The day has come, that moment when you think your child may be able to use the restroom like a big kid. First, make sure your child is really ready. This varies in age and depends on the child. I have had friends and family start as early as 1.5 years old and some whose kids didn’t get to it until they were 3. Most kids will start telling you that they wet themselves or will remove their diaper, after the fact. That is a good first sign that you may want to start introducing your child to the toilet. Please see below on the 5 steps that greatly helped me get through the battle they call Potty Training.
1. To start, you want to make sure you have a solid weekend of no activities or places you need to be. It is best, if you are just home the entire duration. This will help focus all the attention on the child and their potty signals. Also, have different potty options. You can have a little seat for them to sit on, there are lots of fun ones with songs and toilet noises. Then there are seat covers for the main toilet and some kids prefer one over the other. You should try both and you can place the other in another restroom. My son didn’t really have a preference, he used both.
2. Now, let’s make it fun. You can do this with candy or small incentive toys from the dollar store. Keep in mind, they will pee often, so maybe an M&M for every pee time and a small toy for poop. Poop will be the more trying one, in most cases. My son wanted to hide from me when he needed to poop. His first accident for pee was down his leg and he did not like it. The first poop accident was behind our rocking chair because he was hiding from me.
3. Other things to keep in mind, you will have some accidents. So have plenty of undies on hand. I used the Gerber (extra lined) undies, link is below. This will add up day one and you will definitely have an extra load of laundry each. We stayed home, so after a couple of accidents, I tried the naked approach. He seem to start realizing that things come out of him and that it wasn’t nice on him. So I would remind him that it needed to be done in the potty. After a few days of consistency, he seem to have it down, little by little he grew in his confidence. We had very few accidents after week one and less the following week. After about a month, he really got the hang of it.
4. Then came the time for outings, so I tried this out with small runs to the grocery store. I would ask him before we left and also a few times while out. One thing I loved, that I don’t know if it was available at my time, was a cool travel potty my sister in law purchased that had disposable bags. This came in handy, especially, when we went on a road trip with my 2 year old nephew. We would pull over if need be and he could potty just about anywhere. Nothing like a newbie toddler not having a proper potty to go when he has to go. This will also make it easier for you to not revert to pull ups. Pulls ups, from most Mom’s I spoke to, tend to hinder the child in process. I stayed away from them, only tried them for night time use, of course. No one wants a peed mattress to clean.
5. Now comes the bedtime routine. You want to limit the liquids before bed time. Also make sure they use the restroom before going down. I am not sure if we got lucky or our kid just has an incredible bladder, no thanks to me since I can not sneeze after Michael without feeling like I need to pee. We started noticing he would pee as soon as he woke up. We also saw he was not wetting himself at night, in the mornings his pull ups would be completely dry. My husband and I decided to try out underwear at bedtime and from then on we no longer needed pull ups.
Products I used/ recent finds I wish I had: