So, lately you’ve noticed your little tot is taking an interest in the potty! Great! This may be the perfect time to take the big leap and start potty training! But where do you start? It’s important to remember that all kids are different, so just because you have a friend who successfully potty trained in two hours (or at least that’s what she claims...), that doesn’t mean your experience will be the same - and that’s OKAY! Take everything as it comes and rest assured it will all be worth it and over in no time!
I got the “bright” idea to start potty training my two-year-old son while I was 36 weeks pregnant with my daughter. He was completely potty trained by the end of our third day! So trust me, if I could do it- you totally can!
These are my 5 tips to help potty training go a little less crappy (get it?).
- Ditch the diapers completely.
When my son started potty training, my first step was to get rid of diapers (and pull-ups) completely. I believe that him knowing he had no backup plan for not using the potty, and being able to feel if he had an accident is a huge reason why potty training went so fast with him. It may seem scary (and yes, it’s a bit messy) but it’s worth the clean up!
- Talk to your child (A LOT) about the potty.
It is important for your child to know that it not only a positive thing to use the potty,
but completely normal as well! If you’re comfortable with the idea you can even bring them to the bathroom with you or let them know when you are going. Talking to them about it constantly also helps remind them to go (and you to take them!).
- Do not get upset or punish when your child has an accident.
It can be so frustrating when despite all of your efforts and preparation, your child
still has an accident (or two...or three...or ten). But keeping the potty positive is an
important part of long term success. So instead of getting upset or punishing your
child, try talking to them about why you would prefer they used the potty instead of
going in their pants.
- The 15 minute rule.
To prevent accidents from happening in the first place, try using “the 15 minute rule”. Every 15 minutes have your child sit on the potty. Encourage them to go, but
don’t require that they do so. Using a timer (there are even free apps with potty training timers!) is a great way to help you remember. This will also help establish a routine of using the potty often. As your child has fewer accidents you can increase the time between potty trips.
- Know when to call it quits.
You know your child best, and if they aren’t ready, they aren’t ready. Save yourself the tears and the mess and try again after a month or two. While you wait, continue asking if they’d like to sit on the potty, read books about potty training, listen to
songs- just keep it apart of their daily routine in some way so the next time you try to potty train- they (and you!) are that much more prepared!
Hang in there momma- you got this!