I’ve had this post in my drafts for the longest time! I don’t know why, but sharing about potty training isn’t the most fun blog post, but I just want all of you mamas to know you’re doing a great job even if you don’t feel like it!! Potty training is HARD.
You see all of the “Potty Train Your Child in 3 Days” pins on Pinterest and wonder why you’re doing something wrong when your child is still not potty trained in 3 days! I did. I worried that I did something wrong or that she wasn’t going to potty train because it wasn’t easy. I want you to know you are NOT alone, and those guides are not 100% true.
While I do believe that some may be partially potty trained in 3 days, most children don’t have the capability of controlling their bodies as much as we’d like them to! I remember thinking my first was potty trained, and then she regressed when my youngest was born. It’s all about giving them grace, giving yourself grace and just taking it one day at a time while being consistent and sticking to your plan.
Now that both of my children are potty trained, I want to share what worked for us, tips/tricks and a NO BS guide because we already put too much pressure on ourselves as parents!
Disclaimer: I’m not a trained professional or a doctor, I do have many years of experience with early childhood readiness as well as done this twice myself with my own children.
Let’s just jump right in…
Tips for Potty Training
- First, make sure that your child is ready. This isn’t their age, but this is their readiness. Mine were different ages when they started showing initial interest. Both of them were potty trained before 2, but this isn’t normal. They were potty trained because they were ready, not because they were turning 2 (if that makes sense).
- Make sure that your child is interested before you even try to start the process. I would always just take mine (I mean, let’s be real…they follow me to the potty every time I go) to the potty with me so they can see it being modeled. It’s a natural thing for them to follow what you do, so just talk to them and tell them that you’re pottying, etc.
- You can get a child potty for them to sit on and try while you potty for them to start feeling comfortable. We use this one and this one, one for each bathroom.
- Don’t start the potty training process until YOU are ready. It takes a lot of work from the parents to stay committed and consistent with taking the child to the potty, especially when away from the home.
- Whatever your plan may be, stick with it. I chose to slowly potty train mine by just being consistent and take them to the potty often. We had accidents and it was okay, but that’s how they learned.
- Have the necessary supplies ready so you are not scrambling for training panties, potty, cleaning supplies, etc.
- I chose to reward my first with jelly beans. She then thought every time she went potty she needed a jelly bean and it took forever to break her of this. With my second, we didn’t do tangible rewards but just cheered and made a big deal about it when she went potty. Both worked. To each is own on this one!
- Measure success daily. Don’t get down on yourself or your child if it isn’t going well. Give it a few days and if it’s not working, put the potty up and try again when they start showing interest again. It is NOT the end of the world if your child isn’t potty trained on your timeline.
- My personal stance is to throw away the diapers and pull ups. It confuses them and they get dependent on having that there. It’s like a crutch and then once you’re potty trained, you still have to break them from having the pullups. We go cold turkey on this one.
Myths on Potty Training
- Potty Train in 3 Days
- While it’s possible for your child to be on the right road to success in 3 days, your child will not be 100% potty trained with no accidents, etc in only 3 days. It’s unrealistic and don’t put that pressure on yourself. Maybe all of those people have super-children, but in my experience very few, if any child is 100% (no diapers, no pull ups, no accidents for weeks, etc) in 3 days.
- Your Child Isn’t Ready before 2
- I don’t agree with this because readiness is not based on age. Every child is not the same. While they all learn and grow at different rates, they will all be ready for potty training at different times. Don’t give yourself an age or deadline for potty training, listen and watch the needs of your child.
- Your Child Should Be Potty Trained By X Age
- Again, do not measure your child’s readiness by their age. Measure by their interest and skills that allow them to potty train successfully.
- Your Children Will All Potty Train The Same
- Nope. Mine didn’t. I don’t know any children that are 100% the same in every way, so you shouldn’t compare your child(ren) to any other child. They are their own little bodies and have their own ways of learning.
- There Will Be No Accidents Once Trained
- MYTH. There are always accidents. It’s life. It’s human. It’s FINE.
Tricks/Hacks for Potty Training
- Get a Travel Potty
- Make It Fun
- Potty training doesn’t need to be stressful! When you are ready and your child is ready, make it fun! We keep books and things to watch while on the potty! Half of the struggle is keeping them on the potty long enough to go!
- Give Grace
- Grace for everyone. Give it to yourself. Give it to your children. Don’t put unnecessary pressure on anyone to make your child potty train! I learned this with my first and it made potty training my second so much easier (on everyone).
- These Training Underwear
- We are huge Kickee Pants fans and these are the only underwear I put my girls in! They’re the best! I mentioned that we don’t do pullups, and these have several extra layers of protection if there is an accident!
- Diaper Bag / Purse
- Pack an extra change of clothes and underwear in your bag because there WILL be an accident when you least expect it, and that’s okay.
- Always give praise for the good jobs and don’t make a big deal about the trips to the potty that ended in an accident! We all try our best, and they need just as much praise and reward as we do about work, etc! Remember they are just little adults in training and need that instant gratification!
What You Need For Potty Training
Here are my absolute NEEDS for potty training. We kept most of this from my first, but added a few items for my second child. These things just make life easier when it comes time to potty train. You can shop them by the tool below or clicking on the link!
- Travel Potty + Liners
- Waterproof Mattress Protector
- Training Underwear
- Wipes (on the go)
- Potty Training Chair
- Potty Training Activities
- Flushable Wipes (for at home)
I hope you found this helpful! I know it’s a bit long, but I wanted you to be able to reference all of my tips/tricks/hacks and advice in one post! Please let me know if you used any of my tips or the items suggested and how it worked for you! Or please share any other articles that you have used that were helpful! I can’t wait to hear about some of the things that I may have to try or change for the next go-round (if there is one).