The thought of potty training is the bane of every mother out there. And for good reason! You’re attempting to teach another tiny and generally unreasonable human being where to have their bowel movements. It’s gross, it’s frustrating, it’s just plain rough going into it. But you can do this! Just keep reminding yourself that they won’t go to college in diapers and that your kid does have the ability to learn how to do this! Try not to get too frustrated with the process, they’re learning a new skill, very much like how they learned to walk, and there will be bumps and bruises along the way.
I read just a couple chapters of the “Oh Crap Potty Training” book, but for most of it I just winged it. Luke was pretty easy to potty train since he had been showing interest for a while, but here are a few tips that I think made our potty training experience much easier!
- Put a little potty in the area that you spend most of your time. For us that was the living room! I hated the thought of attempting to run all the way to the bathroom, mid stream, to try and help him to the potty. It was so much easier to plop him down on the toilet that was maybe two feet away instead. As he got the hang of it we moved that potty into the bathroom and then transitioned to the seat on the toilet.
- Plan for a couple of full on naked days, then a day while wearing a shirt or dress and then going commando for a while. That last one was the biggest tip I got from the “Oh Crap Potty Training” book. Once they get the hang of going naked, don’t immediately move on to underwear! It feels so much like a diaper and it’s a muscle reflex for them to go in their diaper so accidents are way more likely to happen. Wearing only a pair of shorts feels very different so they’re more aware that they still need to go in the potty instead of their pants. At first, I completely rebelled against the thought of this and we attempted to transition to underwear first, but that went horribly wrong. Haha. It was hard to wrap my brain around, but after a few weeks of going commando he could start wearing underwear with no issues. So it really worked!
- The younger they are, the better. Seriously, jump right into it when their entire personality is just wanting to please you and to hear you clap and say “yay!”. Do it WAY before they learn that they can say no and that just being plain stubborn is an option. I really didn’t want to potty train Luke but after doing it I realized that I’ll probably do it much sooner with Emma.
- Don’t put it on social media, you don’t want to add the pressure to yourself or your little one!
- Get treats for YOURSELF. Rewards for making it through the day, whether that be candy or a new glass for your wine, should be a requirement for potty training! I’m not big on doing rewards for basic things Luke should be doing, like putting his toys away, so I knew from the beginning I didn’t want to do bribes or treats to get him to go on the potty. But for me? Oh yes, absolutely!