Potty Training Tips!
One of the most frustrating and rewarding parts of early parenthood in my opinion. Potty training my oldest was harder than my youngest, so far.
I started training them both when they turned 2 years old, just having them sit on the potty occasionally because I didn’t want to stress them out about it. Well, with my oldest, we ended up moving 2x within 8 months and she ended up completely regressing. Hiding from me or holding it until I wasn’t looking. I waited about a year and tried again once we were settled in our new house, and it worked out so much better.
*Tip: Don’t try to potty train when there is a big life event (like moving) happening. They will just regress.
Now with my youngest, I’m able to still be relaxed about it, but more consistent. I’ve been constantly trying for a while and she’s doing great! We still have problems over night, but other than that, she’s making it in time and will also tell me when she needs to go before I ask!
You might be wondering if you should use Pull-Ups or cloth training pants. It’s totally up to you! I did a post about the Pro’s and Con’s I’ve found, that you can read here.
You can do a combination of both, like I’ve done. I started with Pull-Ups and tried to show how they looked different than diapers and they get put on different as well. I refer to them as Pull-Ups, not diapers, so my girls understand there is a difference.
I highly recommend getting a little potty chair, using the big potty can be intimidating to start with.
When they first wake up in the morning, immediately take them to the potty and have them sit for 10-15 mins with a small book to look at. 20 minutes after every meal and after nap time, take them to the potty again for the same amount of time. In the beginning, it won’t happen every time. Constantly offer water or juice to drink so they are more likely to use the potty. Eventually they will go on the potty and you can make a big deal about it. “YAY!! Look what you did! You’re such a big kid!”
After 2-3 days of success, I transitioned mine to wearing training pants (little girl panties is what we call them) for the day. Still consistently going to the potty to try. Pull-Ups still went on for nap, bedtime, or any outings. As I see they are having no accidents, even overnight, the Pull-Ups get taken away and they are ready for undies (big girls panties).
After transitioning to training pants I did give mine the option of sitting on the big potty. Kristina’s potty chair had a removable seat to put on the toilet when she was ready. When I started training Ilisa, I had already bought a seat that fits on the toilet for my daycare. She has already transitioned from her potty chair and uses the seat now.
One thing that helped both of my girls was a reward system.
As a reward, I did a sticker chart (Free Printable). Every time they go, they get a sticker or some sort of check-mark ☑. I ran out of stickers, so I draw hearts for my youngest. She loves it! It’s a great way for them to see their own progress and become proud of themselves.
I also reinforced with candy. I bought a pack of Smarties and emptied 4 rolls into a small bowl with a lid. They got 1 piece for trying, 2 if they peed, and 3 for poop.
As I said a little bit ago, my oldest regressed when we moved and I had to start again when she was 3. At that point she would only try if she got sugar, and I didn’t like that. I ended up switching to only using a sticker chart with a reward (toy, candy, new book) after several days of making it to the potty, with no accidents.
She did great with the sticker chart for a while and was potty trained! Then, after several months, she had some problems… and we switched to a pom pom and jar system, it’s basically the same idea.
I had a jar from Dollar Tree and I drew horizontal lines around the jar at different levels. When she hit each level, she got a prize. The first prize was a candy, second prize was a suncatcher she had to paint (my artsy girl), the 3rd and 4th prize was a new game on her tablet.
Remember, every child is different, not just girls vs boys. Some children will only need the Pull-Ups for 1-3 days and others will continue for weeks or months before being fully trained.
I wish you luck in your potty training adventure!