Every parent has been there (or soon will be). It is time to potty train your little one. I have spoken to some parents who claimed this was the most frustrating part of parenthood. I have talked with others that say potty training was a breeze. I am here to tell you that your potty training experience will be determined completely by how you approach it.
As a mom of four children, I have successfully been through this process four times. I am here to share a few Potty Training Tips & Tricks to Avoid Frustration with you that I learned along the way. Time is ticking, so let's get started.
1. Prepare Yourself - Before you can even think about starting the potty training process, you have to have the necessary "equipment."
- Potty Chair or Removable Potty Seat - Some parents are determined that a toddler can only learn on a potty chair. This may be true for some, but three of my four kiddos just used a small seat that sits right on the regular toilet. Either way, it's best to have one of these items.
- Pull-Ups® Training Pants - Currently, I would consider my youngest completely potty-trained during the day. However, at night, she still needs some extra protection. To be sure she wakes up without a mess but still feels like a big girl, I always use Pull-Ups® Training Pants from Dollar General. Their cute, thin design and great protection is a win-win for Emzlee and me. At just $10 a pack, they are very affordable. You can also sign up for Dollar General coupon offers to get $2.00 off! Follow these simple steps to start saving!
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- Entertainment - This can include a storybook, a small toy, their favorite music CD, or even a dry-erase marker and board. The point of providing entertainment is to be sure your little one sits on the potty long enough to have success.
- Incentives - Depending on your child, the incentives could include a number of things. Some toddlers would do anything for an M&M. Perhaps 1 M&M for potty and 3 M&Ms for poopie. Maybe some small toys from Dollar General would get them excited. Or, like my children, maybe a simple sticker chart is all they need to be rewarded with. Check out these awesome Potty Training Games for more ideas to get your kiddo ready for this exciting experience! I purchased all of our items below at Dollar General for under $10.
2. Be Sure Your Peanut is Ready - No matter how prepared you are or how anxious you may be to ditch the diapers, the potty training process will drive you absolutely crazy if your child just isn't ready. As much as we like to think we are in charge, that is not reality! Check out this awesome Pull-Ups Potty Training Personality Quiz to find out a bit more about your child and how to handle this situation.
I think you will find this information very useful, and it will help you approach potty training according to the needs of your child.
Personally, I didn't even mention potty training to any of my children until they started showing interest. I was lucky, and all three of my girls started inquiring at about 18 months. However, my sweet little boy was a whopping 3 1/2 before he realized it was gross to sit in a diaper full of his own yuck. Here are a couple signs you can start to look for.
- Asking to be changed - If your toddler starts to bring you diapers, asking to be changed, they have discovered they don't like something about being wet or soiled. Go with it and start asking them to use the potty.
- Asking questions about going potty - I'm not sure why, but all of my children loved to follow me to the bathroom (And they still do!). I knew they were ready to potty train when they started asking questions about the process. I was always sure to explain what I was doing and why I was such a big girl for using the potty. I must also admit that I even did the "Potty Dance" for myself to generate some excitement.
3. Be Consistent - Once you know that your child is ready for this adventure, it is very important to be consistent. You must do your best to keep your little peanut on a schedule. At the beginning stages of potty training, I set a kitchen timer for 30 minutes. When they timer went off, I immediately dropped whatever I was doing, pretended the most amazing thing was about to happen, and I ran for the bathroom cheering. Seriously, people would have thought I was nuts. But it only took a few times before my toddler was running right behind me, sharing in the excitement.
Once she was sitting on the potty, I would set the timer again for 5 minutes. This is where the "entertainment" items come in handy. I would read to her, she would play with her slinky, we would sing songs, or she would draw on her dry-erase board.
- If we experienced success, I literally acted as if I won the lottery. Cheering, chanting, and the potty dance went into full swing. I immediately gave out the incentive, whether it was an M&M or a sticker. After our celebrations slowed down, I once again set the timer for 30 minutes, and we repeated the process again.
- If we did not experience success, I never made a big deal about it. I just simply set the timer for 10 minutes and tried again.
Now, you may be thinking, I don't have time to be running into the bathroom that often. I completely understand, but I also believe that if you put the time and effort in for the first couple days of potty training, the results will be so worth it.
4. Focus on the Positives - Your child will have accidents. You must accept this fact. And, these accidents will more than likely occur at the worst possible times and places. You must also accept this. Despite these things, you have to always focus on the positives.
- Don't punish your toddler for having an accident. This will have more of a negative effect on future success than anything. Instead of approaching the entire situation with excitement, your children will begin to view it with fear and anxiety. Instead, talk with your child about what they should have done differently and how yucky an accident is.
- Make this experience fun and exciting in anyway possible. We frequently made phone calls to grandmas and grandpas to share our successes. We may have even shared a few photos of the "solid" successes. Our little Nixon was even promised a large order of cheese curds for his first #2 performance from his uncle. Any positive attention that you can give your toddler will take them a step in the right direction.
- Reference these fun Potty Training Games to help make potty training a fun and exciting time!
By following these Potty Training Tips & Tricks to Avoid Frustration, I had four smooth potty training experiences. I found it so awesome to watch them conquer this huge task with smiles on their faces. I truly hope that you have similar successes, and I can't wait to hear all about it!
Today’s post is sponsored by Pull-Ups® Training Pants and Dollar General, but my love for their potty training help is all my own!
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