by our guest blogger: Eleanor Bergquist

It seems like the most daunting thing in the world to take your baby and turn them into a potty going person. But what a joy it would be to get out of the hassle, expense, eco- guilt and stinkiness of diapers! Most parents are probably ready at 18 months (if not 12!) but most babies are not ready until 2+. We potty trained our oldest son at 2.5. Not because we were ready but because he was. We waited and it went smoothly. But we think it was also because we went a bit of a different way....

We put a crown on it. One thing we have learned in our short sleep deprived experience as parents is: try not to get into something that will be difficult to get out of. This maxim made us wary of using M&Ms or any other food reward for potty training. Visions persisted, right or wrong, of a child who would hold out on going potty until an M&M was in their line of sight. What if we ran out? What if *cough* someone else ate them? Something tangible, that he could be proud of seemed like a better way to go. How about a "Tinkle King" Crown with his name on it? (<- Also excellent fodder for that rehearsal dinner speech in 20+ years). In addition to the reward of getting to flush the potty himself and wash his hands, we would place the Tinkle King crown on his head and roundly make a Royal Potty Pronouncement that he was the best Pottier in All the Land. Is there anything that your child wants more than your pride and attention? No, there is not. At least not now anyway.

If it is contained; it is controlled and if it is under control; it is happy! That is our theory. We try to build the maximum amount of fun into our children's day but we have realized that no one is happy if they are out of control. The Tinkle King (or Queen as we will attempt soon with our little girl) Crown helped us control and win the potty training war with nary a battle. Good luck, Tinkle Kings and Queens!

Personalized Pink Crown

Personalized Blue Crown

Eleanor Bergquist, along with husband Leif Bergquist, both work outside the home but their biggest feat to date was having three children in 16 months. Hawk is 3.5 and twins Millie and Beau just turned 2. <- Let the Reign of tinkling begin anew!