Most milestones in parenthood are a little on the bittersweet side. The feeling that our babies are growing up so quickly can be emotional, to say the least.
Not so much with potty training though. The day we get to stop dealing with diapers is pretty heavily weighted in the “Oh yeah!” category.
But it can be tough to know if baby’s ready to take the step. And what’s the fallout if we try to potty train too early?
Not to worry. Today, I have some great tips for deciding if your little one is ready to start potty training, and a few more to help you both get through the process as quickly (and cleanly) as possible.Rather read than watch? Click here.
One of my favorite memories when I think about my children’s babyhood was the magical day where I got to throw away the diaper bag. I called my husband over. We had a little celebration. All three kids are potty trained. High five. Yay, that chapter is closed. Awesome.
And it is awesome but sometimes the potty training experience itself, not so awesome. So I’m gonna give you some tips today for basically my top three tips for getting started with potty training.
The first tip is is your child ready, right? That’s a common question I get asked all the time. How do I know? What are the signs? We’ll give you a few kind of basic signs to be watching for.
First of all, you want your child to be able to understand a few simple instructions. Now, they won’t be able to articulate back to you what those instructions are but if you say to your child, hey, can you go get your shoes, put them by the door, right, or can you go take this message to daddy and then bring it back, if they can understand a couple of instructions in a row then they’re most likely ready.
You might notice that they have a dry diaper when they wake up in the morning or after nap or they might be even showing some interest in using the potty, those aren’t great signs. They’re not because every child’s gonna be a bit curious about the potty but do they really wanna start potty training?
Probably not. When they realize that there’s some work and effort involved in it, wouldn’t be their first choice.
So basically, just simple instructions. Can they understand?
The biggest thing to ask yourself is are you ready? That is really the bottom line. Are you ready for this? ‘Cause it’s a commitment and it’s gonna take work. I can’t sugarcoat it. It’s going to take some work.
So make sure you’re not going on a trip the next week or make sure that grandma’s not coming over, you’ve got a big work thing coming up. You wanna make sure that there’s some space here to dedicate to this ’cause it’s gonna take effort.
If you’re ready then I’d say go for it really. I mean, there’s no magic signs you’re gonna see show up in your child. So if you’re ready then I would say go for it.
The next tip is to go completely diaper free and prepare yourself for that, right? What’s that gonna look like? Well, it’s gonna look like some wet pants or some wet undies because they’re going to have some accidents but I believe that pull ups or diapers just stall the process, they just send mixed messages to the child, they just make the whole experience harder.
So when you’re ready, today’s the day, diaper free from this moment on unless of course it is nap time or nighttime. It would be unfair to expect a child to be able to hold, learn how to hold that through any kind of sleep scenarios. The sleep part, that comes later. We’re just working on throughout the day you are diaper free, here we go.
The next tip would be to buy lots of underwear, alright and be ready. Bring plastic bags with you, changes of clothes because there’s going to be accidents showing up. That’s okay, right, as long as they’re getting the hang of this and they can feel when they’ve wet themselves and they usually don’t like that feeling and so we changed into some clean ones and we try the potty.
The next tip is to reward attempts at the potty, right, especially those first, that first day or two. You wanna have that potty out in center. You wanna be giving your child lots of juice or water and you wanna encourage them to go sit on this thing, look how exciting it is and every time they have a little bit of success on that potty, you’re going to give a reward.
Now, this could just be one M&M, right? Every time you make a little tinkle on the potty, you get an M&M or if your child loves stickers, he would get a sticker or some sort of small reward ’cause we’re gonna be giving away a lot so we don’t want it to be too big.
Now, I get a lot of questions asking well, what if he just sits on it but he doesn’t do anything? Well, no reward for that, right? The reward comes from actually having a pee pee or having a bowel movement in the potty. That’s when the reward shows up.
Now, don’t worry, you won’t be still rewarding your 17 year old for going to the bathroom. Rewards have a shelf life. The novelty wears off. They get better at this and it just sort of naturally fades out but to get the ball rolling and to make this more of a positive experience, I suggest them.
Now, one thing to keep in mind, there’s going to be pushback. Very rarely does a child just happily slide into potty training and if that is your child then you got lucky.
There is usually some pushback because it is work, right? I gotta stop what I’m doing, I’ve gotta go to the toilet, I’ve gotta pull my pants down, I gotta get on, I gotta wash my hands. I mean, there’s lots of things that have to happen when you use the washroom and they don’t like it, right? It’s easier to go in your diaper. No one wants to stop playing when it’s fun.
So when you experience that pushback, keep going anyway, right? You need to teach your child that you make the decisions, this is what’s happening. Yes, they don’t like it and that is okay. We’re gonna do it anyway.
Thanks so much for watching today. Sleep well.
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