I remember when I was pregnant with Alexander. I had all of these plans of what he would be doing by a specific age. Most of these plans were not realistic and did not work out. Specifically thinking that I could have him potty trained before 18 months. A baby brother and crazy work schedule later, he was 20 months and not potty trained. At this point I decided it would be best for everyone to just wait until he was ready. By the time Alexander turned 2, each diaper change required strong arms and a gas mask. It was like he learned new acrobatics with each passing diaper change. I was done. Cold. Turkey(ish). Done.
The following morning when he woke up; I took his diaper off and put him on the potty. He didn’t go, but I put him right into underwear afterward. He was incredibly excited to wear them, which helped a lot. After about an hour he had his first accident in the living room, but we have tile so it was an easy clean up! Next it was the bathroom floor, still tile, no big deal! Finally, the guest bedroom, all over the side of the comforter, bed skirt, and wood floor. This is where my husband asked why I wouldn’t put him in a diaper. Each accident made him upset. He would cry and say he had to go potty. This was a great thing for potty training purposes. He realized what was happening and he did not like to pee on the floor.
Our next adventure came when he had to poop. If we put him on the little training potty he would get right up, and if we put him on the big potty he cried because it was scary. The first couple of poops did not make it in the potty. We finally convinced him to sit by giving him the tablet for a few minutes . He pooped on the potty the 2nd or 3rd day. His reaction was hilarious; no tears.
Honestly, the first few days were pretty rough for everyone. I would put him on the potty at least every 30 minutes to an hour. Alexander caught on and told us every time he had to go potty. With the exception of nights, we had him completely potty trained quick. We would still put a pull up on for nighttime, just in case, but most mornings he woke up dry and proud of himself.
Tips for potty training
- Get them underwear they like! This makes it exciting for them to wear each day!
- Give them something to do on the potty. We still keep a basket of books and a few toys by the potty; that way he has something to keep busy while he goes. It makes it a lot easier for the impatient beginnings.
- For boys, start out having them sit on the potty; instead of overwhelming them by trying to teach them to stand up, and aim on top of an already difficult situation, having them sit can alleviate some of the stress and cause less mess!
- Get them a reward! For Alexander we used M&M’s 2 for a pee and a small handful for a poop. This motivated him to try to make it to the potty every time.
- Let them come to the potty with you. Our children pick up a lot of what they see us do.
- Put them on the potty ALL THE TIME. Even if they tell you no. Take them to sit; more than likely they can pee.
Not every child is going to potty train the same. Some children will be easy and others will be incredibly difficult. Stick it out and learn what works best for you and your child. These tips are just some things that I found helpful for us. What was it that worked best for your kids? What didn’t work?