DUN DUN DUN… Potty training time! I was so nervous about potty training, especially knowing the only things I have ever potty trained are my dogs. I had no clue what I was doing and no idea how I would get my 2-year old to go potty in the actual potty.
First things first, how did I know she was ready to go potty. She had been telling us for several months when she would go pee or poop in her diaper. As soon as she would do it, she would tell us and pull at her diaper asking us to change it. I knew she was recognizing the act of going. I researched that another sign was going into a corner, and having your toddler seek privacy..but my little one didn’t do that, she didn’t care about privacy.
We were in the process of moving, so I didn’t want to officially potty train until we moved into our new home. But, I decided to at least introduce her to the idea of using the potty. So I started taking her in the potty with me every time and showing her what I was doing and how we used the toilet paper to wipe and how we flush the toilet and wash our hands once we are done. So she became very familiar with what the potty was typically used for. Then I bought her, her own little potty that would sit next to our potty. When we went to the bathroom, she would sit on hers and flush it and put her toilet paper in it.
Once we made the move and she was adjusted to our new home, it was time to do the work and potty train. YIKES! I did some research on the best ways to go about our potty training adventure. I took bits and pieces with methods I think would work best for us, and within 3 days, she was peeing in the potty all by herself.
So here it goes! This is what we did to get her potty trained within 3 days-
- Have a conversation about it. I like to always set expectations with her and let her know what is about to happen. When we woke up in the morning. I told her, “no more diapers” and “bye-bye diapers.” I let her know we would be going pee-pee or poo-poo in the potty now and showed her where it would be. It always surprises me how much she understands more than I give her credit for.
- She went completely naked from the waist down. If you had told me we would do this, I would have laughed at you. I kid you knot just a few weeks before, I was joking that I would never do that. But well, I broke the mama cardinal rule, never say never when it comes to your kids! I felt this was best for her because I know she needed to understand the sensation of peeing and being more aware of when it happens and that it must go in the actual potty.
- Set a timer for every 15 minutes the first day. When the timer goes off, I wouldn’t ask her, but instead, say, “let’s go potty” or “time to go potty.” She would sit on the potty for a few minutes and “try,” and then we would get up and we would then start the timer again. As the days went on, we increased the timer amount.
- Accidents will happen. Go into it knowing there will be accidents and expect to clean up pee or human poop off your floor, yup, ya heard me right, human poop. Learn to laugh it off, that will help make it better.
- Clean up the accidents together. Instead of shaming or getting mad at her, I would tell her it is okay, but that she needs to go in the potty. I would let her have her own rag and spray the cleaner and let her help me clean up the area. She eventually became aware that going potty on the floor was not something she should do and would say “oh no” when it would happen and come tell and show me where it happened.
- We did not reward for going potty but gave verbal praise. We wanted her to know going potty is a normal thing, so only verbal praise is all that we did. We say, “Great job you did it,” we give high-fives, and make it exciting to run out to tell daddy or grammy that she went pee-pee in the potty. Some methods use rewards like potty charts or giving marshmallows or m&ms, but I personally didn’t want her to think she was going to be rewarded every time she did a very normal thing.
- We started with a separate little potty but gradually did a potty seat. We started with her own potty, which worked for a time, but the issue was that she could easily get up and run away. The potty seat actually worked way better for us, because she needs our help to get down, so it forces her to try harder to go potty.
- There will be tears. I hated seeing her cry out of frustration of having to try to go potty and learn this new skill, but she also was so excited when she actually did it. The best you can do is keep encouraging your child and be there for them in those frustrating moments with affirmations and celebrate the successes.
- Don’t go anywhere. Sorry to say, but you got to bunker down for a few days. Luckily, I work from home, so it did make the process easier. Going somewhere might prevent the progress you both made together.
- Be very consistent. Don’t give up mama, it might be hard, there is going to be tears, your child might throw tantrums. But the key to making it happen is consistency. You can do this!
I would say the second day was even harder than the first day. There were lots more tears and tantrums. She was even more stubborn about going potty, and at one point held her pee for 3 hours. But once we made it over the hardest hump and by the third day she was telling us she needed to “go potty” and would pee in the toilet. Yes, there were still some accidents that week and pooping has taken way longer than pee, but she got it, and it clicked within 3 days. During her naps and bedtime, she wears pull-ups because she hasn’t quite mastered that yet. By the end of the week, we had her in her new mini-mouse panties and made our first outing within 4 days without any accidents.
If you are thinking about starting potty training and are just as lost as I was on where to start, here is a list of items to buy before beginning this adventure-
- Potty seat or potty chair – get one that you think will work best for you. The potty seat worked best for us.
- Potty book – we read a book about going potty a month before and during the process.
- Potty seat for on the go – we have one that can fold up and fit in a bag and has been an absolute game-changer when we are out and about.
- Big girl/boy underwear – some are a little extra cushioned to help with any tiny accidents.
Enjoy this time, this is a big milestone and moment. Take lots of pictures, laugh, and roll with all the crap, literally!