Can’t find time to read all of those parenting books and magazines? Don’t have a lot of mommy friends to bounce ideas off of? Kids go crazy every time you get on the phone to ask a friend their advice? No problem; I’ll do the work for you!
Each Thursday I bring you kid-tested tips and parenting solutions for a specific parenting challenge “from the mouths of moms.” We’ve already shared lots of tips for dealing with picky eaters, getting kids to sleep better, ensuring stress-free play dates, and cooking with kids. Now here are direct quotes from a diverse group of mom bloggers (with kids of all ages and tons of ideas) on POTTY TRAINING. Yep – meet your new mommy friends!
Alright, Mamas, what are your best tips for potty training?
1. Make Sure They Are Ready
“My top tip is to wait until they are ready! My three potty trained at 3, 3.5, and 21 months.” MaryAnne from Mama Smiles
2. Make Sure YOU Are Ready, Too
“My main bit of advice, do it when YOU (the parent) [are] ready. I am convinced it is as much about the parent than it is about the child… as the parent needs to have the patience and calm of the first 1-3 weeks of mess and stress. Then go for it.” Maggy from Red Ted Art
3. Let Them Lead
“Possibly not a top tip given that Goblin isn’t potty trained yet (31 months) but we are trying Child led potty … not really training, maybe acquisition? We just talk to him about it and let him choose whether he wants to wear a nappy or pants and when he wants to use the toilet. He has done quite a few pees and poops in the toilet. No accidents so far.” The Monko from Taming the Goblin
4. Steer Clear of Life Changing Events
”Everyone was pressuring me to try to get Priscilla (then barely 3) out of diapers before the new baby came. But I had always heard that kids can regress when a new sibling comes or during another life changing event. So I didn’t stress about it, and just a few weeks after the baby was here, she expressed interest on her own and was fully trained within 3 days. I’m so glad I waited!” Krissy from B-Inspired Mama
5. Start Young
“My best advice is to start young! In my ten years of being a nanny, and with my experience with my older two, younger is much easier.” Allison from Train Up A Child
6. Have Them Help Get Rid of the Diapers
“My mom told me that I was easy to potty train. She just announced I was a big girl now and made me watch her throw away my diapers. I can see where having them watch you get rid of the diapers (by throwing them away or donating them to a baby friend) could make it more concrete for a little one.” Krissy from B-Inspired Mama
7. Focus on Dry Underpants
“Focus on keeping their underwear clean and dry more than focusing on going to the potty. The goal is to stay clean and dry, and we do that by going on the potty. If you only focus on going on the potty, they might go in their pants between potty trips even if they are successfully going on the potty.” Allison from Train Up A Child
8. Get Them Acquainted with the Seat
“Get your child a potty or potty seat and get them acquainted with it. Have them sit on it whenever you change their diaper. Eventually they will pee in it, and that will help them start to make the connection.” Amy from Z is for Zel
9. Or Skip the Little Potty All Together
“We had a lot of luck with not using a special potty chair. We got a built in potty seat. I didn’t have to spend time cleaning a potty chair, and it got my daughter used to using a real potty.” Rebekah from The Golden Gleam
10. Stay Home for a Few Days
“Plan on staying home for a few days, and just let them hang out in underwear with no pants. That way they can get onto the potty quicker. Eventually the accidents will taper off.” Amy from Z is for Zel
11. Don’t Confuse Them
“Don’t confuse them by putting them in diapers sometimes and underwear sometimes (except at night).” Amy from Z is for Zel
12. Try Cloth Diapers
“Both my kids started going #2 in the potty by 18 months old. I am SO lucky!!!! I really think that using cloth diapers made a big difference.” Amanda from The Educators’ Spin On It
13. Celebrate Being a Big Kid
“What worked best for my oldest (a girl) was to make it a fun, grownup activity. She loved being a big girl.” Chrissy from The Outlaw Mom
14. Let Them Earn a Toy or Fun Experience
“My son gave me such a hard time with #2. He was trained for #1 for months before #2. He’d go once and then would refuse for days at a time. I had tried star charts, but they weren’t a big enough incentive. I bought a toy that I knew he really wanted and put it on top of the refrigerator. I told him he could have it after 10 poops on the potty. Worked wonderfully- almost a little too well! After he got the toy, he wanted to know what he got for 20 poops on the potty!” Danielle from 52 Brand New
15. Try a Small Candy or Sticker Reward
“We just potty trained my 2.5 year old son this week. Hooray!! It went quickly and only took a day and a half. I’m convinced that our key to success was waiting until he was ready…. and we let him pick out a jelly bean (his favorite) every time he went to the bathroom in the potty. He has a sweet tooth just like me.” Malia from Playdough to Plato
16. Always Be Prepared
“Keep Pull-ups in the glove compartment. Even after you are ‘done’ potty training keep a Pull-up in your car for emergencies when traveling. Trust me, you’ll hear ‘Mommy, I need to go potty.’ right after you pass that Next-Rest-Stop-in-60-Miles sign.” Zina from Let’s Lasso the Moon
17. Scope Out the Restrooms
“Even though my kids are ‘trained,’ they still aren’t always able to fully control their bladder. There isn’t always a lot of time between the ‘Mommy, I’ve gotta peeeeee!’ and it actually happening. So it’s always important when we’re out and about to know where the nearest rest room is at all times!” Krissy from B-Inspired Mama
18. Try Again Later
“We first tried when she was 2, but she wasn’t ready, so we trained again at 2 1/2, and she was fully day trained in 2 days.” Rebekah from The Golden Gleam
19. Don’t Stress About It
“There are so many factors involved in potty training: life circumstances (new sibling, a move, travel, illness, etc.), your child’s development, your capacity and so on. My biggest piece of advice is ‘Don’t Fret.’ Your child and you will come to an agreement one day.” Marnie from Carrots Are Orange
20. Quit Comparing
“Oh, and stop looking at how quickly or what age everyone else trained their children. Every child is different, and as I kept telling myself, chances are they won’t be an adult in nappies. It will happen.” Deborah from Learn With Play @ Home
What are your experiences with potty training? Do you have any tips to share?
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