We’ve reached one of my absolute least favorite parts of parenting. The dreaded POTTY TRAINING stage. If the thought of it doesn’t send a chill through your spine, you probably haven’t experienced it. Haha!! Or you are wonder woman! You would think that I would be some kind of seasoned pro with Harper being my 5th, but it is no lie that every single kid is different and brings their own challenges when it comes to potty training. I reached out to you guys to share some of your best tips + tricks to getting through it, and we are (almost) officially there, so I thought it would be the perfect time to share my best potty training tips with you, as well as some of the top ones you shared!
:: TIMING MATTERS
My very first and absolute biggest tip for potty training your little one, is to remember timing matters. Like so so much. I promise your experience will be 100 times better if you are willing to wait until they are ready. The times I was willing to do that were the times that we got it done quick and they caught on the fastest. And remember by timing, we are talking your childs own personal timing, not what is “expected” of you by the books or friends/family. There is no rush. Hudson basically potty trained himself at 18 months, and Harper + Houston have been a little after 3. So make sure your focus is on your child’s readiness and not comparing to someone else.
:: PREPARE THEM BEFORE YOU START
Just like adults, kids like to know what to expect before starting something new. Potty Training is no different, and if we keep everything hush hush, it makes it a scary experience. Talk about the process before hand. Let them be involved in picking out their training seat, new undies, and prizes. Let them watch you go to the bathroom or see that their older siblings wear undies. Making it familiar to them and helping them to realize it is normal and not scary for people they know helps make it a smoother process and something they actually look forward to.
:: BE COMMITTED
When you are ready to dive in to potty training, prepare yourself too. You need to be all in, or they aren’t going to be. Pick a time that you are able to stay home and really focus on it with little distractions. Set aside a good 3-4 days where you can be home, and consistently setting a timer every 30 minutes reminding them to go so they get the hang of it. If you try and do it right before a vacation or busy time in your life, you are going to find yourself reteaching them repeatedly. Part of being committed means being prepared as the teacher too. Have washable/disposable mats around the house in the areas you are going to spend your time. Load your fridge with lots to drink, and stock up on treats to help encourage them. Focusing hard on those few days will be SO worth it in the long run.
:: KEEP IT POSITIVE
As hard as it can be when you are literally surrounded by the accidents, keep it positive!!! This is a huge change for your kids and they aren’t going to get it the first day. For some maybe not even the 10th day. But it is SO IMPORTANT to keep it POSITIVE. If you associate being in trouble or bad behavior with them having an accident when they are still learning, they in turn are going to associate fear with it and not want to try. So do your best to stay positive.
Along that same note, PRAISE PRAISE PRAISE!! I cannot stress this one enough. Put yourself in their shoes trying something new. You are much more confident and motivated if someone is right there encouraging you and rewarding you for doing your best and making progress. I give Harper a treat (think small like a few m+m’s or skittles) every time she goes potty, a bigger prize for number 2, and then we have a goal prize that she picked out that she gets when she goes a certain amount of days with no accidents.
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Those are my tried + true tips, but again remember, every child is going to be different. So I asked you guys for some of your best potty training tips and these are the ones I loved the most!
** 3-3-3: For 3 days in a row, put your child on the potty every 30 minutes, even if they say they don’t have to go. If they don’t have the hang of it by day 3, try again in 3 months.
** Buy them a new sippy cup they are excited about using so they want to drink lots and lots of water during your training.
**Skip diaper like training pants. They are too similar to diapers and just add another step when you switch to undies.
**Put the ball in their court. Toddlers love to show how “big” and “independent” they are, so ask them to remind you to take them potty every 30 minutes (even though you are still watching the clock). Making it seem like they are in charge gets them really excited about it.
**Buy yourself treats and drinks to get through it too! Haha!! You deserve it!
I hope these tips + tricks help you (and me) survive potty training!! If you have any other great suggestions, leave them in the comments over on my Instagram Post so everyone can see and we can add them to the post!
photos : aubrey taiese