As the founder of Mindful Ninja Mom, you can imagine my overwhelm when my four-year-old daughter wouldn’t use the potty. I had a head full of knowledge. I knew many of the potty teaching tips and tricks. But alas, I couldn’t get my little one to tinkle or toot in anything but her beloved diaper.
In truth, I had been fortunate with my first-born. He had come home from preschool at three-years-old and announced that he would no longer wear diapers. He insisted that I send him to school the next day in underwear and that completed our potty experience (at least for the peeing … with pooping it took a bit longer before he was ready to outgrow is diaper).
With my daughter, we kept hoping that she would have the same experience my son had and outgrow her diaper. When it became clear that wasn’t going to happen, I tried a variety of other approaches that I knew worked for many families. Unfortunately though, it wasn’t working for us. My daughter was way too scared to use the potty and nothing was going to change her mind (and I started lacking the confidence to help guide her).
Nothing, that is, until we discovered Tot on the Pot!
I can’t recommend Tot on the Pot enough! It has everything that my fearful little girl needed to brave the potty-
As a parenting teacher, I already knew the value of role playing, however, I hadn’t experienced the effectiveness of having a doll to role play with that was anatomically correct and came with her/his own rightsized potty.
Patenting Tip: It is very helpful for children to role play with dolls and toys. In this case, role playing using the potty helped my daughter work out fears she had around using the potty, gave her a sense of control, and made using the potty a lot of fun!
Prior to introducing Tot and her pot to my daughter, I read the Parents Guide which outlines the best potty training practices and provides a plan for the first few days of the potty training experience. The guide also has fabulous “Tot Tips” and “Some Extra Love,” that give helpful reminders to do things like be patient, incorporate special time during the potty training experience, and remember that your child is on his/her own potty training journey.
After reading the Parents Guide, I introduced the Tot on the Pot picture book to my daughter a few days before we started using the potty. She loved the picture book and asked to read it multiple times a day (always a good sign of a well written book!).
The first morning of “no more diapers!” I gave my daughter her doll, which she named Tot. I remembered all my tips from the Parents Guide, and as we waited for the her bladder to fill, we role played using Tot and her potty.
As I mentioned earlier, my daughter is older than most children who usually potty train around 24 to 32 months of age. Additionally, she had built up a big fear around using the potty. When it finally came time to use the potty, my daughter was beside herself and no longer felt using the potty was fun like it had been earlier that morning. I was patient with her and waited with her while she sat on the potty. I reminded her of how Tot had used the potty earlier and read her a few of her favorite potty books. Eventually, she asked me to leave the bathroom and went to pee all by herself!!!
She was still a little frightened after going pee, so the activity card that came with the Tot on the Pot was brilliant!!! Our activity card was playing catch with a roll of toilet paper (there are a variety of cards that are included). Unlike traditional reward systems for using the potty, the activity cards that come with Tot on the Pot are imaginative and fun. They provide a social reward that the whole family can participate in (which is just what my daughter needed!).
Parenting can feel overwhelming at times as we navigate the various stages of our children’s development. In a world that is full of information for parents and toys that are geared to make our lives “easier,” it is hard to know what is actually best for our little ones and worth our time, energy and investment. For our family, Tot on the Pot was the most helpful tool we could have hoped for in our potty learning journey. I am so grateful to Jackie Leverton for putting her expertise into such a thoughtful product. I highly recommend Tot on the Pot for children who are learning to use the potty (and for parents that are learning how to help them)!