Potty Training 101

By on September 10, 2015

Oh The Joy Potty training!

I have two boys – one who is still in diapers and one who is just about fully potty trained. I honestly thought potty training would be a whole lot easier then it was! Here are some tips and tricks that worked for my little one.

Tip 1: Start Right Away When You See Signs

I started with my son a little too late. For whatever reason, we didn’t actively start training him until he was almost 3!!! I just didn’t really feel that he was ready but now looking back on things I believe we may have started too late and we possibly missed the window (the window where it may have been a little easier to train him). I feel that if I had started working with my son every day after he turned 2 he probably would have caught on a whole lot faster. Since we started a little late I honestly think he was just so “ok” with being dirty/wet and really didn’t want to stop playing when he had to go. So….I would recommend starting around 2 years old  OR as early as you see some signs. Common signs are 1.) irritated when they pee or poop in diaper 2.) very interested in potty or older sibling using the potty 3.) telling you they have to go or are going.

Tip 2: Be Super Consistent & Stay In For A Block of Time

Set out a week where you really won’t be going out much. I know this is super difficult to do for some of you busy or working moms, but it’s really important! I started on a Monday with my son and maybe went out once the whole week! Ha, yes we got a little stir crazy! But this is a critical part of  potty training. Your child will be thrown off if they aren’t given the opportunity to use the toilet if out and about – plus it’s SO much more inconvenient using a public restroom! Kids touch everything – gross!

Tip 3: My Potty Training Method

Here’s what I did – It worked for us and may not work for your child but it’s worth a shot, right!?

Starting on Monday I put my son in a pull-up and explained to him that these were ‘big boy’ underwear and that he was not to pee or poop in them. I explained to him that if he wanted to be a big boy he had to use the potty. I gave him a full bottle of water in the morning and let him drink as much as he wanted. Every 15-20 minutes (I know that’s a lot :-/) I would take him and put him on the potty. Every time I did this he would pee. He was doing great! We went through day 1 with no accidents. Day 2 came and I spaced the time apart that I would put him on the potty – that didn’t work! He had and accident so I needed to go back to the 15-20 minutes. Honestly, we stuck to this method for a few weeks and he finally got better and better and had fewer accidents. As far as the poop goes, he had maybe 2 poops in his pull ups then he got the idea that he could go while on the potty peeing. After several weeks of this (about 3) I would say he is fully potty trained. He occasionally will have an accident (usually if he is distracted for a long while) and I will tell him that he cannot go in his pants and that he needs to use the big boy potty. At this age they totally understand all of this! Even after several weeks I still keep him in a pull up – just in case! We’re moving into the underwear direction though!

Tip 4: Incentive, Incentive, Incentive!

My child will do ANYTHING for a “treat”! Ha! The tinniest jelly bean makes him so motivated and happy! SO…definitely use some sort incentive to motivate your child. It works! They know that if they do what you are asking them – they will get rewarded. I would ask my son “Do you need to use the potty”. He usually would say “nope”. And then I say “you’ll get a jelly bean if you go pee pee on the potty like a big boy” and he’s right there ready to go! If you don’t want to give your child candy every time (that’s a lot of jelly beans when you first start out) find something that is special to your child – stickers, special snack, etc..

Just stick to it – they will have accidents and it will seem exhausting, but it’s totally worth it! I thought about giving up several times but I know my child was ready and I had to just keep moving forward. You got this!

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