You’ve had your baby, you’ve been changing diapers like a mad woman, but now you’re starting to get a little tired of them. Lucky for you, it’s about that time to potty train your child and get them off of diapers and onto the big boy/girl toilet!
But how do you go about this? You don’t want to be on diapers and off diapers for weeks or months, and accidents in the park or in public can be embarrassing and a pain to clean up. You’ve seen the articles on how to potty train in three days, but aren’t sure if your child can handle that so quickly (or more likely, that you can’t).
Here are some great tips to help you potty train your child, taking the hard and stressful and making it easy.
15 Keep Calm
You’ve been doing it for years, so why can’t your kid just listen up and get off those expensive diapers?! Instead of pulling your hair out and thinking about giving up, take a deep breath and remember that this can take time and that you need your patience now more than ever. Keep calm and it will happen.
14 Let Them Run Free
In other words, let them run around naked. This can help them form the idea that they won’t be able to go in their diaper anymore, and can give them a new take on potty training. Sure, you’ll have a few accidents (what potty training isn’t complete with any accidents), but it’s a great way to get them interested in using the toilet!
13 Wait for When They’re Ready
Alright, so if they’re running on 8 years of age and still aren’t ready, there’s a problem. However, when they go two or more hours in between diaper changes, getting cranky when diaper changes happen, and when they poop at the same time (roughly) every day, you know they’re ready to start potty training. Now is the time to rush out to buy that tiny toilet and start thinking of training pants.
12 Mark It on Your Calendar
Set specific days on your calendar to start potty training, like a full weekend, even taking a day off if you’re able. By taking a big leap into potty training for just 3 or 5 days you can cut down on the backward effect where training pants are needed and you’re running back and forth to the bathroom and changing station.
11 When They Start, Head for the Bathroom
They may start to pee, and if you see it about to happen, grab them and rush them to the bathroom to get them used to going there. There may be an accident or two, and you may end up washing your floors more than you normally would in a year, but they’ll eventually get it and you’ll be able to rest easy soon enough.
10 Get It Going Before Three
If you start your child’s potty training before 3 years of age, you will apparently have a much easier time doing so. Make sure you’re ready for the commitment and the work and annoyances and messes that you have to put in once your kid hits 2 years. Then, wait for them to show you they’re ready (as seen above), making sure that it happens before 2 and a half months. The older they get, the harder it will be.
9 Switch It Up
If mom is the one who is potty training and it’s not working, get dad to step in and see if he can help. Sometimes, having a little switch up can get them seeing things in a different light. This works especially well when you have a son who can look up to their dad, wanting to be just like a big kid or do as dad does!
8 Turn It Into a Game
See who can head to the bathroom the most, using the toilet, of course. Whoever uses the toilet the most can get a prize at the end, either special TV time, their choice for dinner, or a treat or toy. Get older siblings in on the game, too, to make your youngest not feel the odd man out. Hopefully, the only accidents that happen are from your 2-year-old and not from you or dad.
7 Buy More Than One
This will save you time and energy cleaning up any messes that may happen. Grab more than one potty when at the store to keep in each bathroom or in various areas of the house. If you have one at the house and need to get to the other, you’re sure to have a mistake. Slowly take those away as time passes so the potties are only in the bathrooms.
6 Positive Reinforcement
It’s great to hear that you’re doing a good job. So, when they are doing well, praise them like you’ve never praised them before. They’ll love that attention and want to do the same again. You may feel stupid making a big deal out of them going to the bathroom (everyone does and you don’t get any great praise!), but it’ll make them feel a whole lot better about this weird, new situation they’re in.
5 Plop ‘Em Down Ever so Often
Just head to the bathroom and stick your kid on the toilet or potty. They may not have to go every 20 or 30 minutes but they will eventually, and you’ll get it the time that they do. As they get more used to it, you can bump up that time to more reasonable lengths in between bathroom breaks, trying to reach an hour or even an hour and a half before you sit him/her down.
4 Try Stickers
Every time they use the potty, give them a sticker as a reward. They can show off all of the stickers they receive for doing great to their dad or their siblings. They’ll have something to refer back to as praise instead of just words, and it’s cheaper than toys or unhealthy snacks such as chocolate or candy.
3 Just Dive In
Get rid of the diapers. Put your child in regular clothes and see what happens. You may end up with a few (or many) messes on your hands, but as the days and hours go by, they should become less frequent. No one wants to sit in smelly and wet clothing, and figuring out that they will get wet if they pee themselves is a great way to hightail them to the bathroom for the next time.
2 For When You’re Not at Home
Some kids may get scared or feel rushed with automatic flushers when you’re out and about. They may be doing pretty well at home but still having a few accidents. If they realize the connection between going to the bathroom and loud flushers, you may end up backpedaling. Put up a sticky in front of the sensor so they can go in peace.
1 Educate Them
Talk to them about the bathroom and educate them on toilets. This may seem weird but try bringing them along with you while you go to the bathroom. They will see that it’s no big deal and they can see a toilet being used in action. If that’s not for you, get a few books that you can read together, showing them pictures of how it’s done.