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How exciting that your little one is ready to start a potty training routine! This is an amazing milestone and your heart might hurt a little as you realize your baby is getting so big.
Although it is always exciting watching your little one meet a new milestone, they are often stressful. Potty training may be the most stressful milestone of them all.
Even the most knowledgeable, calm, and prepared mom will tell you potty training isn’t an easy process. Every mom finds themselves on Google searching for the best ways to potty train and clicking on every link promising 50 tips to finish potty training today.
I was that mom and I was so frustrated by it all. That frustration resurfaced when researching this topic again. There are hundreds of different articles and they all provide the same information. The tips are great but no one is providing you with a true plan to get you started.
You can also get the Potty Training Pack which includes the list of tips, the list of supplies, a banner and crown templates to celebrate, potty cards, potty charts, sticker sheets, and certificates for potty training graduation! This Potty Training Pack lets your take all your new knowledge and apply it to make potty training fun.
Now, let’s get started!
Potty Training Tips
What Are Signs That a Child Is Ready to Potty Train?
The Mayo Clinic list these as signs that a child is ready to begin potty training:
- Your child can walk to and sit on a toilet
- Your child can pull down his or her pants and pull them up again
- Your child can stay dry for up to two hours
- Your child understands and follows basic directions
- Your child can communicate when he or she needs to go
- Your child seems interested in using the toilet or wearing “big-kid” underwear
What Is the Best Way to Potty Train a Toddler?
- Have a kick-off party – Throw a party where your child is either gifted with their new supplies (underwear, potty seat, etc) or go shopping for it together. Treat this as their special day to get them excited about this new milestone.
- Research the difference in potty training boys or girls – Boys tend to take longer to potty train. It is best to start potty training your son sitting down and when they master that, you can try standing up. It is always fun to include some Cheerios for target practice.
- Be consistent – Regardless of which method you choose, consistency is always key.
- Make it fun – Give your kiddo a book to read while they sit on the potty or just for fun to introduce them to the idea.
- Stay with them – Potty training is a team effort and you should be with them while they sit on the potty.
- Show encouragement and give praises – The best reward is a mother’s approval and smile.
- Show by example – Kids at daycare see bigger kids going to the bathroom and are more inclined to join in. Show your kiddo how mommy or older siblings go to the bathroom.
- Be patient – We all know patience is hard, but oh so important.
- Get creative – If your little one isn’t showing much interest in their new potty or their big-kid underwear, you can try to get creative. You can add blue toilet bowl cleaner and when they pee they can watch the color change to green. You could also add dish soap and they can watch the water bubble up when they pee.
- Choose your words – Now is the time to decide what words you will use to name your child’s private parts. Read this article and research other articles to learn why it is important to use anatomical terms.
- Notice signs of regression – Regression is likely to happen as it is a normal part of the process. Don’t punish mistakes, praise accomplishments.
- Expect nighttime accidents – Nighttime accidents may continue much longer after your little one has mastered potty training during the day. It is normal for a child to continue to have nighttime accidents up to age 7. It is important to remember that this is not your child’s fault and is completely normal. If you ever have concerns, you can ask the pediatrician.
- Have a graduation party – Similar to the kick-off party, have a graduation party. Invite family and friends or keep it just for the family. Gift your child with their own certificate that you can get in the Potty Training Pack.
- Offer rewards – Some parents swear by offering one or two MnMs for a pee or poop, more if they wipe. If you would rather not use food as a reward system, you can always get a potty training chart and use stickers to keep track of their success.
You can get the FREE Potty Charts here!
What Do You Need When Potty Training?
- Kick-off party supplies – your child’s favorites (Paw-Patrol, Peppa Pig, Mickey Mouse, etc.)
- New big-kid underwear
- Rewards – small candy, stickers, charts, etc.
- Potty Training Books
- Potty Chair
- Toilet Seat (for boys, worry about the urinal later)
- Step Stool
- Folding Toilet Seat for on the go
- Flushable Wipes
- Cleaning Supplies – Keep your favorite disinfectant spray and wipes close by and store extra in the bathroom.
- Waterproof Mattress Pad
- Extra Sheets – for the middle of the night accidents
- High fiber foods – for when pooping is not so easy
Potty Training Methods
Which Potty Training Method Is Best?
There are many different potty training methods. Each method has different strategies but they all have the same goal, get your kiddo potty trained! No one can tell you which is best for you. You decide which best fits your personality, your child’s personality, and your schedule.
Here are 4 common methods to choose from:
- Infant Toilet Training or Elimination Communication
- This approach is practiced in many cultures and is gaining popularity in western cultures. The idea is to NEVER even use diapers. I know, it sounds crazy right. However, this allows infants to always listen to their body and for mothers to notice their baby’s cues.
- Read more about this method here and watch this video where Mayim Bialik (neuroscientist and actress on Big Bang Theory) describes this method.
- 3-Day Potty Training Boot Camp
- The idea behind this method is to work hard and get potty training done in a long weekend. It isn’t pretty and it is going to be messy, but if you are wanting quick results more than anything else you should read more about how to use this method here.
- Child Oriented Approach
- This method is all about letting your kiddo take the lead. There is no pushy schedule or deadline. You as the parent introduce the idea, offer the potty throughout the day, suggest times your child should go, but ultimately they listen to their body and choose when it is best for them. You can read more about this method here.
- Parent-Led Potty Training
- This method is for those mommas who love their schedules. Guilty! This method is lead by either a timer or a routine.
- Some parents choose to set a timer for every 20 or 30 minutes and take their child to the bathroom regardless if they go or not. The idea is to celebrate the moments when they do go and get your child to recognize their body’s cues.
- Some parents choose to incorporate the potty into their day-to-day routines. This works best if your child is in daycare. You want to have the same daycare routine in your home. Have potty breaks when waking up, before/after snacks and meals, before/after naps, before/after going outside or other activities, and before bedtime.
Your Next Step
Now you know the potty training tips, what supplies you need, and can choose which method to pick. So now what? I am not going to leave you in that frustrating place where you have all the information but have no idea what to do with it.
That is why I created the Potty Training Pack. This includes the list of tips, the list of supplies, a banner and crown templates to celebrate, potty cards, potty charts, sticker sheets, and certificates for potty training graduation! This Potty Training Pack lets your take all your new knowledge and apply it to make potty training fun.