The first step to potty training is having a toddler who is ready. If your little one screams or cries while sitting on the potty chances are they aren’t ready. If they are peeing or pooping all over the house chances are they aren’t ready. You may be trying or have been trying to potty train for a while. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, trust me! It took my toddler a while to be ready. I tried before she was ready and it was a nightmare! So I decided to wait until SHE was ready. This time was actually easy, I didn’t think potty training could be easy but it can be.
I successfully potty trained my toddler with her help and readiness. She can now use the potty, wipe herself, flush and wash her hands! I didn’t think this day would ever come but it did and I am over the moon! I’m sharing my experience and tips because I know how frustrating and exhausting it is to have a toddler who wants nothing to do with the potty. I feel your pain and was there not too long ago. I was that overwhelmed mom with the frustrated toddler who wasn’t ready. It is hard, frustrating and exhausting but you can do it! Below are some tips from my potty training experience.
They need to be ready.
Signs for readiness include:
- Having interest in the potty (talking about the potty, asking about the potty).
- Holding pee or poop for longer periods of time or having a dry diaper longer.
- Telling you they need changed or have peed or pooped
- Hiding to pee or poop in their diaper
- Going all night without going in the diaper
You will need to teach and show them how to use the potty properly.
- Explain to them where they need to go.
- Show them what to do once they get on the potty and maybe how to sit on the potty properly
- Explain the importance of the potty.
- Entertain them while they are on the potty (read books, sing songs, watch videos)
- Show them how to properly wipe (front to back).
- Teach them how to properly wash their hands.
- Read books, watch potty videos, have them practice, and make it a game with rewards.
Encouragement is very important for potty training! Let them know how cool it is to pee and poop in the potty and tell them how proud you are. Get excited when they go! You may even bribe them with M&Ms (not that I have, haha). Encouragement is essential to potty training.
How I rewarded my toddler:
- My little one loves M&Ms so every time she went in the potty she would get around 4 or 5 M&Ms.
- Potty charts are awesome too! I made a potty training chart on pink (her favorite color) construction paper and would receive a sticker for every time she pooped and peed in the potty. When she had 5 stickers she received a bigger gift (she got to pick a toy out while shopping)*picture below*
- I made a big deal every time she used the potty (we would “high-five”, I would tell her how awesome she was and I would even do a happy dance). She would then get some M&Ms and a sticker.
Don’t discourage them.
Never discourage them or scold them. They will have some accidents and that’s part of it, don’t make them think that peeing or pooping is a bad thing. Sometimes they feel as if they are too busy to stop and potty (playing with toys, watching a movie, etc.). We need to remind them to stop and potty so they don’t have an accident. My little one goes about every hour.
Make a routine.
You will need to have a routine when your little one starts using the potty. For example some will need to potty every hour (some every half hour) with 5 minutes of potty time. If you see them acting differently (wiggling, shifting, holding themselves or trailing away) guide them to the potty.
Use a little potty first.
A big potty can be scary. My little one used a little potty for a week then she graduated to the big potty with a potty seat. She really likes to flush the big potty so it is kind of like another reward every time she goes.
No more diapers.
The first week of potty training my tot only wore a shirt but once we established a routine she wasn’t having accidents as often she started wearing underwear. Pull-ups may be a good alternative.
The more your little one drinks the more they will potty and the more they potty the better they get! Your little one should always have a cup or sippy cup. My favorite “toddler cocktail” is a combination of half water and half juice so she doesn’t get too much sugar when she refuses her water. I usually offer water first though.
Don’t give up.
You can do it! If you stick to it will get easier I promise! Good luck on your potty training adventure!