Hey there, mamas and dads! My daughter recently potty trained and I had many people ask about our journey and what helped her learn so fast. Today, I’m sharing our entire experience with potty training and some tips that made it quick and easy.
I was initially going to introduce Taya to the potty before her younger brother was born, because who wants more than one kid in diapers? Well, it turns out I did! I decided against potty training before little bro arrived because it would be easier for us to have 2 kids in diapers for a season. This also eliminated any possible regression once baby bro was here. For me, I would rather have more diapers to change than a potty regression that’d lead to more cleanup during the newborn days.
Then I was going to introduce her to the potty in October, but life and travels for the holidays kept me from really going for it. In December, I did get her very own potty to introduce her to it. My intention was to simply get her acquainted with it and excited to use it when she was ready for it. I would say, “Soon we’ll say goodbye to diapers and go pee and poop on the potty.” When she would tell me she had to pee, I’d offer her to try going on her potty. Sometimes she would try but wouldn’t go. I didn’t push it.
I took the Big Little Feelings Potty Training Made Simple e-course and loved it! Their course completely affirmed the approach I wanted to take with Taya. The foundation of the course is rooted in mindset, which is exactly what I wanted to focus on before she even started to use the potty. Potty training is all about getting your child to connect the feeling of needing to go with going on the potty. Once they make that connection, it’ll be a smooth process.
We got Taya a book about using the potty. She loved reading it with us over and over. It was simple and walked through the basic steps – identifying needing to go, pants down, sit down, wait for it to let out, wipe, etc. I loved that it was to the point and wasn’t like a fairytale process with an animal or character from a show. I can’t find the exact one we have online but I’ll link some similar ones for you at the end of the post.
One day, out of nowhere, she decided she needed to go on her potty and she did! So I knew we HAD to stick with it. This wasn’t a planned thing so I had to run to the store for some supplies – big girl underwear, pull-ups for nights, flushable wipes, and urine remover.
I won’t go into detail about the Potty Training Made Simple course, but they encourage you to have your child go naked until they’ve shown progress in connecting the feeling of needing to go and following through with it on the potty. For us, it wasn’t practical for Taya to go completely naked on the bottom. We went straight to big-girl underwear! She was just in underwear and easy tops or dresses during the day for the first 4-5 days. I made sure that Mike took care of any errands we had so that the kids and I could be home during those foundational days. It was the best choice for us and I’m glad that we did.
I introduced her to big-girl underwear and explained that they’re not diapers and she can’t pee/poop in them. She was very excited about them! For nights, we use pull-ups but we call them “nighttime underwear” and again, explained that they’re not diapers. The first few days of getting into her nighttime underwear she would say, “Not a diaper! Nighttime undies!” – it was cute!
The first full day of potty training was rough. She had quite a few pee accidents as she learned to connect the feeling of needing to go with going on the potty. The first full day was a time of learning for me – taking notice of any warning signs that she may need to go and how to continue encouraging her, even after an accident.
On the second day, I saw a huge improvement! I can confidently say Taya made the connection by the second day. During the first couple of days, she only had a couple of minor accidents. For example, she would start to go but would finish on the potty. Another time, I was putting Jace down for a nap and wasn’t there to help her.
Toward the end of the week, we started doing outings to the playground or to the store. I chose pull-ups for these outings to see how she would do. I chose a different pattern than her nighttime underwear so she wouldn’t get confused. She has never had an accident while we were out and she let me know when she had to pee while at the playground – and successfully went in the park restroom. I held her hovering over the toilet, of course. Taya still has never had an accident during outings and we ended up ditching the pull-ups for outings at the end of the second week.
Right now, we still use pull-ups for nights. I’d say 95% of the time, the pull-up is completely dry in the morning. I’m in no rush to ditch the pull-ups for nights simply because I don’t want to have to stress about the other 5% of the time just yet.
Everyone has different definitions of what “fully potty trained” entails. For us, it’s Taya identifying the need to go, following through on the potty, wiping, flushing, and washing hands on her own. She’s done this since the first week but I can more realistically say she was fully potty trained the second week… aka – she doesn’t need us to be there with her.
7 POTTY TRAINING TIPS
MODEL IT YOURSELF – As a stay-at-home mom, I have no choice but to model using the toilet every day, haha. Leading by example is huge in all things! When I would go to the bathroom, I would explain every step from how I feel like I need to pee, letting it out, and so on. Taya knew every step to using the potty before she started going on the potty herself and I believe that’s because I modeled it myself.
SKIP THE INCENTIVES + REWARDS – I have heard other parents say that they’d bribe their kids with chocolate or a certain treat if they go on the potty. While that sounds great at the moment, that just leads your child to expect that treat every time.
LET YOUR CHILD HELP – Let your child dump the small potty contents into the big potty and flush. They’ll be proud they went in their potty and chances are, they’ll want to help dump it and flush. After Taya went on the potty for the first time, I asked her if she wanted to dump and flush – she was so excited I asked and was so happy to do it!
DON’T MAKE A BIG DEAL ABOUT ACCIDENTS – Accidents will happen when your child is learning to use the potty. Don’t make a big fuss over them. Clean them up yourself and assure your child that it’s okay, accidents happen sometimes, especially when you’re learning something new. After the accident is cleaned up, kindly remind your child that they need to go on the potty and not on the floor, etc.
KEEP THE POTTY IN A BATHROOM – I have read a bunch of different methods out there and some suggest moving the child’s potty wherever they are. While I can see this might be a good option for younger toddlers, I think it’s more beneficial in the long run to keep the potty in a bathroom. This eliminates confusion.
DON’T FORCE IT – Trust me, I can understand the frustration you feel just wanting to have your child to be potty trained already. I get it. Wait for your child to want to learn it for themselves. Ask them and invite them to use their potty but if they don’t want to, don’t force it. One day, they will want to and be fully ready for it.
HYPE UP + PRAISE YOUR CHILD – Progress is progress, no matter how small. Hype up your child while they’re learning to use the potty. Encouraging them and making them believe that they CAN use the potty is so important for a child. Praise them and let them know how proud you are that they’ve been learning how to use the potty so well.
POTTY TRAINING ESSENTIALS
I hope you’re able to take some tips and tricks for potty training from our experience. At the end of the day, you know your child best! Follow your child’s lead and keep the experience upbeat for them! Potty training isn’t exactly fun for us parents but it’s key to stay positive throughout for your kiddo. 😊