A Laid-Back Approach To Potty Training
My daughter is quickly approaching the age of two, which is when I started potty training my other three girls. From my previous experience, I can say that every child is different and learns to potty in their own time and own way. So trust your instincts mama and find what works for your kid. This time around I’m doing some things the same and some different things.
Wait for signs of readiness.
My daughter will tell us after almost every time she pees and poops in her diaper. So I thought she might be ready, even though she’s not two yet. More signs of readiness are waking up dry from nap and bedtime. Even though my daughter was showing some of the signs, she’s not trained yet. That’s okay though, we are exposing the idea of going to the bathroom and talking about it a lot.
Talk about going to the bathroom.
Talk about how poop and pee goes in the toilet, not in their diaper. Also, how big girls wear panties(or big boys wear undies). Toddlers are smart and they understand a lot more than we give them credit for. Every kid is different. Go with what works for your kid, you know them best. Some train later or earlier. Some are difficult and some are easy. Some are nighttime trained and some are not. So we’re keeping an open dialogue, and when she wants to potty we put her on the toilet.
Get the whole family involved.
When you use the bathroom have the toddler with you and then let them try using the toilet. When your child does potty, have everyone clap and praise the child. Go wild, go nuts, do a potty dance, etc. Make going to the bathroom fun. Also, my older daughter will bring the toddler to the bathroom. Very helpful for a busy mom of four. So get those siblings involved, if they’re old enough.
Training underwear are nice to have at the beginning, but not absolutely necessary. They are a tad more absorbent than regular underwear. We fortunately don’t have carpet. I went ahead and rolled up our rug in our living room though because accidents are expected.
Make sure you’ve got a travel potty or a potty seat for tiny bottoms. Nothing scars a kid more than falling in the toilet. Don’t ask me how I know. I have definitely brought a potty seat to public bathrooms(don’t worry I sanitized at home) and a travel potty in the car for potty emergencies. Pull-ups for outings and lots of extra undies.
Go to the bathroom first thing after waking in the morning and right after nap time. These are times they naturally need to go. Pack an extra change of clothes in a ziplock to keep in your purse. This is important because if they have an accident you will put their wet clothes in the ziplock.
I’m not above giving my kids candy. Skittles and m&ms work great. One for pee and two for poop. Also, have their favorite show ready to go on the phone or tablet. A little Cocomelon goes along way for bribery here.
It doesn’t have to be an all or nothing experience.
When my two older girls were little, I stressed way too much about potty training. By the time my third daughter learned to use the potty, it was a breeze. In my experience, younger siblings are easier to train because they watch the older one go, and they want to imitate the older sibling. With my youngest, we are starting potty training earlier than with my older girls, and just counting every trip to the bathroom a win. When we are home we start the day in panties, because a kid doesn’t like the feeling of being wet. It gets them used the feeling of going without a diaper.
When there’s too many tears or I’m too busy, we put on diapers back on. We use diapers for nap and bedtime, and when we are out and about she’s in pull-ups or a diaper for now. Everyday she’s learning and it takes the stress off me. We are practicing and getting better slowly. When she’s older, we will try to ditch the diapers completely. Remember do you mama, do what works for your family. Eventually, things will click, and they will be out of diapers so don’t stress it too much.