It’s that time! My 2 year old is ready, I don’t know if I am, but she is! Potty training is not my favorite thing to do…but it has to be done. This being my third child to potty train, I have learn a few things. Here are my words of wisdom so that you too can perfectly potty train your toddler! PS, if you know anything about potty training…nothing about it is perfect. I hope you caught the sarcasm. If this is your first time potty training, good luck! I hope my experience helps you!
Ready or Not?
First thing is first….is your child ready? If your child isn’t ready, you are wasting your time. You and your child are just going to be frustrated and have a bad feeling towards potty training. How will you know if they are ready?
- They need fewer diapers – You will notice that your child goes longer periods of time without needing a diaper change. Maybe they even wake up from nap time dry.
- They tell you – My toddler will tell me “Mommy, I pooping.” As she squats in the corner! Or they will tell you right after. Either way, they are aware of what is coming out of their body.
- They are like clock work – I know what time of day all my kids poop! So weird how I do, but I do! Once they get a pattern for pooping, it’s a sign they are ready.
- They can take their pants off – Being able to remove pants and underwear are a big part of potty training. Make sure to master these before trying to train!
- They want to watch you – There isn’t a day that goes by that I am not followed into the bathroom by my toddler. She is curious and wants to see what happens. She also likes to cheer for me when I go. Getting me toilet paper and flushing have become her favorite things to do. Explain to your toddler what you are doing and let them observe you using the toilet.
Timing is Everything
You will need a few days (at least 2) that you will need to stay at your house…all day, without leaving. So many people will potty train all morning and then after naps, throw a diaper on their kid and go food shopping. Now, you have just confused them. If you are committed, you have to sacrifice and just stay put!
Wet or Dry
One of the best things I read before I potty trained my eldest was to make sure your child knows the difference between wet and dry. About a week before we started training, I washed her hands and would say “your hands are wet” then I would grab a towel and dry them off and tell her “your hands are dry”. I did this so much that she started telling me when things were wet.
Go out and buy a ton of underwear for your toddler…a ton! Buy more then you think you will ever need in one lifetime…and you will probably still run out. With my first daughter, I only bought a pack or two. Big mistake, I was so concerned with getting all of the messes out. With my second daughter, I bought a ton of underwear and if she went number 2 in them and it looked bad…they went right in the garbage. Sorry if that is wasteful, but it’s life….it’s my life! Oh and even if you are going to wash all the underwear and not toss any, you will still need a ton….kids have accidents and unless you want to wash laundry every 10 minutes, you will need a stock pile of undies!
Get a potty seat! Please don’t mess around with those little potties. All my girls learned to go on the regular potty with a potty seat. If the toilet is too high for them to get onto on their own, buy a stool. “Oh, but the potty seats are so cute and they sing.” Great, now you have to clean that awesome bowl of singing happiness…AND some kids don’t want to use the regular potty after being potty trained on a small one. So that’s fun! Click here to check out the potty seat we use!
Watch the Clock
As soon as you start….it’s go time! Start watching the clock, or set a timer. In the beginning, put your toddler on the potty every 15 minutes. If your child can go the entire time without an accident, stretch the time by 5 minutes.
The best part of potty training are the treats…well, for the toddler anyway! I used mini marshmallows for my girls. If they went pee pee, they got one. If they went poopy, they got 2. I tried the whole sticker thing and my kids could care less about getting a sticker on a chart!
Good luck and keep your cool! Remember that your toddler is learning and will make a lot of mistakes! Do not punish your toddler for having accidents. Just remind them to use the potty. After an accident, place your toddler on the potty. If they poop in their pants, put the poop in the potty and tell them that poop goes in the potty. Stock up on clothes, laundry detergent, and wine! Good luck!!!!