Okay, any other mamas out there dread potty training? Raise your hands!! Yep, me too! I was totally intimidated by the idea. With Harper being my first child, he was obviously my first go round at potty training. Well, let me just say, it’s not as scary as it seems, y’all! I read tons of articles on how to potty train your kiddo. I compiled a little from here and there and I had my plan of attack that I thought would work for us, and it did! So I wanted to share this with you guys to see if it might help and give ya some encouragement! Us mamas have to stick together, ya know?!
1. This is the MOST IMPORTANT one! Make sure your kiddo is ready.
If your little one isn’t ready, you’re setting yourself up for disaster. And believe me, you don’t want to do that. It’s worth waiting and being in diapers a bit longer. Harper started showing signs that he was ready at the end of last year right before he turned two. I think some of that had to do with seeing his cousin using a potty and he wanted to do the same. He started telling me when he had peed in his diaper and started talking about the potty. So I knew it was time to give it a shot.
2. Get your supplies.
- Interactive potty (Harper responded great to the songs and being able to flush it.)
- Wet bathroom wipes (Flushable wipes basically.)
- Clorox wipes (For obvious reasons, sanitizing once he had used the potty.)
- Disinfectant hand wipes (Quick “hand washing” for the million times a day it has to be done.)
- Undies (Let them pick these out and go ahead and get a few packs. You’ll thank me later.)
- Mini M&M’s (A bitesize reward.)
- Tons of liquids (Because you want them to have the urge to go often.)
- Potty Book (Something fun to prep with and look at while they sit.)
3. Reserve a few days when you can be home 24/7.
I started to title this post “How to Potty Train in 3 Days”, but I realized how different every child must be and this will depend on their level of cooperation. We potty trained during a 3 day stretch. It worked for us, but it may be shorter or longer for you. Whatever the case may be, you’ll want to be home where you can be close to the potty.
4. Give yourself a pep talk, Mama!
Seriously, you can do this and so can your kiddo! I’m not going to sugarcoat it! There will be tantrums, moments of frustration, elephant tears from the two of you (well, I cried but that could’ve been my pregnancy hormones in full swing at 9 months), and more pee and poop than you thought you’d ever see! But once you make it through the trenches and come out on the other side, you will be SO proud of your undie wearing child and be encouraged if you have to go another round with the next one.
5. Sit down to prep your little one on what’s about to happen.
I think one of the reasons we were super successful is because I talked to Harper about what we were going to be doing. We had been reading this book and he was pumped about being a potty superhero. I also let him pick out his underwear and he was beyond excited about wearing “big boy undies”. I truly believe these little steps got him prepped and made him eager to try the potty. At this point, you’re halfway there and that initial struggle of them not wanting to cooperate is gone.
6. Hunker down.
Literally. Like, make sure your fridge and coffee are full because you’re in lockdown mode. Each morning we’d shed the diaper and HE would pick out his undies, which we had mounds of. We opted out of pull ups because he’s a smart boy and I didn’t want to give him anything that resembled a diaper. With undies, there’s no concealing anything and that’s what it took. I would set the little potty in the den (our most central part of the house) and set my timer to go off every 30 minutes so he could go sit on the it, even if he didn’t need to pee or poop. This made him more and more comfortable with the idea and by the third day he was running to the potty when he needed to go. Now, don’t get me wrong, I can’t tell you how many times I ran the washing machine those few days. There were more accidents than I care to remember. A few even where I just threw some undies away to keep my sanity. Ya got to do what ya got to do! Nonetheless, success!
7. Be persistent, encouraging and patient.
These three can make or break this thing, y’all! If you aren’t persistent in putting them on the potty every 30 minutes or so, there will be accidents and they won’t get the hang of it. If you aren’t patient, they will get frustrated and feel like they have failed and you are disappointed in them. Neither of which you want. So push through and be consistent; offer more patience and grace than you thought you could muster! If you are constantly reminding them to try and encouraging them through dry and wet undies, they WILL get it down and be potty trained.
Stay tuned for next week’s post, Potty Training 101 | Part Two. I’ll be talking about how he stayed dry once we left the house, what was in our bag, and what it took to keep dry through nap time and bed time!
Good luck, mamas and kiddos! You can do it!