Are you about to potty train your toddler? It’s an act of nature, but that doesn’t mean it happens as naturally as we’d like. But there are a few things that will really make the whole thing go down more smoothly. Post contains affiliate links.
I decided my daughter would get potty trained at 13 months since that’s when my son was going to arrive. I read all about early potty training and how people in African trained their babies because cloth diapers required a lot of water to clean and that was a luxury and if people in Africa could do it, why couldn’t I?
I die laughing at my former self.
Needless to say, it didn’t work. Nor did it work a few months later when I was not prepared to “let accidents happen” and made her nervous. Soon enough, though, she figured it out and off she went. I took a laid back approach with my second son and that worked out fine. I’m training my third son now and, again, we’re not making a huge fuss.
Each child will be different, and there are various approaches to take, but here are your absolutely essential Must Haves.
Must Haves for Potty Training
- a good attitude
- a potty
- a carpet shampooer (optional)
Well, now that we got those out of the way… let’s talk about some of the other helpful things that make potty training simpler. I’ll be honest… I’m not a great potty trainer. I just sort of wait until I can’t wait any longer then do it and don’t look back. We have lots of accidents, I don’t get mad, and we get there.
Helpful Tools for Potty Training
And now that we know what is absolutely essential, let’s talk about what helps move things along. I know some people say to “wait until your child is ready no matter the age” but most of us aren’t willing to wait until our 4 year old is ready. We need things to move right along, particularly if we need to put them in care or preschool. Here are some helpful things I’ve personally done, used, or tried that may benefit you.
A Potty Companion
A potty companion is something you save specifically for potty time that engages your child and allows them to relax near the potty and associate it positively. We were sent a POGO Potty Panda™ and it has a stuffed animal, book, and stickers. Go here and watch the intro video (the lady is Irish I believe and has the best accent ever), but essentially you’re preparing your child for potty training, then building anticipation with them, using the companion to help them associate something positive with the potty, then teaming up with your child to ditch the diapies (as we call them).
Potty Train in a Weekend book
My friend Becky wrote this book and it’s wildly popular, and that ain’t an understatement. Potty Train in a Weekend is, well, just that, tips on how to set aside a few days (they need not be Friday to Sunday) and start and nearly finish the potty training process. She also tells you what to do in the event they will pee but not poop or regressions or any other scenario you can think of. This is a great tool if you already have a child you know is pretty much ready, but just needs a push. Also helpful if you don’t have months and months of time to get it done!
M&M’s or Choc Chips or Kale Chips or Whatever
Many moms use a reward system for potty training. I didn’t do it with my first two, but am giving it a go in conjunction with other things with my third. He had a great potty training window a few months ago when I was Nearly Dead from Pregnancy Fatigue and it just wasn’t a time I could train him… and now that I’m able and want to get it done before new baby comes… he’s got his undies in a wad about wanting to wear a diaper.
So since he loves chocolate chips and a few a day won’t hurt him, we’re offering him 3 mini chocolate chips every time he sits on the potty and tries to go. Even if he doesn’t, that’s okay. So far he hasn’t abused this by trying to sit on it all day long, but it’s helping with his willingness to go!
15 Minute Timer
Honestly, the timer is a mom’s best friend. You can use it in a myriad of ways throughout your day with kids to help minimize power struggles, signal what’s next, and to countdown when they have to stop doing something they love. I essentially potty trained my firstborn by using a timer set at 15 minute intervals. Every time it went off, I let her push the button (you know kids love pushing buttons) and then we sat on the potty.
If she went, good, if not, fine. We just set it again for another 15 minutes and did this for a few exhausting days until she was pretty well trained. If she said she had to go during that period we would just stop the timer and reset it for another 15 minutes.
What are your best potty training methods?
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