Potty Training Pros and Cons

For a while now I’ve been wondering what the best timing would be to start potty training Alethea.  For several months now she has been showing some of the ‘signs of readiness’ (telling me before or right after she poops, not liking when her diaper is soiled, being interested in the toilet), but since we were expecting a baby/had a newborn in the house, I decided it could wait.

Then the other day when Alethea was in the bathtub she sat up against the side and told me, “Potty.”  I asked her if she was pretending to sit on the toilet.  Then she repeated, “Potty,” and proceeded to urinate in the bath water.

Okay, so she might be more ready than I realized.

But here’s the thing.  I’m not sure I’m ready.  I mean, I know everyone talks about how great it is to leave diapers behind, but I’m wondering, is it really all that wonderful?

So I made a list of pros and cons for potty training.  First the cons:

1) At this young age, it will probably mean several weeks of hassle and power struggles to get Alethea potty trained.

2) When you’re out in public you always need to know where a restroom is, just in case.

3) When you’re out in public you have to let your toddler use a dirty bathroom (and in my case, drag an infant in there as well).

4) Unless we buy a freestanding potty chair (which I’m not sold on), I’ll have to help Alethea get on and off the toilet for a long time anyway, so it’s not like I’ll gain a bunch of free time, and in fact, it will probably take more of my time during the day.

5) And lastly… accidents happen and I hate messes.

Here’s my pros:

1) It would save us money.  I estimate that we spend $20-$30 a month on Alethea’s diapers and wipes.

2) Let’s face it, no one really loves changing diapers, and I’m no exception.

That’s it. Two pros. Five cons.  So I’m dragging my feet, but maybe it’s only because I haven’t made it to the other side of the potty training road yet.  Is the grass truly greener there?  Maybe some of the more experienced parents out there can tell me, are there great advantages to having a potty trained kid?

4 thoughts on “Potty Training Pros and Cons

  1. My vote it yes for both of you. I remember people being so excited that their child was potty trained and I could not imagine it was that big of a deal until my kid was potty trained.Potty use and independently getting in and buckling one’s own carseat were the two biggest changes for me. I would take the money from a month of diapers and let her have her own chair she can get off and on by herself and let her be independent in her new skill. That way she can also be more in control of going when she feels like she needs to and power struggle will be kept to a minimum. I would guess given her personality that Alethea will have few accidents once she has the motor skill mastered. She could even wear a pull up while you are on trips out for awhile until you are pretty sure she won’t have to go in a hurry when you are out. You get to set the parameters, like with other parenting. That’s my long answer. Get it while I still remember those days, I guess!!

  2. Can’t resist commenting on this one…
    Actually, you will have less or more likely, NO power struggles at this young age.
    Always have her go to the bathroom before you leave the house. At first, she may need to be told she should go even if not full.
    The only problem I can see at her age is getting her clothes down (or up) fast enough or problems with buttons, etc. Just dress her for success!

  3. haha Elise this is so interesting! I just posted potty training concerns on my blog, and asked for advice too!

    I’m obviously not experienced in this stage yet, but at work we used to send our kids home with underwear under the diaper while they were being potty trained. That way if they DID have an accident, they would know it and feel it, but mom and dad had less of a mess to clean up… that might help your “accidents happen” con.

  4. Pingback: BobbleHeadBaby » Blog Archive » How to Buy a Potty Chair

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