Potty training your kiddo can be an adventure. Keep in mind that even though things can be very eventful during this time, it will not last forever. This phase too, shall pass. The best piece of advice I ever received was to be prepared. Get ready for the messes, because there will be plenty.
Make sure you have all of the potty training essentials on hand.
–Potty or Potty Seat
–Pull ups for girls or Pull ups for boys
– Jar to store treats or Sticker chart for girl or boy
–Underwear for girls or Underwear for boys
Get your toddler involved from the get go by letting her help you pick out the items she likes the most. You can also let her decorate her potty with stickers. As you are doing these things, talk to her. Explain to her what you will need these items for and how they will be used.
Rewards will keep your toddler’s interests peaked for the duration of the training. You can pick whatever reward system you would like. The one that I found to work best is to place a clear jar full of M&M’s on the bathroom counter out of your little one’s reach. Every time your kiddo uses the potty, you can give her one piece of candy. If you choose to use a sticker chart for rewards, place the chart on the wall in the bathroom and shell out one sticker every time she uses the potty.
In the beginning you will want to take your kiddo to the potty every 15-30 minutes. It seems like a lot, but your toddler will benefit from the repetition. Keep in mind that once she catches on, you can base her schedule off of her habits of using the bathroom in previous days. Keep this schedule no matter where you are. Some parents find it easier to stay near home during the first couple of days of potty training.
On the potty
Explain to your toddler that since she is getting too big to use diapers, she needs to start using the potty. You can read her a story, such as Where’s the Poop. This book tells a story about all of the places animal’s poop. Point out that we have a place to poop too, in the potty. Tell her that when she uses the potty she will get a reward.
The first go!
When that magical moment happens and your toddler uses the potty for the first time, it’s time to celebrate! And that’s exactly what you should do. Clap your hands, sing a song, and jump up and down! Make a HUGE deal about her using the potty. The gratification will encourage her to continue to use the potty.
Pull Ups vs. Underwear
Keep your toddler in pull ups for the first couple of days of potty training, only use them temporarily. Next, put her in underwear during the day, and use pull ups at night.
No matter what you do to prevent accidents, they will happen. Be matter of fact about it with your toddler. Continue to talk to her. Tell her, “Oh oh! You didn’t make it to the potty this time. Let’s try again.” Take all of her soiled clothes off and sit her on the potty so she can try again. Clean up the mess and move on. Never punish your toddler for having an accident. Keep plenty of clean clothes, paper towels, and your bathroom cleaner handy.
Just keep in mind that the rainbow at the end of this journey is magnificent! No more throwing money away or changing diapers! With a little bit of patience and persistence, potty training can be a thing of the past.
I would love to hear about your potty training adventures. Please share them so we can all learn from each other’s experiences.