Just before Christmas I started potty training Apple. I was flooded with requests for this post from parents looking for tips. Since life has been extra busy I wasn’t able to get this done as fast as I wanted. So.. finally after 2 months I am sharing a not so short and sweet post with my tips.
First thing to look for is knowing if your child is ready. Potty training isn’t about winning a mom award because you trained your 15 month old. (Which typically is the mom is trained to put them on. Not the toddler asking.) Do they know when they go potty or as Apple would say at 22 month “stinky”? If they are sharing with you to change them or hiding, then that is a sign that they are aware of what they are doing. I personally waiting until 24 months with all my kids. I feel the battle to be easier when they understand more. I am also not worried about posting on my Facebook with my 9 month old “My kid is potty trained! Take that bitches! This mama can do it better than you!” JK.
So now that you understand when to start. It also comes down to your commitment. A LONG time ago I wrote a blog on getting your child to sleep in the crib at 6 months. (most read post ever-still is) Commitment was key and it’s the same for potty training. Do you have a weekend away coming up? A busy work schedule that is above normal? Friends coming to town to stay with you? If you have something that will be distracting to you I recommend you wait until you can give a good week to 10 days commitment to your child. Typically, my method they are trained by day 3 but you still need to remind them and be there fully for them for the additional time. Or they can revert.
Make your purchases. (linked items at end of post)
Bjorn Potty – My fave for the floor and stability. Also cleans easily.
Training pants – I used Applecheeks and burts bees.
Potty seat for toilet top (optional but good for getting them used to the big toilet)
Step stool for hand washing and getting up to the toilet.
Treats of choice. I use Nerds Candy.
The morning of no more diapers.
When your little one wakes up you will put them directly into underwear. I do not use pull ups as they defeat the purpose of training since they act like a diaper. You need to communicate lots to your child about going potty. I put my child on the potty and cheer and get excited yelling “Yay!! Potty! Big Girl (or boy)” That sets the tone for this being an exciting and rewarding experience. I then allow them off the potty even if they didn’t pee yet and with a stern voice say “NO pee pee in panties.” They usually look at you with sadness, like who are you crazy person? You were so happy a minute ago.
This goes on repeat constantly reminding them they need to pee on the potty and you keep putting them on. I suggest every 30 minutes. YES, you will be worn out.
Now that you understand what you need to do and you also gave up your day. Plan to give up everything up for a couple days. You will need to step up the potty game. It isn’t just putting them on and taking them off.
This is where Nerds come into play. A few times on the potty you need to reward them with something more than mama cheering. I give 1 teeny Nerd since we do not like to give a lot of candy in our house. When I am done cheering that Apple is going potty I will reward her with a treat. I will make this so exciting and rewarding that she will want to go more in the potty. Typically they won’t pee right away on the potty. Many kids do not put together what they need to actually do until they fail. It’s when they have an accident that everything will connect in their minds.
Fast forward to on and off the potty and feeling like your kids won’t get it. You will be stuck at home forever training until they turn 16!
Aaannnnd they look at you and pee.
Here is your chance to connect the dots!
“No pee pee! Pee Pee goes on the potty!” You run with them to the potty and pull their pants and trainers down and sit them on. Tears are usually flowing or shock. They don’t like upsetting anyone. After letting them sit for a bit you will then tell them to take off their own bottoms. HELL in a child’s eyes. All 4 of my kids never wanted to touch their yucky pants and hated having to undress themselves this way. Once you get through the task you will then have them go get clean bottoms. Talking often with them about how pee goes n the potty and not their panties or chonies. I hug it out after they are dressed because I can only deal with so much heart break. We go back into the cycle of reward for potty and unhappy for pee in the pants. Depending on your own child they will clue in to the positivity the potty brings to their life and how its yucky and not happy to pee in their pants.
Keep rewarding good dry pants.
My boys were much easier than Apple. They got the reward part VERY quickly. King was the longest taking to the next morning. (Kurt actually had to leave town to our other house because he couldn’t handle the ups and downs of emotions! lol) Apple is a little more headstrong. She knew she wanted Nerds and would tell you constantly that she wanted to go “stinky”. She also was like screw you I will hide behind plants, couches, chairs and pee. Luckily, she hated changing her clothes herself and we broke through on morning 3. It was the turning point where she didn’t want to undress herself anymore and we have been sailing along ever since.
Accidents will happen. You need to look a the situation that your child is in, whether it was a bad or an ok thing. Were you out shopping? Not their fault. Were you cooking in the kitchen and they hid behind the couch? Not good.
A couple more notes :
Pooping can be a big deal. Most kids show signs of needing to go and also go the same time each day. Watch for this and keep them on the potty longer and more often. DO NOT GIVE. IN!
Night training. You will need to help them along with this by not giving loads of fluids or bottles before bed. You are setting them up for failure if you give 9 oz milk before sleep!
Night training. Put them pee before bed and as soon as they wake up. Again, reward like crazy for dry beds. Some moms choose to do pull ups at night and others use trainers. I did trainers with the boys but am too busy for bedding changes now so with Apple I did pull ups.
When you think you have made progress take your child shopping for big kid undies. Make it the best most exciting thing of your day. They usually won’t want to spoil their pretty panties or cool superhero ginch.
Don’t stress if your child takes slightly longer but do look at what you are doing. Find a reward that may be better than the one you gave. Are they sticker fans? Give them a sticker. Do they love the iPad? Allow them a few minutes after they go and not any other time to entice them. Finding the right reward helps. Also make sure you are STERN when you show your upset. A solid voice helps them understand mom/dad are serious about this new deal.
This was actually a really hard post to write. How do you put online publicly what you do for potty training when it involves dreaded candy and mean mom status? I am sure I will get some trolls that will hate me but again I will say I have been around the block wth kids. My adult son isn’t in need of therapy for his potty training days.
Find your groove with your child. You know them best! If you take 1 part of what I do or no part or follow exactly everything just make sure you both are thriving from it.
GOOD LUCK!!! YOU WILL MISS DIAPERS WHEN YOU ARE OUT GROCERY SHOPPING AND RUNNING THROUGH AISLES TO FIND THE BATHROOM….ONLY TO WAIT OUT FRONT THE DOOR AS SOME OLD GUY TAKES FOREVER AND YOU NEAR PUKE FROM USING IT AFTER.
Seat for top of toilet.
Stool for hand washing and getting up the big toilet.
Burts Bees Training Pants have a good slim fit. They are not leak proof but I like that for knowing when they go.
Applecheeks Learning Pants are great for on the go. They have more of a waterproof layer and absorb accidents well. Also good night time bottoms.