Potty training your toddler can be a very daunting experience. Us, parents, can’t wait to be done with diapers. You might have been diapering 1, 2, 3 children or more, at once. In our case, we diapered up to 2 kids at a time and non-stop for over 5 years. Yes, we dreamt of that day when we would not have to change diapers. The day when we would be able to leave the house without a diaper bag and an army of wipes. The day our children could all clearly articulate that they had to go and could hold it long enough to the nearest bathroom. While some children have an easy transition, some parents struggle with their little ones.
IS YOUR CHILD READY FOR POTTY TRAINING?
My first advice is to wait until you see clear signs of readiness. Unless you have followed the no-diaper method (EC) and have been reading your child’s signs since he was a newborn, I would suggest waiting until the following naturally happens:
- Does your child refuse to be put into diapers? Does he put up a fight on the changing table and not let you diaper him?
- Does your child tell you that she is wet after wetting her diaper?
- Does he show interest in other children using the potty or bathroom?
If you can answer yes to one or more of those questions, your child might be ready for potty training. Typically, around the age of 2…
BABY #2 NEEDS OUT OF DIAPERS
I read about this method when getting ready to potty train our second child. We had a really easy time training our oldest daughter. She had become impossible to put in a diaper. She would stand up on her changing table, wiggle herself, and each diaper change was a fight. Once we had enough, we took out a potty and she showed immediate interest. She was just about 2 years old and we had been diapering 2 children since her brother was born 8 months earlier. She took immediate interest in the potty and we had a very helpful daycare at the time, who supported our efforts during the day.
I had always heard about boys being more difficult to potty train. I also come from a family of 5 girls and had no idea where to start with a boy… so I looked for advice and found a lady presenting her idea for a 2-day potting training technique. With baby #3 a couple of months old, I wanted #2 out of diapers ASAP.
THE 2-DAY POTTY TRAINING METHOD
The first step in teaching your child to use the potty is to set yourself up for success with minimal frustration. Pick a weekend or period of 2 days when you will be able to be home for most of the day with your child. A cold winter weekend works well. A laid-back summer weekend is great since baby can run around naked.
Dedicate a part of the house for this exercise and remove all rugs. You want an area that will be easy to wipe up and clean. If you have a baby gate and can somehow restrict the area, even better. You will want to spend the next hours living “as normal.” Your baby should not feel that this is any different. Bring his toys in, play games, read books, as you would always do. Only new aspect: install a potty nearby.
KEEP BABY HYDRATED
We will try to give baby as much practice as possible. Liquids will be your best friends for the next 48 hours. Make sure to give little one plenty to drink. Our children rarely drink juice but this was the weekend for it. When we let them, they drink plenty, meaning that they pee plenty. That’s exactly what you’re looking for here. Naturally provide lots of hydration to baby.
LET BABY SUCCEED
While you play with your child, offer frequent opportunities to sit on the potty. Let her sit down and carry on with reading a book or building blocks. Successes might be more luck than science at the beginning. You want your child to feel and not fear. For many children that age, doing anything on the potty can be very scary. As they play with you and relieve themselves in the potty, they will associate the experience as a normal behavior. As you hit day #2, your child will naturally start to consciously sit on the potty when needing to go.
DON’T GET FRUSTRATED
Celebrate your child as he succeeds and do not get irritated as he misses. There will be many misses, be ready for them. As you see the start of an accident happening, quickly carry your child to the potty and let him finish there. Celebrate the potty getting wet, even if half of it is on your floor. You now understand the advantages of a smaller area – you definitely don’t want to be carrying the child from across the house as you start noticing that puddle. One good idea to reward your child after a successful potty is a glass of his favorite drink ☺ providing more liquid, hence more opportunities for practice.
WILL THIS WORK?
I can’t promise you that this method will work for your child. It did for my 2 youngest and both had been showing signs of being ready. They were also used to seeing their older sibling(s) using the potty and toilet and we did not have to deal with the fear certain children have with the potty. I encourage you to be persistent. Let accidents happen. Once we started training, unless we were out for a long period of time, our children were no longer wearing diapers. And when a pair of pants got wet, we popped out a new one from the diaper bag. I always believed that diapers are too comfortable. They are engineered to keep our children dry and comfy for as long as possible. Wet pants, on the contrary, are a lot less fun to walk in. Be consistent, be patient, and watch your child take control of his actions and gain confidence on his journey to dryness! Happy potty training!
Please, share with us your tips and struggle and let our readers support you on your journey to potty training!
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