Isn’t potty training just the most fun thing ever? On one hand, it’s really great watching your child’s progression.
Perhaps who, up until a few months ago, was just stringing together words. Now they are more independent then ever.
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Potty training has so many components to being successful and can depend a lot on your child’s temperament and whether or not your child is ready.
My first born’s temperament is choleric (high energy, strong willed, very direct, very task oriented).
One of her first words was “dis,” as she would move from room to room wanting “this,” which was any available item out of reach.
The reason I mention temperaments is because when it comes to potty training, it can be very frustrating, but often for different reasons.
A choleric child may take their dirty diaper off in the crib and make messes on a daily basis until they get their training down [not speaking from experience or anything 🙂 ].
A phlegmatic, slow paced child, may prolong and put off the potty training process.
A melancholic child may prefer a very solid potty training routine.
Knowing your child’s temperament and what motivates them can help with the potty training process.
Potty Training Chart Free Printables
Use this potty training chart to star off each time your child goes potty. Reward a prize after the first few stars, so they make the connection that they are working towards a goal.
Sprinkle a few “prizes,” throughout the chart. Do this by writing “prize,” or marking the box with a special sticker. I use small items like bubbles, stickers, and sidewalk chalk for these small prizes.
Once the chart is filled up, they get a “big” prize. In our case, it’s a trip to the dollar store to pick out a toy. Which will probably be some M & Ms.
The act of going shopping and picking out her own toy is what motivates Libby, more than the actual toy itself.
Download the Green Potty Chart, Blue Potty Chart or Pink Potty Chart.
Potty Training Tips
1. Reward your Child for Going Potty
Rewarding your child for going potty reinforces the behavior. I have also found it helps to get a procrastinating child off of the toilet.
I.E. You get a star for going potty, let’s go put it on the chart. You get two m&m’s for going poop, let’s go get them.
At first, I was against, giving m&ms, but they proved to be VERY effective.
2. Show your Child How to Go Potty
Children are naturally curious and will imitate what you do. Let your child see you go potty.
They probably follow you to the bathroom anyways. Use props like dolls or toys and show them “going potty.”
Say something like, “Look, Barbies going potty on the toilet, one day you will go potty on the toilet, or do you have to go potty on the toilet?”
We started doing lots of “potty talk” at around 18 months. She was nowhere near ready to go potty herself, but talking her through the process helped teach her.
3. Talk Through When Other “People” Go Potty
It’s important to teach that everyone goes potty. If grandparents or friends are over, say “look, grandma’s going to go potty.”
If you have dogs, say “Look, FiFi’s going poop outside.” Libby would help follow us around the yard to clean up dog poop.
It made her very “aware” of what it was. She even helped with pointing it out. I would say something like “Doggies go poop, and we go poop. Everybody poops.”
In the morning, we would let the dogs outside and watch them poop. We very casually talked “poop” for a few months.
I contribute this to her understanding of going to the bathroom. After she turned two, she just started pooping on the toilet. Almost every single time. I would give her M&Ms (3) for each time she went. She was pooping on the toilet before she was peeing on the toilet.
It took much longer for her to get the hang of peeing on the toilet. I also do not give her M&Ms for that (hence the potty chart).
Potty training seems to be part encouragement and part looking for the cues your child is ready.
4. Wear Clothes that are Easy to Change
Wear clothes that are easy for your child to remove when it’s time to go potty. Once they start visiting the toilet more frequently switch to pull-ups or underwear. Some kids are really motivated by wearing underwear.
5. Read Books about going Potty
Reading a book about going potty is a great starting point. It’s easy for toddlers to see with pictures.
6. Find the Right Potty Seat
I didn’t put much thought into potty training seats. In fact, we were gifted both a toilet trainer seat and a Summer Infant My Fun Sticker Potty.
Libby much preferred the toilet trainer seat (sits right on the toilet).
This is actually much easier for clean-up, as well as how everyone else uses the toilet.
Expect Accidents and Regressions
Toddlers are just starting to really learn they have some control over their body. They will pack this arsenal in their toddler bag of tricks.
Every toddler has one. It’s normal.
They are learning to become independent and this is one way to do so. I have found that these tricks are and not limited to:
- Removing soiled diapers in the crib. Usually out of discomfort, curiosity or control.
- Removing diapers as a control tactic. I.E. “I don’t want to go to bed so I am taking my diaper off.”
- I can’t go to bed, I have to go potty for the fifteenth time.
To combat these, we had to cut the feet off of zip-up onesies and put them on backwards.
At first, my inner frugal self did not want to “waste” these pjs, but it was the BEST thing we could have done.
It made it much easier when she could no longer unzip or remove her clothes to take off her diaper, dirty or not.
Potty Train in Three Days
If you are looking for a quick and fast approach to potty training, then check out Potty Training in 3 Days: The Step-by-Step Plan for a Clean Break from Dirty Diapers. This book has tons of glowing five star reviews on Amazon.
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