I was really nervous to start potty training my boys (Brett, 2, Canon, 3). I wasn’t sure how I was going to go about it. I wasn’t sure if they were ready or if the rest of my family was ready to share the bathroom. But I felt like it was one of my goals for the summer and the school year was about to begin so it was now or never.
I decided I would do the 3 day express route. Basically, with this approach to potty training its just like creating a mild obsession for your toddler. Below I will detail our experience with this approach and how it all worked out each day.
I started the day by setting underwear in my bathroom in case they had an accident i had underwear prepared already. Undies are a mandatory part of the Potty Training Survival Kit. These are our favorites that we got from Walmart. As soon as they woke up I took them to the potty. Canon (3) didn’t know what I expected from him and this weird seat with the middle missing. He was so confused that the first few times that I put him there he didn’t pee until I took him off. That pretty much sums up his whole first day.
After they sat on the potty for a little bit I took them off and replaced the diaper with a fresh pair of big boy undies. I praised them at every step of the way. I gave a high five for sitting on the toilet. I gave encouraging words if they stayed seated. And the whole family clapped and cheered if they went on the potty.
I purposely chose not to give them rewards for using the potty because I don’t want them to think that doing the right thing always has a reward. It’s important to me that they do the right thing because they know it’s the right thing. And I feel like encouraging words and celebration with your loved ones is a great reward in itself. However, if you want to give an extra incentive to those that are not easily swayed you can go to this post I wrote about Potty Training Rewards That Work.
So anyway, here’s the obsessive part… On day one we went to the potty every 20 minutes. There were some exceptions like when they were asleep (which is when they wore diapers) and meal times.
When the timer I set on my phone went off I took Brett (2) first because he caught on quickly. As I was getting Canon on the potty I reset the timer for another 20 minutes.
Can I just be real?
It was so hard to stick to that timer. Sometimes I felt like it was just too much. And honestly it really is hella tiring. And before you start potty training you think that it’s going to give you less things to do since you don’t have to change diapers any more.
Psych! Dead wrong. It gave me more things to do. Now I not only have to take them to the restroom I also have to watch them because they get into things from the toilet. So I’m standing there with them the whole time. And I still have to deal with the diapers. But once I started I wasn’t going to stop and I wanted us to get through this. I wanted to get to the other side of this goal. And I kept telling myself “Everybody learns this. They will catch on soon”.
And caught on they did. So on this second day I set the time for every 30 minutes. It was like the tables turned on the two boys because yesterday Brett (2) was killing it and Canon was struggling, having accident after accident.
BTW: When they do have an accident (and it will happen often) it’s so important that you do not scold them but keep teaching them instead. This is not called training for no reason. They have these new muscles that they never knew existed and now they have to learn how to work them. It’s like walking all over again.
Anywho, on this second day Canon was killing it. He was waiting for the time to potty. He had no accidents and even went number two. My little Brett on the other was having trouble holding it for the whole 30 minutes.
Every time we had an accident I would take that guy to sit on the potty. I knew he didn’t have to potty again but as he was sitting there I would keep telling him in a nice even tone “We pee pee on the potty”. And when we were done on the potty I would have him help me wipe up the accident. They wouldn’t always help me but I wouldn’t force it. It just shows them that this was a mistake and we can clean it up.
As parents sometimes we give our kids long lectures and punishments when they make mistakes. That either creates an anxious child or a sneaky child. Sometimes punishment and lectures are necessary but in this case these toddlers need love and support.
Even though Brett had a rough day two he recovered very well for day three. Each boy had one accident but the crazy part is that I set the timer for one hour in between for the first part of the day. But I soon realized I didn’t need the timer because they were asking to go to the potty. Sometimes they just wanted to be in the bathroom but besides those two accidents they were potty trained.
Day four was the ultimate test. We were going to leave the house. We decided that Canon (3) was going to be the first crash dummy for the no diaper trip to the store.
Before we left I made sure he went to the potty. I asked him very often in the store if he needed to go to the potty and he told me no. It was a short trip about an hour and when we made it home I took him straight to the potty. He actually went on the potty! I was so proud and we all gathered around the door and clapped and cheered for him.
It’s been about 3 weeks and we have had a few accidents here and there. Canon is going to school in the mornings so I put a diaper on him but when he gets home a couple hours later his diaper is dry. I take him straight to the bathroom and he goes. We will be potty training him for night time soon. I’m still doing some research on the best ways to potty train at night.
Brett now leaves on short trips without a diaper. I don’t think he’s ready to potty train at night yet. Sometimes he has accidents while waiting for someone else to get out of the restroom. It’s like when someone else goes in there all of a sudden he remembers that he has to go and now it’s too late. But he enjoys being in the bathroom the most out of the two boys. Canon only goes in there when he knows he needs to.
Potty training can be so damn nerve wrecking. I know because I’m doing it as we speak. Some think that potty training can be a quick 3 day activity and voila your kid never wets himself or the bed ever again. Life is easy and diaper free. Well that’s not true even in the least bit.
Potty training can take quite a while. Even if you choose to potty train in three days those three days only consist of potty training during the day time. You have to factor in the amount of time it takes to potty train at night and on outings. Especially fun outings when they will keep telling you they don’t have to go until they go on themselves. Oops!
Potty training can be simple though. If you choose to reward your child for going on the potty you can increase your chances of them wanting to go to the potty.
Here are five potty training rewards for toddlers:
One: Encouraging words
Encouraging words never run out. You don’t have to run to the store real quick to pick some up. And the memory of them can last a life time. Encouraging words is the form of reward I chose for my boys because I always want them to want to do the right thing. Some rewards are encouraging and they do work but they also send the message that if I do this I will get that. Saying “I’m so proud of you” builds self-esteem and confidence that can last much longer than some other forms of rewards.
A potty chart is a great way to acknowledge your child’s progress with them. It keeps track of what they did on the potty and once they fill up the chart with stickers you have the option to reward them with a bigger reward. Allow them to pick and place their own stickers even if it’s in the wrong place.
Three: Small toys or games
Small toys and games can be a great reward for potty training. You can offer a small puzzle or little toy animal if your toddler fills up their potty chart. The Dollar Tree offers so many options for small toys like small containers of play-doh, coloring books, finger paint, balls, etc.
Four: Quality time
My boys loved it when I sat with them on the potty. It was definitely a reward for each of us. They got personal one on one time with mom or dad when they used the potty. We played games and sang songs. Sometimes we read a book. But it wasn’t about what we were doing it was just about us doing something together without anyone else allowing to butt in or interrupt. When you have a house to run and you have people to care for you can forget to spend quality time with each person. When they were on the potty we got to spend that quality time together, growing closer and bonding. I would sit on their stool in front of them at arms reach and we would just play and talk. Sometimes they didn’t want it to end but that’s a good thing.
Five: Hugs and kisses
Most people need a lot of affection. It’s how we show we love you. Kids aren’t any different. They like to climb, kiss, hug, snuggle, hold hands, rub, and touch. They want the same from us. So what better reward for going to the potty than showing them you love them with hugs and kisses.
The beauty of these potty training incentive ideas is that you can choose all or just one. They can all work together to make your potty training experience happier and calmer. And sometimes faster.
I had done so much potty training research before I took the plunge. Despite all that research I did I still felt nervous. I think potty training is one of those things where you're never really ready, but you can be prepared. Below is my potty training survival kit. I give you 5 potty training essentials.
The number one essential for potty training is patience. Your tot will pee and poop on your floor but you have to stay patient. I keep telling myself that we all learn this skill it just takes time. It just reminds me that the end result is coming and I just have to keep putting in the work for it.
Two: The Potty
Every big girl or boy needs that potty that will inspire them to sit on it. I recommend the potty that fits over the regular toilet because it teaches them the true place in the house that they are supposed to go potty. You can use the potty that can be placed any where in the house as well. As long as they like it and will enjoy sitting on it
Three: The Cleaning Crew
So you have to clean that potty and that toddler. I like to clean the potty once a day. I spray some Spic N Span on the top of the potty and wipe it off with a clean rag or you could use toilet paper or paper towels. I the flip it over and wipe off the bottom of the potty, wiping the pee cup thingy last. Now we keep the germs to a minimum, especially since I have two toddlers sharing the potty. Now to clean the boys I use flushable wipes. I don't use toilet paper because it's too dry and starts to rip. And that is a problem I do not want.
Four: Reward System
Some like to sing a song or do a dance. We would give high fives and everyone came to the door to clap for whoever used it in the potty. A reward gives your toddler a reason to continue doing the right thing.
I don't recommend using pull-ups or diapers while you are potty training unless your toddler is napping or going out of the house. Diapers don't allow for the potty user to feel the moisture on themselves. Them feeling the moisture is a big deal because it's uncomfortable. That discomfort will translate to him or her not wanting to be wet anymore, then they will begin asking to use the potty to stay dry. Pull-ups work almost the same way as diapers, they absorb the moisture so the kiddo won't feel as wet. If you want to potty train quickly then they need to first be uncomfortable.
So that's it. Do any other moms out there have a must have list of your own for potty training? Comment below I would love to check it out.
Six Signs Your Toddler is Ready for Potty Training
Potty training... It can be an exciting yet terrifying experience that has to happen for every kid. They have to know how to use the restroom on their own. But how do we know when they're ready? How can we tell when it's the right time to potty train? We don't want to try for weeks just to realize our kiddo isn't ready for the big step. So I put together 6 signs that will tell you if your toddler is ready to be potty trained or not.
One: Can sit upright alone.
Well that baby has to be able to hold him or herself upright on the potty in order to be trained to use it. My boys are 2 and 3 years old so they can do that and some. That hasn't been an issue for quite some time.
Two: Shows interest in the bathroom and toilet.
Your toddler will begin following you into the bathroom and sometimes you may catch them in the bathroom playing with the toilet. They are wondering what that thing is for. This is a great time to show them what the toilet does. Most parents that I know took their toddler with them into the restroom so they can see what you do on the potty.
If you happen to catch your kiddo playing in the toilet water just wash their hands right away and then you can educate them on what happens on the potty. I told my kids that you go pee pee and boo boo on the potty. Then I would take their clothes off them and sit them on the potty. They probably wont go but it's really about exposure at this stage.
Three: Can pull their own pants off and on.
This isn't a necessity but it does make it easier. If your toddler happens to know how to take their clothes off that can be a great sign that they are ready to be potty trained.
My Brett (2) is what we call a nudest. He has been taking his clothes off by himself for a long time. Then he doesn't want to put them back on. Not even when there's company. It's embarassing and hilarious at the same time.
If your kiddo doesn't yet know how to take their clothes off but he shows other signs of potty training readiness you can still start the process of potty training. Canon (3) has gotten way better at taking his clothes off and putting them back on since we started potty training. It's something that you will constantly be practicing. But it does help if they know how to do this already. It will cause less accidents when they can get their clothes off in time to use it.
Four: Takes off diaper.
If your child is like Brett they may be taking their diaper off themselves. It's so common for toddlers to take their clothes and diaper off and not think twice. That just shows that they can tell the difference between wet and dry and that they get uncomfortable with the diaper on. This is a good sign of becoming more independent and ready to use the potty by themselves soon.
Five: Exploring him/herself.
What I mean by explore him/herself is that they begin to show interest in their private parts. They are touching and looking. They are wondering what it's for. Once again this is a great time to introduce potty training because their focus is on what that part of the body does so you show them. Take them to the restroom and tell them this is so you can go pee pee. You can even take them to the restroom when you have to go to show them an example of what you mean.
Six: Can say or sign for the potty
All while you are introducing your kiddo to the potty and naming all these things, they are learning vocabulary. Saying the word potty is a great sign that they are ready to start training. She doesn't have to know how to communicate this to you just yet because with practice she will learn it very quickly. But if your toddler does know this word or sign than the two of you are ready to start the potty training process.
Each and every toddler is different. Your experience with your toddler is going to be different than mine and every one else's. But these are the most popular 6 signs that your toddler is ready to be potty trained.
I hope you enjoyed and got a lot out of this post. Leave a comment below and tell me what signs you see in your toddler.
One of my main goals for the summer was to potty train my toddler boys. Well summer is coming to a close really soon and I hadn't done it yet. So I decided that my goal for the month was to get that squared away.
My belief is that accomplishing goals has more to do with making and breaking all the right habits. To me potty training is no different. I'm teaching my toddler boys a new habit and that habit is to go to the potty every time they get the urge. I'm also breaking the habit of going whenever and wherever they please.
I've already gone through the process, and it was quite an adventure, so now I want to share what I've learned and my experience in a potty training series.