I am planning to potty train my youngest daughter in the very near future.
I can’t believe I just typed that.😬😢 How did this happen?! She will be 3 the end of June and my goal is to start sometime this month.
I am going to share the tips I have learned over the past few years and what worked well for my older two. This isn’t a perfect guide or an “I promise your child will be trained in 2 days guide”. 🙃 My hope is that this post will give you a good foundation on how and where to start. Having a plan and being committed will make the process so much easier. I don’t think you need to read a whole book on this unless you’ve tried the basics a few times and repeatedly aren’t successful.
Most importantly, remember to
Give yourself ✨GRACE✨ during this process and do not compare yourself or child to others.
Every child is different and they will all learn eventually. Honestly aside from the cost, having a child in diapers is a lot easier than having to run to a restroom when you are out every few minutes. Or having to plead with your child in the car to “please hold it mama is only a few minutes from the house” and they actually physically hold it with there hands and still go.🙈😬 So if they are not ready it is okay, there are still positives to the diaper stage.
Making sure you are timing it to when your child is ready is key.
There isn’t a magic age, all kids are different. I would say for sure your child needs to be able to communicate with you, shows some interest in using the potty, and is not fearful. If you are noticing that their diaper is dry consistently then that is also a sign it’s a good time to start. 🙏🏼🙌🏼
I trained my oldest right around 2 1/2 years old, in January of 2015, and started without having a real plan in place. I had a potty, underwear, candy and basically winged it (see picture above for what not to do 😂 ). We succeeded, eventually, but it took a few long weeks to accomplish. I found myself a few days in scouring the internet for advice and I ended up completely changing our approach. 🤷🏻♀️ For my son, I waited until he was almost 3 and I thought he was going to be difficult but he was trained in 3 days! I don’t know if it was the timing of it or that I had a good plan in place. But it was the best feeling in the world to have it go so smoothly. 🙌🏼
Three things so far: grace, good timing and a plan.
Alright, let’s do this 💪🏼! Go to Target, Walmart or Amazon for supplies (links provided below for easy shopping🙌🏼).
Potty Training List:
- Fun underwear (whatever your child loves) – 2-3 packages
- Pull-ups (this is for naps and bedtime)
- A potty seat (1 or more) to go on your toilet (I have 1 upstairs and 1 downstairs) or a small potty. Either option is fine but if your child isn’t afraid of the toilet I would suggest doing that and skipping the small potty. It ends up creating another step in the process and can initially make it harder for them to go in a public bathroom. It isn’t a huge deal but nice if you can avoid the additional step. 😉
- Step-Stool – (1 or 2) If you do the potty seat on the toilet
- Favorite stickers (Disney Princess Stickers)
- Sticker chart – Create your own (see below), you can order a template to print – Princess potty chart or Amazon sells them in sets with stickers – Amazon sticker charts
- Candy (examples: chocolate chips, marshmallows, lollipops)
- Favorite juice or juice boxes- Honest Apple Juice Boxes
- A small timer (it helps to get a new one that they know is just for this) How cute is this timer ?! 😍
- A few small toys to offer as a reward for filling up their sticker chart or if they go💩.
- WINE 🍷
- COFFEE ☕️
Don’t forget those last 2 items!! 😉
Potty Training Tips:
- Choose a start time when you know you have at least a good 3 days to put effort and time in. A long weekend is perfect!
- Start first thing in the morning and be excited and positive. ❤️
- Underwear on- and clothes that are easy to remove (no buttons, zippers etc). It helps them to learn to wait for the underwear and clothes to be removed before they can go.
- Start giving water and juice and continue to give (this is key). If your child isn’t drinking a lot then they may only go to the bathroom a few times the entire day which does not allow for enough practice. The more they go the quicker they will learn.👏🏼
- Show them the timer and say when it dings we are gonna go to the potty *set it for 30 minutes*. This helps as a reminder for you to remember to take them as well. You won’t need to do this forever but it helps in the beginning stages. If your child has to go to preschool during training you can pass the timer idea on or send it with them so they can continue using at school. If you are consistently bringing them and they aren’t having to go then change it to go off every 45 minutes or every hour.
- If they don’t go the first time but sit on the potty -praise them for that 👏🏼 and give them a sticker on their sticker chart. Give a sticker for any time they try and when they go.
- When they finally go on the potty make it a huge deal. 👏🏼 🎉🙌🏼 You can give candy or continue with stickers. Using the simple chart I made- I give candy whenever the sticker lands on a star and they get a new toy when the chart is full! I like this option best so it’s not so much sugar but do whatever your child is motivated by. If they don’t care about the stickers then do candy every time. Something simple like 1 chocolate chip or 1 marshmallow. It doesn’t have to be a huge lollipop or candy bar. 🙃
- Take to the bathroom right before naptime and bedtime and it is okay to put them in a pull-up for bed. You could try to keep them in underwear but I never did. I don’t have time for all that laundry. 😝 My oldest wore a pull-up to bed for a month and at that time started waking up dry so we switched to underwear then. My son is 4 1/2 and he still wears pull-ups to sleep at night and wakes up wet.
- Continue with the entire process until it clicks. You will be surprised at how fast they learn. 🙌🏼
- Keep it positive. Don’t punish or blame them for any accidents. They will have them and it’s okay. They are learning and if you are getting upset it takes the fun out of it for them and they won’t want to do it anymore.
- If they are resisting any of it, getting upset, or fearful then stop. Put everything away and try again in a few weeks or a month. They will learn when they are ready and learn faster. Save yourself the stress and just wait and enjoy their last few days in diapers. 🤗
- Pooping can take longer for them to be comfortable. There were times in the first weeks that my daughter needed a pull up on her because she was fearful to go #2 on the potty. My son wasn’t fearful but it did take a few weeks for him to get comfortable. I bought a few small toys and put them in a prize bucket. Anytime they went #2 in the potty they got to pick a new prize. 💩
**Update: my third baby is officially potty trained!
We started on Friday morning (1/18/19) around 945am. I used all of the tips listed above. She had 2 accidents in the first hour and never had another. By 11am she was telling me when she needed to go and holding it until we got to the bathroom! Two days in and she is waking up in the morning and after naps with a dry pull up and is going #2 on the potty as well. The timing of it was perfect for her, she was ready and using these tips made the process fun and easy for her to understand.
**I also realized that I trained all three of my babies in the month of January! Based on their birthdays my oldest daughter was 29 months, my son-32 months, and now my youngest daughter at 31 months. I would recommend around 2 1/2 years old as a good starting point- IF they are showing signs of readiness.
Please comment with any questions or share if this helps you in any way. I would love to hear about it! Also, please feel free to share this post with anyone that would find this advice helpful!
Thank you Mamas & Good luck!