Just the idea of potty training is overwhelming. Am I right?? Tips and tricks of potty training… we all want them, but do they always work? What have I learned after potty training two boys? Every child is different and WAIT UNTIL THEY ARE READY!
My first, Mason, came home from preschool and proclaimed, “Mommy! No more diapers!” Skyler, on the other hand, is a work in progress. Some days he is into it and some days he doesn’t even want to try. He is 2. He will master it… eventually.
You may think that it’s great timing to start potty training because you are at home indefinitely, perhaps a little bored, and not wanting to spend money or hunt for more diapers. Just keep in mind… if they aren’t ready, you are just going to make everyone miserable- yourself included.
Prep before the big step
- Before you even THINK about potty training, make sure your little one is confident pulling their own pants up and down. That’s right, moms, let them do it!
- Practice! Before getting into the tub for bath time, sit them on the potty and let them see how it feels. Maybe they go, maybe they don’t. Cheer BIG if they do!
- Model the behavior. When you go, let them see you go through the process all the way through hand washing. Then ask, do you want to try? Sometimes they may surprise you and say yes.
- Buy all the “things” you need to make yourself and your child happy.
My list of must haves:
- Toddler size potty (There are SO many options! Find one that you like- They are all similar)
- Step stool for hand washing
- Toddler friendly hand soap
- Toddler toilet seat/adult seat (this is great for transitioning to the big toilet when ready)
- Big kid underwear (Don’t spend too much on these… you will most likely throw 1/2 of them away with #2 accidents)
- Travel potty seat and extra bags (This is the BEST! Keep it in your car, use anywhere either as a stand-along potty or a toddler seat on a regular toilet when traveling. If we are out, we throw it under the stroller because it folds flat and is easy to use).
- Car Seat Protector
- Potty Time Watch
- Potty training books (See resources section below for a list of my favorites)
- Cleaning supplies (Yes, you will be cleaning MORE than you care to)
Get started: Potty Training Tips!
Provide all the liquids (water, milk, juice- whatever it takes) and let the process begin!!
As much as I am into crafts and do it yourself stuff, I am not into the rewards chart with the stickers. If you’re into it… Use it. It works for a lot of people, but my kids didn’t care about a sticker chart. They wanted chocolate, marshmallows, and new toy cars. Bribery works, friends!
Of all the potty training tips I have, just stay consistent and remember to give LOTS of positive reinforcement.
Use a timer! I mentioned a potty watch, which is a very helpful tool. If your child doesn’t love wearing it (like my younger one), a timer on your phone will work just fine. Just start with 15-20 minute intervals. Run to the bathroom every time the alarm sounds and don’t forget to reset once you are all done! As your little one starts to get it, add 5-10 minutes as you see fit. It might take a few days to get to 30-45 minutes. It’s exhausting, but you have to get in a rhythm with them. As you go further into the weeks you can add larger intervals and before you know it your little one is doing it!
So, this CAN happen and YES, it happened to us! Here is where I went wrong… I got lazy. Ugh! I admit it! When I thought my little one may have an accident, I put a pull-up on him instead of just paying more attention and making him go on a schedule. I wasn’t being as consistent. I paid more attention to my daily chores and such that I wasn’t watching for the signs of “I gotta go RIGHT NOW!”
When you don’t pay attention accidents happen. (OMG- Stories for another day). You have to watch for the signs. Mamas, you know what I’m talking about. The crouched in the corner, behind the bookshelf, the run in the bedroom and close the door, etc. Keep your eyes peeled for those clues and then grab their hand and run to the potty. It might be hard for them to go poop in the potty and some times it can be scary. Sit with them, hold their hand, talk about it, read a book, sing a song… Whatever works for them.
- Potty Time! (Daniel Tigers Neighborhood)
- Even Firefighters Go to the Potty
- How to Pee: Potty Training for Boys
- How to Pee: Potty Training for Girls
- Super Pooper!
More Opinions and Experiences from Fellow Miami Moms
- Potty Training; A Right of Passage
- Potty Training Expectations And Survival (Success) Tips
- Potty Training Twins: One Mom Shares Her Experience
Good luck mama! You (and your little one) can do it! Lean on your friends for support and feel free to reach out any time… I am happy to give all the support I can. I am not a potty training expert by any means. However, I am a fellow mom and “We’re all in this together!” (I totally just sang this… High School Musical anyone??)