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Real-life laundry: What’s that smell?

Potty training a toddler is not for the faint of heart — especially when it comes to dealing with the laundry that comes along with the learning curve.

little girl using toiletLosing the pull up: A story about potty training

I had to do it. I knew it. My husband knew it. Our 2-year-old daughter had already begun outsmarting us. We knew that the time had come to make the switch from dressing her in pull-up style diapers to underwear if we ever wanted her to start using the potty. Everything we read told us that she was ready to get started, and since we had no clue what we were doing, we decided to follow the advice we found and go for it. Several months later, we’re still going for it — one load of laundry at a time. It turns out that our beautiful, smart and hilarious little girl does not care a bit if she has peed or pooped in her pants. She’s cool. She can still play. No need to take a break.

What this devil-may-care mentality has meant for us is an inordinate amount of laundry, occasional tears and lots of sticker- and candy-related promises. What has been the most surprising part of this journey with her is the ginormous smell that has started with just a small accident and quickly taken over our laundry room. We’ve found that when it comes to potty training, you must do the laundry immediately to save the clothes and avoid the dreaded, musty smell of pee.

How to save her clothes and save the day

Here are a few of my favorite tips for cleaning up after a potty-training accident.

  • Use bleach. It is your friend. Presoak any soiled undergarment in the sink in a solution of diluted bleach. This will help to ensure that the mess does not spread to other items in the washing machine.
  • If the accident involves a number two, then swish the soiled underwear around in a clean toilet. Hang on tight to the undies and flush to help wash away any remaining matter.
  • Shoes are often casualties of potty-training accidents. To clean them, first spray with a bleach and water solution (using the same ratio given above). Then wash them on the gentle cycle and let them air dry.

The hardest part for a parent about potty training is second-guessing yourself. Not knowing if your child is ready or if you are giving them the help that they need can be gut wrenching. Luckily, that worry does not have to extend to the laundry room.

More real-life laundry stories

Better with bleach: 3 Generations of moms share their stories
Real-life laundry: Conquering drool
Real-life laundry: Surprise finds with every wash and dry

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