Changing my newborn’s diaper and my toddler’s diaper just wasn’t working out for me anymore. That’s when I decided it was time to start potty training my daughter. She just turned 2 and it took about two (messy) days. After all my hard work and being very consistent, as of today, she is a pro at going to the big girl potty and I couldn’t be more proud of her! The only time she might have an accident is when she’s sleeping (we haven’t quite mastered the night-time potty training yet) or if she’s having too much fun and she forgets. I have to keep reminding myself that it’s okay because with any learning process there’s going to be accidents. Potty training is a learning process for both you and your child. The main thing you need to remember is not to give up! Even if your child doesn’t become potty trained in two days like mine did, that’s okay. Every child is different and learns at their own pace. You need to find what works best for you. Here are a few tips and tricks that worked for us, and may or may not work for you.
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1. Give them something to look forward to:
When we first started potty training, my daughter hated going to the toilet. I don’t know if she was scared of it or if she just didn’t like it since she had been so used to using diapers. Anyway, I tried all sorts of things to get her to go. Going as far as playing kids songs in the bathroom and singing along while she sat on the potty. In the beginning, she really enjoyed it, but eventually she got tired of it and refused to sit on the toilet again. I used to wipe her hands with baby wipes after she was done but once she discovered foam soap, potty training became a lot easier. She knew that after she went to the potty, she was able to wash her hands with the foam soap, so then she loved going to the potty just because it meant she got to wash her hands afterward (lol I wish everything was that easy). So I sort of killed two birds with one stone since she became potty trained and she learned bathroom hygiene.
2. Use incentives:
I’ve found that using a small piece of candy, like an m&m or a skittle works great as an incentive or a reward for your child after using the potty. But if you don’t want to give them sugar, then you could use something like stickers with their favorite character on it or some small toys (make sure that your child knows how to play with small items before giving it to them because they may try to eat it and choke)
3. Be consistent
Keep taking them to the potty every 30 minutes or so. I found that setting a timer on my phone for 30 minutes and just restarting it every time worked the best for me so I didn’t have to keep watching the clock and still take them even if they say “no.” Constantly ask them if they have to use the potty (to the point where you’re irritating yourself). If you have to, sit with them in the bathroom for around 1-3 minutes and give them some time. If your child doesn’t want you to be in the bathroom with them while they do their ‘business’ then stand right outside the door or if they allow you, just turn your body the other way and make sure to tell them to let you know if they went potty or not and if they need help cleaning themselves.
4. Keep a bathroom log:
Have a chart or just take notes when your child goes to the potty. Make separate notes if they go pee or poo. My daughter was pretty regular with her bathroom schedule so it was fairly easy to potty train her since she would always need to go to the bathroom at around the same time every day. Also, it’s a great visual to actually be able to see your child’s progress! If you want, when they complete the whole potty log you could have an extra special prize for them (something they really like) to make them feel extra proud of themselves and accomplished.
5. Be ready for accidents:
When learning anything, accidents are bound to happen. It’s just a part of the whole learning process. Remember to always pack extra clothes when going out with your child (I like to pack some in my baby bag and also have a pair or two stashed in the car at all times) in case something does happen and include empty plastic bags to put the dirty clothes in afterward.
6. Read books about learning to use the potty
My daughter’s favorite was Once Upon a Potty — Girl by Alona Frankel. The story talks about a little girl who used to wear diapers but, then her grandma buys her a potty for her birthday and she learns how to use her potty all by herself. In the end, her mommy is really proud of her.
7. Don’t use pull-ups:
This was also another incentive for going to the potty. My daughter loves to shop for cute underwear with her favorite characters on them. I told her that if she was going to use the potty, she needed to stop wearing diapers/pull-ups and she was fine with that. If you keep your child in pull-ups while trying to potty train them, they are very similar to a diaper so if they pee in it, they are already so used to the feeling it probably won’t bother them. Whereas if they pee in their underwear, it will feel saturated and uncomfortable.
8. Try different techniques:
What I mean by this is, there are different tools to help with the potty training process. We had bought my daughter her very own Fisher Price Princess Step Stool Potty and in the beginning, she loved to use it and hear the magical princess sound it would make after she was done or the imitation flushing sound. But, after a week or so, she just wanted to use the regular potty and only used her potty as a step stool to help her reach the big potty or to reach the sink so she could wash her hands. She didn’t want us to hold her up for support so we ended up buying a removable cushioned toilet seat that was easy to put on or take off so she could use the potty all by herself. I think it made her happy to feel like she was doing it on her own.
This is what worked for us but as I said in the beginning, every child is different and learns differently so you will just need to find what works best for you.
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I would love to hear some of your tips and tricks for potty training success, so please feel free to leave me a comment below.