The 2 older ones were also potty trained before 2 & you would think I would feel somewhat comfortable with the process, but the 1st few times going out in public still get my palms just a lil' sweaty -lol.
The advice I would give any parent venturing down the path of potty training in my own personal opinion & experience is that your child will definitely give you signs when they are ready whether that be telling you vocally that they have just dropped some interesting surprises in their pants that they would love for you to change, finding a poop spot every time(somewhere they go every time they need privacy for "the deed"), starting to always go at the same predictable times every day, or waking up in the morning dry. I also CANNOT emphasize enough that once you begin the journey, you have to be consistent & see it all the way through. I would definitely recommend not starting potty training if you know a big transition is on the horizon like a new sibling, moving, teething (those poops can be a nightmare if they do not make it to the potty in time!), or etc.
When you do finally decide it is time, a week or 2 before you actually begin it is time to start the conversation with your toddler. Get them pumped up & know just what a big deal it is that they are going to be handling business like a big girl or boy! There is also some great children's books out there about it to start reading to your kiddos that they will enjoy. I remember 1 of the 1st books I bought about using the potty had a button to push to make the flushing sound. 2 days in I was hiding that bad boy behind the couch, "If I have to hear that fake flush just 1 more time..." lol.
"Tools" to get in order before embarking on this adventure (again, in my opinion) is an easy 1 piece potty to keep in the car at all times (IKEA $4), Munchkin Arm & Hammer small bags (Munchkin Baggies) to put inside the potty so when the kid goes it can easily be disposed of or for clothing if they do have an accident when you are out & about, hand sanitizer for after they go when out & about, always bring a change of clothing, either a small toddler potty or a toddler size potty seat to put on the big potty for at home, I like to get fun soap for them to wash their hands with afterwards (like Elmo or whatever), & if you want to a potty chart with sticker for them to put on after they go.
If you think I forgot "big kid panties" or pull-ups, I didn't. I think these should definitely be purchased when you are out with your toddler. How exciting for them to get to pick out their own panties or pull-ups. I personally do not prefer the use of pull-ups. They are so close to diapers that I think it kind of defeats the purpose. I recommend using training pants. They are not the most beautiful looking things, but they are great for helping with the transition & making your kid feel big. There are some plastic ones, but I didn't really like those so I use the all cloth ones that have an extra absorbent liner in case your kiddo does have an accident instead (Training Pants).
So, how do I begin? I definitely attack being potty trained at home first, during the day. Every 15 or 20 minutes I have my lil' 1 try to go on the toddler potty. While on the potty in the beginning I give them a book to read or something so they get comfortable with the process & sitting there. As time goes on, I have them sing the alphabet before they are allowed to get up. It helps them get the focus off trying so hard to go & relaxing while also reinforcing the ABC's.
When my girls do have an accident, I have them "help" clean it up. They probably won't enjoy this too much, but it might help them in stopping to think before they go because they know they are going to have to clean it.
It is so important to remember every kid is different & even though 1 kid might catch on quickly, another might take a lil' longer to get the hang of it!
Once your kid has gotten the hang of not having accidents around the house, its time to either take on going out in public or night time training (which could take a lil' longer).
For going out in public you just kind of have to take it head on. Once you have your kiddo out in the "real world" in training pants or a pull-up if you prefer I definitely suggest not expecting an accident, but being prepared just in case. Back up clothing, potty chair in the car, hand sanitizer, & potty bags! Also, try to give yourself extra time. If you want to go grocery shopping, in addition to having them try to go before you head out, leave the house early. Once you get to the store, have your kiddo try to go again before you even get out of the car. Once in the store, ask often. If they are drinking a lot or eating you need to be prepared that they might need to go soon. I try to avoid public restrooms, but sometimes they gotta go when they gotta go! Its all a process & some kids will take longer than others to master this, but do not give up & go back to diapers-Be patient, you can do it! Also, when your kid does have an accident it is important not to let them know if you are frustrated, embarrassed, or mad. Potty training should be a positive experience for all involved!
Lastly, night time potty training. After dinner (after consuming all that water & food) you can have them try right after they are done & then continue with their bed time routine. After bath, getting dressed, story & brushing teeth have them try to go again right before putting them into the bed. I keep a potty chair near their room so if they have to go I can easily grab the chair & have them use the restroom. When 1st trying to potty train at night, you might need to get up in the middle of the night & put them on the potty. Half way asleep & all, if I sing to the 1 potty training they usually will go until they eventually learn to hold their potty all night long.
Well, hopefully some of that helps if you need it, It has worked well for me thus far. Happy potty training :)
|My big girl Aussie at the Red Store!|
|At the "Banana Store"|