I think most parents would agree that potty training is not something we look forward to. But we do all want the end result of no more diapers, and we want it to come as quickly and easily as possible! Unfortunately, there is simply no such thing as a one-size-fits-all potty training solution, however, there are some tips you can implement to ensure a successful potty training experience!
Before diving into potty training cold turkey, take some time to prepare your little one first. For at least a couple of weeks before you are ready to ditch the diapers, do some fun potty-related activities with your child to get them on board and familiarized with the process without any pressure for them to actually do anything yet. Read potty books, watch potty videos, invite them to the bathroom with you when you’re going and talk through the steps, and play ‘potty’ with their toys and dolls. You can even allow them to choose their own potty supplies on a fun shopping trip (either online or in the store). If they choose their own potty and underwear, they will be more likely to use them properly when the time comes.
When you’ve nailed down a good time for your family to begin potty training, count down the days to no more diapers with your little one. About 3 to 5 days before you’re ready to start, wake up each morning and “x” off the day on the calendar together (or make a paper chain and tear off a loop!). Not only does this help your child mentally prepare for the upcoming change they’re about to experience, but it gives you the opportunity to build their confidence so they believe they can do it! This technique works especially well for stubborn kiddos who tend to be resistant to change.
If your child ever seems anxious, apprehensive, or even afraid to release their pee and poop on the potty once you’ve started, try my bubble trick! Did you know that when you blow out air, it activates the same muscles we use to pass our bladder and bowels? It’s true! So while your little one is set up on the potty, try letting them blow bubbles or blow through a straw into a glass of milk or water. Not only does getting to do this fun activity entice your child to try, but it also relaxes them AND helps them pass the pee and poop! Gotta love an effective trick that is actually FUN!
When you’re ready to introduce underwear to your child, buy them in a size larger than what they would normally wear. Having the underwear be a slightly looser fit will help them remain more aware of their body’s sensations and urges and will be less easily confused with a diaper. This tends to reduce accidents and make the transition from diapers or bottomless to clothing easier, and who doesn’t want that?!
Don’t be held hostage by potty training! It may be easier in COVID times to just stay cooped up in the house with your newly diaper-free kiddo, but after day one, try venturing out, even if just for a few minutes each day. This not only gets your child some experience and practice with using the potty out of the house (they need to be potty trained both in AND out of the house after all!), but it will also help keep everyone’s morale up to have some change of scenery. When you go on these short outings, take a potty with you, along with some essentials such as at least two changes of clothes, some absorbent cloths, wipes, hand sanitizer, and waterproof bags to store wet clothing. Potty training should fit seamlessly into your current lifestyle, you shouldn’t have to rearrange your life to accommodate potty training!
Happy Pottying! xo