This definitly is not a post for everyone. We’re talking potty training, so all of you that this doesn’t apply to, I won’t be offended if you hit that X right now. But don’t worry, I absolutely will spare you the picture of my kid on the potty. I don’t feel like you need to see that. We all know what it looks like to sit on the potty.
Potty training is something I’ve dreaded for quite some time…like since Liv was a year and a half. It had been looming over my head for awhile, but I just didn’t want to deal with it quite honestly. Diapers are SOO easy… especially when your out doing multiple errands. I HATE public restrooms and will do basically anything to avoid them, so potty training and the thought of using public rest rooms..just ICK.
But, you know, just like everything else as your kids get older, you have to do things you don’t want to do. I decided that we would tackle potty training after summer camp. I didn’t want her to have to deal with figuring out the potty while she was in school…PLUS the most important factor…Liv was NOT ready.
So… I know that some people hate when bloggers share things as experts. Let me say, I DO NOT think I am any type of expert, but I DO love reading other parents’ experiences of situations…like potty training. I find it helpful to read what other people do, which is why I’m sharing my experience. Obviously you can do it a million ways, this is how it worked for us.
MY BIGGEST NUMBER 1 TIP:
WAIT UNTIL YOUR CHILD IS READY. This is my opinion, so maybe I shouldn’t shout. There are some people who have to potty train earlier because of going back to work or because of day care situations, then those are the obvious exceptions. Or really, if you just want to do it earlier, I’m not here to judge. My pediatrician is a huge advocate for waiting until they’re ready, she doesn’t want it to be a negative experience. I think that if you wait until your child is ready and showing signs they’re ready it will be very quick.
Signs they’re ready:
- They go long periods of time with a dry diaper.
- They tell you before they pee and poop.
- They talk about going on the potty and ask questions.
Olivia showed all of these signs around mid-June but she started camp end of June. I didn’t NOT train her becuase of that, but she was still highly resistant to the potty. She was very strong in her NO, so I decided to just wait until after camp.
What we did:
We talked about going to the potty. We read books about it. We talked about all the people she knows that go on the potty. Her friend had just been potty trained, so we talked about her. We talked about how her cousins are potty trained, grandma, aunts, etc. Liv was really into naming people who went on the potty.
We bought prizes and underwear. I asked her what she wanted and we went to Target. She picked out special underwear and a bunch of prizes from the $1 section. I bought frozen movie, frozen puzzle, Melissa and Doug water WOW book and then my mom got a BUNCH of stuff at Michaels. Basically Frozen everything: bubbles, coloring book, necklace, etc. We made a prize bag and the SECOND we got home from Target she started going. She was so psyched about the prize bag that it was the catlyst.
I had ordered The First Years Minnie Soft Potty Seat, which she also picked out, but since she wanted to start so quick I didn’t want to discourage it. We had a mini Elmo potty, so she started on there. I got advice from a few friends that said not to start on the small potty because it was hard to transition, while I understand that point of view, I didn’t want to tell her she COULDN’T go because the seat hadn’t come yet. (Want to note that I kept the Frozen movie and puzzle as big ticket prizes for when she went on the big potty with the Minnie seat. We also have a “huge” prize which is a Frozen watch for when she poops on the potty.)
So here’s what we did:
- Talked it up A LOT.
- Let her pick out underwear and prizes. Made a prize bag. I set aside big ticket prizes for when she went on big potty.
- Made a huge deal about when she went.
- Sat on the potty a lot. Read books. Colored. (NOTE: For Liv, she picked it up very quick. She had been telling us before she had to pee for about 8-9 weeks at this point so we didn’t need to do a “go every 20 minutes” method. We just asked casually at the start, but she usually just told us herself.)
- Never discouraged her. She definitly took advantage at the beginning and told us she had to pee when we were eating dinner to get out of eating those veggies. We just let her sit there (and then she had to eat after when she ineveitably got off!) I never spoke negatively or raised my voice once. She only had 2 pees on the floor when we started and hasn’t had any accidents besides.
- Used pull ups. I know most don’t like pull-ups, but they work for us. It gave Liv a sense of security. She’s only peed in them a few times when we are out and she honestly would much rather use the potty.
- Get a car potty. See link below to see which one we got. I HIGHLY recommend it. We got the disposable liners, but you don’t really need them. I think they make it easier. We have a pathfinder, so we will just put it in the trunk and she’ll go there. Is it the best option? No, but when you have a long-ish car ride it’s way better to just go in the trunk then have to find a rest stop and go.
- Used a lot of patience. It’s a transition and even though Liv picked it up very quickly there are still it’s challenging moments (gasp: I know it’s so hard to believe something in parenting is hard!)
- After about 2 weeks of the little Elmo potty, she decided she finally wanted the Frozen puzzle (which she knew she had to use big potty for) she went and then we never looked back!
- Use elastic waist bands. At the beginning especially they have to be able to get their pants down and then less importantly, up by themselves. *JUST* today after 3 or 4 weeks of potty training did she go back to button shorts and this is only because she ABSOLUTELY INSISTED on wearing a certain pair of shorts.
Now she will go in completely by herself, get on and go and then just call if she needs help. We have a stool in there so she can do the entire thing herself, she just needs a tiny bit of help turning the water on. It’s actually pretty amazing. I’m SO proud of her.
I can’t finish without addressing the poop thing. She still hasn’t gone on the potty. I know she’ll go when she’s ready. 99% of the time she wakes up dry from sleep, which is great too, but we’re still using pull-ups just in case.
Other things to note:
- We used prizes for about 3 days, every time she went. Then after that, she didn’t need them.
- She had a little regression on day 3 or 4 and didn’t want to go. Eventually she just went because of the prizes. I made sure to stay positive the entire morning and didn’t get upset or mad.
- After about 1.5-2 weeks, she wanted the Frozen puzzle, so just decided to go on the big potty. I kept reminding her that the Frozen puzzle was there waiting for her when she went on the big potty. Before that she had just said no to it, then one day she decided she was ready.
- We have this Travel Potty . It has saved us a bunch of times. I HIGHLY recommend it.
- I really think it went so smooth because we waited until she was ready. I’m now over changing her poop pull-ups, but I just keep talking about going and reminding her she has a big prize (Frozen watch) waiting for her. And I tell her how much easier it will be, etc. I know it will happen.
- I find that the Pampers Easy Ups Training Pants, are more absorbent than the other brands. DO NOT buy CVS brands if you want any absorbency. They are terrible.
*The links in this post are amazon affiliate links. The price doesn’t change, but I receive a small percent of the purchase. Thank you for supporting my blog. 🙂
This was long. Kuddos if you’re still reading! I would love to hear what worked for you with potty training. What worked and what didn’t work for you. Any tips on the poop thing?
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