Wouldn’t it be great if kids came fully potty trained? How different would parenting be without all the diaper changes, poop talk and overall frustration that potty training causes? I can’t even imagine, can you? I never thought I would write about the subject, but parenting certainly changes life in many ways. Never say never, right? I decided to write this post, because if it helps just one other parent survive potty training, it is completely worth it. Here are my best potty training tips for every mom.
Pick a Potty Training Method and Stick With It
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Pick a potty training method. There are so many different ways to potty train. My advice is to ask some friends, read a few books or blogs and then pick a method that works for you. Not every method will work for everyone and you can easily get overwhelmed by the amount of information there is. Every child is also different. The point is to be consistent with whatever method you choose. We chose to do the bulk of our initial potty training over long weekends when we could be home to closely monitor those first few days with our children. I used the system described in the book appropriately titled Oh Crap! Potty Training. The author was funny and relatable and most of her suggestions work really well.
Pick the Right Potty Seat
My advice is to pick a potty seat that goes over your regular toilet seat. We chose this kind of potty seat and I preferred it for several reasons. The first being that I didn’t have to clean out a little potty each time my children went in it. That grossed me out in all honesty. Secondly, I found my children were less afraid of the adult toilet when we were out and about. This meant I was not in a jam when we were in a retail store or restaurant with a child who refusing to use the “normal sized toilet”. Finally, it just made the transition to using the regular toilet without the potty seat so much easier. I never found that my children had a problem and we had stools in the bathroom to help them get on the regular toilet easier.
Carry Post It Notes With You
A big reason many children don’t want to potty train is that they are afraid of toilets. This is especially true for the commercial kind found in public restrooms that auto flush. Think about it. If you were a toddler would you want to put your bottom on a device that makes a loud whooshing noise and sucks water down? No, I wouldn’t want to either. It’s scary for them.The best advice I was ever given on this was to bring post it notes with you when you use public restrooms. Place a post it over the toilet’s sensor until your child is completely done going to the bathroom. This way the toilet will not flush until you remove the post it and your child has moved to a safer spot.
Being patient can be so difficult when you have cleaned up poopy pants for the 5th time that day, but it will be worth it. Potty training is one of the most difficult tests of the parent/child relationship, but the alternative is changing diapers forever and no one wants to do that.
Be Fully Prepared
Potty training was reminiscent to me of the first few weeks I left the house with my newborn children. Both of these times are stressful. When you have a newborn, you worry that you will forget something and be underprepared, and you probably will.
When your child is potty training, it feels almost like a newborn again because you have to be so prepared. Your biggest fear is that your child will have an accident or you will not get them to the bathroom in time. Then you have to hope you have enough extra clothes and supplies with you. When I was potty training my children we always had extra clothes, wet bags and plenty of wipes with us everywhere we went.
Wake Up Bed Wetters To Help Them Train Their Bladders
When you begin potty training you often begin with daytime potty training which is what we did. As per books I read and our pediatrician, we only stopped using diapers at night once our child woke up with a dry diaper for more than 7 days. For our daughter this worked well. For our son, not so much. He did really well at first, but then after a few months he started wetting the bed. So we went back to pull-ups. It was super frustrating.
When it seemed like there was no help in sight, we started waking my son up at night after he fell asleep. I discovered most of the accidents were between 11 and 2 am. So I would set an alarm and get him up. I actually found the best time to have him go was about an hour to two hours after he went to bed. Once we did this for several weeks, I moved the time back closer to his bedtime. I think this helped him strengthen his bladder muscle and be more aware of his body. Once we did that the bedwetting stopped. You can also get alarms for kids to use as well.
Learn to Laugh At It All
When you are potty training there will be days when you are knee deep in bodily fluids, just like when your child was a baby. There will be tears from you and your child, but there will also be laughter. You will have stories about this process that you will relive for years. Before you know it, most of it will be a distant memory. I promise it will be over sooner than you can say “don’t forget to flush and wash your hands”.
If you are potty training give yourself grace. Your child will get it and every child learns at a different speed. Try these tricks to avoid some of the toughest challenges in potty training. May the potty force be with you!