I have potty trained 4 boys now, so I consider myself a bit of an expert. I’m pretty sure we’ve tried all of the tips and techniques and I feel a responsibility to share my experiences with you.
First, I want to remind you that each child is different. All 4 of my boys potty trained differently, some of the same techniques worked for multiple children but they all had different struggles. You are the parent to your child and you know exactly what works and doesn’t work for your specific child. Trust your instincts.
1. Timing – If you start the potty training process prematurely you might actually cause undue stress for your child. Children will usually give signals as to when they are ready to potty train. They become aware of their bodies, aware of when they are peeing or pooping. They take off a dirty diaper to avoid being wet/messy. They may look for a private place to poop. They may begin to show interest in the potty or watching you use the bathroom. These are all great indicators that your child may be ready to potty train.
2. Be Prepared – Before you start the potty training process you should do a bit of research (which is probably why you are here) and gather all of your supplies. There are a lot of different ways people suggest you potty train and I honestly don’t think there is one perfect way, it really depends upon your child’s personality. Doing research will help you know which technique will best fit your individual child. You may also want to buy any supplies you think you may need like a potty seat, a stool, underwear, potty training books, etc… I have compiled a short list of essential supplies you might need to potty train your child.
3. The Set-Up – Start the potty training conversation. Let your child watch you or your partner use the bathroom if you are comfortable doing so. Watch TV Shows about potty training. Read books about potty training. Talk about using the potty. Make it an acceptable and friendly subject. This makes children more comfortable taking interest in the potty. Also, speak positively about using the bathroom, make it sound like using the potty is the coolest and most fun thing a big kid can do… they’ll be into it.
4. Make It Fun – After you’ve read the books, watched the shows and talk all about how using the potty is awesome… follow through and make it awesome. Buy a reward chart and/or reward candy so that your child might actually want to give this potty thing a try. Let you kid pick out fun underwear, and don’t worry when they want to wear it backward so they can see Captain America. You can buy a fun potty seat. There are all kinds of crazy gadgets you can buy to make using the potty fun.
5. Be Consistent – Kids get confused if one day they’re in a diaper, the next day they are in underwear and then the following day they are back in a diaper. Once you switch to underwear stick with it for awhile. It after a few days there are way more misses than hits with going to the potty switch back to diapers for awhile, it’s OK. Take a little time to regroup and try again later.
6. Ditch the Pull-Up – Pull-ups are great but they don’t really help teach your child to go to the bathroom. Children can’t really feel when they are wet and there is no difference in when they pee in the pull-up versus the diaper. We’ve primarily used Pull-ups for nap time or bedtime.
7. Sit or Stand – Sometimes boys prefer to learn how to pee standing up. This can be a challenge when they are so small. Some standard toilets are taller and may require a stool for little ones to pee standing up. I’ve found that younger brothers often want to do things the way big brother does it which means pee standing up. I think it’s important for boys to learn both methods because you can’t always control the potty options when you’re away from home.
8. Be Encouraging – Accidents happen. Let them know that it’s OK if they don’t make it to the potty in time. Ask them to help clean up the mess (if possible) and talk about how to avoid future accidents. Be gentle, potty training is this whole big new experience for little ones. Sometimes it can cause anxiety or fear for them. Be their biggest cheerleader, especially when they get it right. Their faces will light up with pride and it will melt your mama heart.
9. Relax – If it’s just not working out, take a break. Eventually the light bulb will click and they will get it. We’ve had to push pause on potty training a few times. Big life changes can impact potty training and it’s OK. Eventually, they will get it.
*Don’t be afraid to seek assistance if it becomes a major struggle. Sometimes there can be medical issues that can effect potty training. If you think there may be more, consult your doctor.
You Got This.
Just remember Potty Training = No More Diapers