08 September 2014

5 Things I've Learned About Potty Training

Potty training is (and has been) in full swing around here for the past two years. Bennett took a particularly long time to potty train, and now we're gearing up to start potty training Easton! I actually can't believe we are already to this point. Wasn't he JUST a baby??? Waaaa *cries like a....baby*

 *Many thanks to Pull-Ups for sponsoring today's discussion and creating the Big Kid Academy for us potty trainers!

When it comes to potty training, every child is different. One method may work for one child, and not the other. A lot of it is trial and error, but here are the things that worked for me -- thus they are MY personal tips for potty training. And these will be implemented as we start to potty train my 2 y/o. Take them or leave them ;-)

1) Pay attention to cues. 
Your child's cue's (or lack thereof) are super important. When we first tried potty training Bennett, he basically showed zero interest in the toilet, "big boy" underwear, or anything related to the toilet. So our first mistake was not paying attention to the fact that he was showing no signs of being ready to potty train. I mean, that's not to say that some kids interests wouldn't have been piqued, but in our case, the cue's weren't there which should have been a big red flag. We could have spared ourselves a lot of frustration.

However with Easton, he's showing definite signs of being ready to potty train. Things like:
  • Being uncomfortable when he soils his diaper
  • Takes an interest when others use the bathroom
  • Asking to sit on the potty
  • Requesting to wear underwear
These little cue's tell me that perhaps, he's ready!! So... gearing up to potty train another kid is right around the corner for us!

2) Ditch the little potty chair.
Those little potty seats? I'm not a fan. Of course I bought one thinking it would be awesome, but really, it doesn't make sense. Do I really want to be cleaning pee/pooh out of this thing every time my child uses it?? No. That's gross. I decided to get a toilet insert with some fun little Sesame Street characters on it that fits right onto the toilet. In my opinion, it makes more sense to have them actually sitting on the toilet when they're training. Plus, it cuts out the step of trying to move them from the little potty chair, to the actual toilet -- which some kids don't want to do.

3) Incentives.
Every kid will have something they respond to. Some kind of reward that gets them pumped up! Whether it be a fun sticker chart, a new toy, some sort of candy, or maybe they just respond to a lot of clapping and high praise. Take some time to determine what will give your kid the incentive they need to give potty training a real chance. Mix & match if you need to, but don't be afraid to bribe :-)

4) Be more patient than you've ever been.
This is self-explanatory, and absolutely crucial. The more frustrated you get, the more your child will get flustered and frustrated as well. Patience, understanding, and lots of extra love and cuddles will go a LONG way with helping your child feel comfortable with the process of potty training.

5) Do what works for you!
There are a lot of methods out there when it comes to potty training. Most important thing, is to do what works best for your family and your child. Period.

And while we're on the subject of giving tips and talking about potty training, I will just come right out and say that we are a 100% Pull-Ups family. During potty training, my kids wear Pull-Ups whenever we leave the house, and at night.

 Heck, Bennett is 4 y/o and still wears Pull-Ups when he goes to sleep at night. He's getting a lot better with his bladder control at night, but when he does have an accident, you better believe I'm thankful I don't have to start another load of laundry in our already busy day. Some people choose to go cold turkey and ditch all forms of diapers when potty training, and that's totally fine. But for us, Pull-Ups are essential. There's absolutely no shame in wanting to avoid accidents either at night or while out of the house.

My kids love Pull-Ups, especially since they have pretty awesome Disney characters on them now, like Jake The Neverland Pirate... it's a huge hit around here.

And you probably don't know this, but Pull-Ups has a site, the Big Kid Academy, with so many fabulous resources to help with the process. And since every child learns and potty trains differently, when you enroll in the Big Kid Academy, you'll receive activities and advise customized to exactly where you're at in your potty training journey.

Here of just some of the subjects included in the Big Kid Academy:
  • How to tell if your child is ready for potty training
  • Potty training for working parents
  • Solutions for nighttime
  • How to talk to day care providers about potty training
  • Reward ideas
  • Potty training on the go
  • The best clothing for potty training
 I probably spent a good couple of hours over the past day or two cruising the Big Kid Academy for advice and ideas to help us along with potty training Easton. So go check out their site and enroll for free!... your potty trainer will thank you ;-)



Britt D said...

Okay, I deleted my comment because it thought it didn't matter. But, I just wrote an email to a colleague who mispronounced a word for an entire video tutorial. So... I'm going to rewrite it. I think you meant cue above, instead of queue. :)

Amber Nicole Blog said...

My first two were SO easy that I just know Owen's going to be a demon for me!

Amanda Jillian B said...

Still trying to get Ariel to do potty training it's hard work!

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Michelle said...

I have to agree with you 100% on the inserts vs. potty chair thing. We bought on for my first daughter, kind of thinking that was just what you should do and I quickly realized it was a waste. She preferred to sit directly on the toilet (like mommy). Plus what if she had a hard time transitioning to the real toilet after she mastered the potty chair? I'm so glad we ended up going with an insert too. The only way I would ever recommend one is if that's the only way you could get it done. It's just so much easier to go straight to the real deal :)

Sarah Halstead said...

Awww. Such cute photos. Potty training is hard work.