Having just successfully completed it with my almost 2 1/2 year old is a huge relief and a glorious consummation. It took approximately 4 days for my daughter to get the hang of going in the potty before she went in her pants and undies and by the end of the week, she was 100% potty-trained. Toilet-trained at home and in public took another few days.
I initially started potty-training her earlier in the months following her 2nd Birthday, boy was that a mistake.
I bought pull-up trainers, and even had her reading/watching potty books/shows, the lollipop or M&M award for every time she went, but it all did not work. Why? Plain and simple — she just wasn’t ready!
I think one of the biggest blunders moms tend to do is try to start potty-training way before their child is even ready in hopes that they will be trained earlier.
What happens is it causes a regression where the child is too scared to want to continue successfully training therefore delaying the time more. Looking at it know, it took me more time trying my hardest to make her go potty when she wasn’t ready than it did actually getting her trained this time around. 4 days. That’s all it took.
Keep in mind 4 days means no accidents. The days before that, there were plenty of accidents.
Patience. Patience is the key word during this milestone journey for your toddler. What helps is keeping in mind that she/he will get it and every grown human has gone through potty-training in their early years of life so it’ll happen. Just be patient.
I created a potty chart and stuck it to the wall behind her potty with stickers nearby so every time she went she could place a sticker on the chart. No candy/chocolate bribery was needed. 🙂 I also strongly suggest you skip the pull-ups all together and go straight to big-kid underwear. There will be accidents so just prepare. This is normal. Also, keep in mind that boys tend to take a little longer in potty-training than girls.
I also gathered some of her favourite books to keep near her potty so she could read. I heard that keeping their minds occupied on something interesting/fun for them and not on their potty, helped heaps in making them go. It worked!
The first time she successfully felt the urge to go went in her potty, she was naked. Ha ha! Not sure why but she preferred it that way. That only lasted a day until she realized she didn’t have to be in her birthday suit to go potty. :/
Signs that your little one may be ready:
- Your child is staying dry for longer periods of time (often two hours or more). This indicates that her bladder capacity is increasing.
- Your child recognizes when she is in the process of urinating or voiding. If you try to potty train before this time, you’ll likely run into trouble, since your child isn’t really aware of what she’s doing and so is unable to control something she can’t understand.
- Your child is able to easily pull her pants up and down. She may not have had any reason to do so in the past, but luckily, of all the readiness factors, this skill is easily learned.
- Your child can follow simple instructions. There are many steps to using the toilet that we take for granted as adults. For example– go to the bathroom, turn on the light, pull down your pants and underwear, sit on the potty, wipe your bottom, flush the toilet, wash your hands– the list goes on, so this is a very important skill.
- Your child is able to sit and engage in an activity for several minutes without becoming distracted or irritable.
- Your child is walking and running well. Because the urge to potty is often sudden in toddlers, and because a potty isn’t always steps away, it’s important for your child to be able to make it to the toilet before an accident occurs.
- Finally, and perhaps most importantly, your child shows interest and desire. Interest in keeping dry or clean. Interest in wearing “big kid” underwear. Interest in what you’re doing when you go potty and a desire to do what you’re doing.
Remember, age is not the most important factor. Potty training will be best accomplished when your child’s physical and emotional development are taken into account as well.
Here are my top 8 tips for potty-training success:
- Get your child ready – explain to your child that it’s time to do “pee-pee” and “poo-poo” in the potty. Promote the benefits of being trained such as no more diaper rash, interruptions for diaper changing, being clean and dry. Discuss training as an important stage of growing up.
- Make it fun – first and foremost, make this a game. Children will naturally resist anything which is not framed as a fun learning experience. Use play, music, toys, and stories as part of the experience to keep the child from getting bored or distracted.
- Create a ritual – try to make the experience repeatable so your child knows what to expect each time and gets into the routine of sitting and staying on the potty.
- Use props – use of books, toys, videos and music all help create an atmosphere of fun and enjoyment which is so essential.
- Time it right – Try repeating the process every hour for 2 to 4 minutes. If you can do this close to times your child usually has a bowel movement or urination, such as just after a meal, even better.
- Be prepared – If you are traveling or away from home, bring a folding, plastic adapter ring that fits onto an adult toilet seat is useful. Extra tissue and wipes will be useful in bathrooms that are short on supplies. Don’t forget the Pull-Ups! Especially great for long trips.
- Give praise – give you child social praise for sitting on the potty patiently or for staying dry. If the potty routine is successful, consider some reward (e.g. special prize, book or foods) that are especially valued.
- Show your child how to clean up – demonstrate how to wash hands and dry hands on a towel ( we purchased this cute orange toilet wipes container where all she had to do was press it to open.)
Remember that training you child takes patience and perseverance. Staying on task and being consistent send an important message to your child. Above all, don’t let your child feel forced. It’s important to keep the whole experience fun and enjoyable for the best results.
Good luck! 🙂