Saturday, November 19, 2011

Potty Training 2.0

I started potty training Andrew this week. He will be 2 in December. Christopher was fully potty trained by 2 and a few months, but using the potty most of the time by 2. I've gotten a lot of questions from friends about potty training, so I've answered them here.
-How do you know when they are ready? You don't know, the only way to find out is to try and keep trying.
-Potty training can take up to a year to learn, so start young. A lot of preschools/day cares require kids to be potty trained by a certain age. Start training one year before the required age. Don't have a deadline? Well look at it as a way to save money on diapers and teach independence:)
-How do you start? I take it in steps and only move on after each concept has been learned. The time it takes to learn each step is different for every child. 1. Bring out the potty and talk/read about using the potty as much as possible. 2. Buy underwear, NOT pull ups. They are a total waste of money. The only way they learn is by feeling wet and pull ups feel just like diapers.The more they wear underpants (however much of a pain it is), the faster they learn. Another great trick is to not have them wear anything for the first few days of training. It sounds crazy, but it works. 3. Have them use the potty at home. 4. Once they've master at home, have them wear underpants for short trips and gradually take longer and longer trips. 5. Last start teaching them to wear underpants for naps and bed. Limit drink intake beforehand and have them go before they sleep. Wake them up every few hours in the beginning to go.
-Give little rewards for their success and tons of verbal praise. I use a small piece of candy or crackers. 
-Place them on the potty and leave them alone. Watching them can be pressuring.
-Expect accidents. They should become less and less frequent, but its still common for kids to have accidents up until 1st grade. Never yell or punish a child for accidents or they'll become discouraged. If they are having more accidents than successes though they may not be ready for potty training yet.   
-Don't give up! Eventually they will learn, but you have to persist. If you get lazy, they will too. Plan to train when you will be home for a few days and can dedicate a lot of time to teaching. It can be a long (as in a few months) process, so don't get discouraged.
If anyone else has any tips/advice, please feel free to share!


  1. Oh, how I loathe potty training! We are doing this right now with my second, but it looks like he's probably still going to be in diapers by the time his sister arrives. Three kids in diapers! I don't know what I'm going to do. lol!

  2. I hate it too, but I don't want two in diapers. Too much work and money!

  3. Ohhh potty training. I don't have children yet, but I used to work at a day care, and getting the kids to use the potty was almost trivial. Wow. Process. Love the blog :)

  4. Girl you're my go to for when I hit this stage :)

  5. So we haven't even begun to think about this yet but I really would like to have Olivia starting by the time this baby is born in April but I think that's way too soon. She'll only be 17 months. I'll have to save this blog and refer back to it! Such great information. I heard girls are easier than boys but I have no experience either way so we'll see.

  6. I did start Christopher at 18 months and by 2 like I said he was using the potty most of the time. I helped train some of my younger sisters, but I found it was as difficult. I think some kids "get it" right away and others (most) take months.

  7. Those are some great tips! My first learned so easily...there was never any "forcing" it on my end, and once she transitioned, there were never any accidents at all.

    So clearly I expect that my second will be extra challenging :) lol

  8. I heard that, for little boys, placing a Cheerio in the toilet bowl and having them aim for it and thus move it is a good and fun way to encourage proper aim! :)