Potty training is not fun, takes time, and is a total trial-and-error experience. What works for one person might be the total opposite for another. Here’s what worked for us, so you can consider it in your own experience…
- Begin by Talking + Showing: Expose your child to the potty and talk about it. You’ll begin to see that they’re interested in it — maybe with flushing the toilet, watching others use it (other toddler friends is a good one!), or wanting to try it themselves. Reading potty books helps too!
- 3-Day Method (or so they say): Begin panty-less on the first day (we did this for the first couple days), then move to panties the next (Liv thought this was exciting. Training panties are awesome because they absorb so much!), then move to panties with pants/shorts on.
- Pull-Ups During Nap + Bedtime: Save yourself some sanity, and don’t feel bad if you put them in Pull-Ups during nap time and bedtime. Some studies/people will tell you to do without them and others won’t. Do what works for you and rest assured that they’ll be out of diapers all together one day!
- Have Cleaning Material Ready: Prepare to use lots of paper towels, wipes, and bags to clean up the messes.
- Choose a Warm Weekend: Olivia could run around outside wearing a large t-shirt, panty-less, and we didn’t have to worry as much about cleaning up big messes around the house. We brought her toilet outside and played there most of the day.
- Keep Them Hydrated: The sooner they are successful on the potty, the better. Making sure they have enough fluids will increase your chances of getting them to have to even use the potty. Olivia was really good at holding her pee from the beginning so it took us a while before she’d even have to use the potty each day.
- Stay Positive: Your patience can certainly be tested but you have to stay positive so that the kids don’t get overwhelmed and discouraged. Take those breathers when needed! Don’t be too hard on yourself either. It takes times and probably more time than you’d like, but just know, it will click!
- Give Rewards: With Olivia, we started with marshmallows, then moved to chocolate chips, and ended with pieces of jelly beans and gummi bears. She’ll still occasionally ask for a treat after going potty and we give them to her. We would give her a treat even when she’d attempt to go to the potty. When she was successful, we’d sing and clap like crazy, and that would make her proud.
- Activity for Potty-Time: Reading, puzzles, singing songs, and watching some TV helped to occupy her while she sat on the potty.
- Offer Options: We offered either the floor potty or the potty on the toilet seat. It ended up that if we sat her on the seat on the potty, she was more successful because she couldn’t step down from it herself. She didn’t love this at first but once she went completely and was successful, it became easier.
Just remember it may take time, be open to explore some options, and GOOD LUCK!