Potty Training Clean Up Best Practices
So I wrote all about some best practices for potty training already. Okay, now to the part that I promised over there - CLEANING UP. I may not cover it all, but this is exactly how we have done it with our kids. There may be better methods, but this worked for us so here it goes:
Cleaning Up Clothes
Pee is easy enough to deal with. Take off the wet undies, rinse if you wish, or just throw them straight into the wash (or a plastic shopping bag, and then the hamper if you don’t have your laundry in your apartment).
Cleaning Up Poop.
- First, put your hair up. Topknot, pinned away from your face, clipped back or braid - I don’t care what you do, just get it away from your face STAT.
- Grab a plastic bag and baby wipes.
- If you can help it, DON’T LET HIM SIT.
- Take him to the bathroom and CAREFULLY remove pants.
- Kneel down and have him place his hands on your shoulders.
- Pull undies down to the floor and let them step out (this way, they won’t lose their balance and fall because they’re trying to step out of undies that are around their knees). In doing this you can also try your best to avoid getting crap on their legs as you pull down their undies (sorry to tell ya: it will happen, but hopefully less if you follow this method).
- Do whatever you need to get your sweet child to stay in one spot. If they leave the bathroom, you are in TROUBLE.
- Lift toilet seat.
- Hold undies above toilet bowl, but close to the water and flip them inside out, letting the contents fall into the bowl. Beware of splashes.
- Hold onto the undies tight, and swish the soiled portion around in the toilet, to wash off any pieces that may remain. Guys, this is GROSS but it’s the BEST METHOD. Believe me. I’ve tried other things so you don’t have to.
- Continue to hold on tight and FLUSH with the undies still in the water. The force of the flush will clean them as efficiently as possible before throwing them in the wash. Although you might need to repeat this step...
- Place undies in a plastic bag and transfer them to washer or hamper.
- Hose child down (or if you’re me, just give ‘em a good wipe).
Cleaning Up A Potty Training Accident In Your Home
Hardwoods, tile or laminate is simple enough, right? Wipe it up with a paper towel then clorox that sh...tuff. For carpet, I:
- Soak up as much of the liquid as possible
- Spray affected area with water, and repeat step 1 (I find that this step dilutes whatever urine is left, and helps draw more of it out of the carpet as you absorb the water).
- Sprinkle wet area with baking soda (or pour, I’ve done it and wouldn’t judge you for doing so either), rub it into the carpet (I usually smack the carpet a bunch. Out of frustration? Maybe, but it also helps the baking soda sink deeper into the carpet. It’s practical and therapeutic; win/win.
- Vacuum up baking soda when area is dry.
Cleaning Up A Potty Training Accident In Your Car
We have been fortunate enough to have had very few accidents in the car. Usually we don’t venture out in the car in the beginning stages of potty training (or only for very short trips), but we recently had an issue on a long, post-bedtime car trip where one of our guys had a nighmare/ night terror and emptied (what seemed like) the entire contents of his bladder. It not only saturated his carseat, but soaked the actual captain’s chair too. Poor guy. We tried to do the same thing for the car and carseat as we did for the carpet and it worked like a CHARM. We have a Britax car seats have worked great with this. Also, the same rules apply for strollers that have detachable covers.
- PAY CAREFUL ATTENTION as you’re removing all belts, buckles, foam and covers. Honestly, I know this doesn’t sound fair, but the same person who disassembles should be the one to reassemble. Otherwise parent A accomplishes the task of cleaning while parent B feels like a failure for not being able to distinguish a shoulder belt from an anchoring belt (I may be speaking from experience, here).
- Wash the cover, and exercise your new wipe/absorb/sprinkle skills on everything else (straps cannot be placed in the washer for safety purposes). The foam, we have saturated in the shower/tub and then left to dry overnight. That seemed to do the trick.
- We treated the actual seat of the car the same way that we would treat a carpet (in case you haven’t noticed, baking soda is your new BFF). Absorb, spray with water absorb, sprinkle, smack, sprinkle, smack, sprinkle, smack etc… (we arrived in NH around 1am when kiddo had his EPIC accident. I was exhausted and worried that if we didn’t deal with it ASAP, it would ruin our chances of ever getting the pee smell out of the seat. Seth convinced me otherwise, and I’m happy to say that he was right. We dealt with it the next morning, and the seat is perfectly fine)