Stay at Home Sanity Tip #1: If They Want to Go, Let Them!

I’ve been toying with doing a “sanity tip” list for awhile–several have occurred to me over the past months, and the idea of having some quick posts in the works also appeals. These are simply tips that have helped my sanity as a stay-at-home mom–if they end up helping someone else, that’s great, but I’m not claiming any sort of cure-all in them.

I had some more philosophical tips in mind, but I’m starting out with one that’s been very practical in the last few weeks: if my kid wants to go to the bathroom, I should take her! This may sound like a no-brainer, but here’s the thing: I am not talking about the kid who already knows how to use the bathroom. I mean the kid who don’t quite know what she is doing yet. Taking a potty trainer to the bathroom every time she wants to go can be very time consuming (it seems like she want to go every 20 minutes, and each visit can take 20 minutes by itself), so it can get in the way of normal life activities.

I easily fall prey to doing what’s easiest at a given moment (and sometimes this is necessary!), but I finally found that sacrificing short-term convenience in this area does pay off in the long run. With my first two, I introduced the potty, I tried to take them regularly throughout the day, but I often sacrificed using the bathroom regularly to getting them down quicker for naps, or to making an outing easier.  But with the third, I’ve finally gotten tired enough of diapers that I decided, what the heck, if the child wants to go, I’ll take her.

Wow! We are not out of diapers, but I am impressed at how well it’s going. Additional benefits:

  1. I got to switch from humongous backpack diaper bag to very small backpack/purse/diaper bag this week.
  2. We used cloth diapers but not cloth pull-ups (we can discuss environmental/economic impact later–I have not found a great cloth pull-up, but admittedly I haven’t looked very hard), so washing diapers is just about over.

Obviously, this trick probably works better with non-first children, since the biggest incentive to use the bathroom (in my observations) is definitely not seeing parents do so, but other kids.

I promise the next few sanity tips will not be bathroom-related!

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