. 
  • Offering a choice - especially if he asked to go but then was feeling nervous. "Do you want to sit or stand?" "Do you want to use this toilet or that one?" Where ever we could help put him in control, we do. 
  • Flip him around. This was a trick I used with my older kids too, instead of putting Gus on the toilet (especially if we didnt have the travel potty) forward facing, flip him toward the back. It seems weird to us, but it makes the kiddo feel much more secure on the larger toilet. It works like a charm a lot of the time. 
And, slowly, without having expectation or pressure Gus got comfortable. The process really has been one of bonding and working together, more than stress, anger, or frustration. Does this mean we won't have set backs? Probably not, there will be accidents. But we are both equipped to deal and move on! 

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