Let me just start off by saying I’ve helped toilet train dozens of children. I worked in the toddler room for four years (that’s where I learned to get your child a potty as soon as they can stand on their own) and spent a lot of time monitoring bathroom needs, setting timers, cleaning up accidents, and generally helping toddlers become successful toileters. So how come I was having so much trouble with my toddler using the toilet? The answer I found was surprising to say the least. (Also, if you are in the thick of toilet training, check out the one product I recommend to every single parent while they toilet train their children! It will save money and underwear.)
One day, I realized that the only thing holding Mac back from being successfully toilet trained was me. See, I didn’t trust that she could do it. Sure, I would take her to the bathroom while we were out and about, but I would keep her in a diaper because I was scared. I was scared of having to clean up a mess, I was scared of looking like a bad mother, I was just scared.
Then one day I realized that the only way to get to the end goal was to make the leap. She was constantly proving she was ready, but I was refusing to see it. So one day, we went to the store in underwear, making sure to visit the bathroom. And guess what? She did fine. In fact, I can’t even think of an accident she has had in public since that day two months ago. I did have one ace up my sleeve that helped me be more confident in taking my underwear-clad child out in public.
One thing that really helped me have confidence was buying thick, training pants underwear with the plastic lining inside. They come in “girl” patterns, “boy” patterns, and what I consider more neutral patterns. (And honestly because they are underwear, we bought some of each pattern.) To me, they meant a much smaller chance of a big, out of control mess to have to clean up in case she did have an accident. They are a little more expensive, so we saved them for times when we were out of the house. We bought ones just like these ones below (click the pictures to see more. There are several different patterns and colors. But make sure you get the ones with plastic if you think it’ll help.):
At this point though, we are good. We might still save the thicker stuff for days we are out and about for hours or taking a longer car ride. But otherwise underwear is underwear.