Recently, I finished potty training our 4th child, and I have to say it feels very strange to not go buy diapers after buying them for the past 9.5 years consistently. Honestly, potty training was a great experience with all four of them! My husband asked me to share some tips with you and if you can’t use them yourself, pass them along to someone in the toddler trenches!
So, are you and your child ready for this?
That is the most important question to answer. It will affect your day in a drastic way to potty train, so plan a couple weeks to try and stay home as much as possible.
Answer these questions about your child to see if he or she may be ready.
*Is your child interested in the potty or wearing underwear?
*Can your child pull his pants up and down?
*Can your child follow simple directions?
*Does your child stay dry for more than 2 hours at a time during the day?
If you answered mostly yes, than let’s get it started! If not, wait a few months and answer these questions again. Knowing when your child is ready is the most important place to start when preparing to potty train.
If possible, when you start potty training have a potty chair in the area of the house the child is in most. This will let the child see the potty more and it will be in his mind. Then for the bathroom, if you have an insert for the toilet or step stool, those are great to set up as well. Tell and demonstrate to your child, “when you feel your pee coming out, you run to the potty and pull your pants down”, make it fun!
Then explain to your child that he is a big boy now and he won’t be using diapers anymore, get some cool character underwear and put them on him. Remind them that “we don’t pee or poop in underwear, we do it in the potty.” Make sure you have sippy cups on hand to give them lots of liquid throughout the day, so they are getting lots of practice. In the evening, limit the drinks at least 2 hours before bedtime, so you may have to try and eat dinner earlier during potty training weeks.
If you have to go out in public, make sure you sit on the potty before you leave the house and when you arrive, if they don’t go when you arrive try and make sure they do before you leave. If you are dropping your child off, say for example at daycare or church, make sure the teachers know your child is in underwear and they need to take them to the potty several times.
At bedtime, for several weeks I will put on a pull-up or diaper at bedtime, but if you are limiting liquids in the evening it shouldn’t be long before they are waking up dry and you can transition to underwear.
I did not use rewards/incentives for any of my children, but whenever they went in the potty, I would have a celebration! I told everyone around the child, that he was potty training, so he received more praise from others too!
Potty training does not have to be hard or stressful, as long as both you and your child are ready!
Your turn: What potty training tips do you have?
This is a guest post by my beautiful bride Amy!