All right, here we go. Potty training. Round two.
Yep, it’s that time again but I have a feeling this time will be easier. I remember trying to potty train Ade. I think I tried a total of three different times to potty train him. I scoured the internet for tips on how to potty train him. We tried the reward system. If he went then he would get a handful of M&Ms, an Oreo cookie, or some Gummy Fruits. Word of advice, do not give your kids Oreos as a reward. Just don’t. It will not end well.
When I found out I was pregnant again, I decided there was no way I was going to change diapers on two kids. So I buckled down and spent the better portion of nine months working on potty training Ade. I set a timer for every fifteen to thirty minutes and even kept his cup filled, making sure he drank often (which really wasn’t a feat, he was a water drinker before he was even born). At times we would sit there and sit there and sit there until he either went or one of us got tired of sitting. When he finally got the hang of going number one, we went through a period of him refusing to go number two unless it was in a diaper. Honestly, potty training with him seemed to drag on and on.
By the time Isbe was born, Ade was potty trained for the most part. He still wore diapers during naps and at night for a time, but eventually he outgrew it. So when I debated whether to potty train or wean Isbe, I chose what I assumed was the easier of the two options. Turns out, weaning Isbe from nursing is not as easy as it was with Ade (go figure).
We’ve actually had the training potty out since the beginning of the year, maybe longer. I read another mom’s blog post where she advised putting the potty out a few months before the actual training began so that the little one could get used to it. So when Isbe started getting curious about bubby going potty, I set it out. Then I took it a step further and implemented hand-washing. Any time Isbe sat on her potty, she got to wash her hands. We’ve been doing this for months.
A few weeks ago, I asked her if she wanted to go potty at just the right time and BAM she picked it up. A few days later, she suddenly got up and said, “I go potty.” I was completely surprised when she actually went. By herself. At this point, I’m projecting she’ll be potty trained by, or right around, the new year.
Here are a few things that worked for us:
~ Set out the training potty early. Let them sit on it, if it makes sounds or other animations then let them play with those. Let them get used to it before attempting to potty train.
~ Let them observe. Okay this sounds a little weird, but trust me it’ll help prompt their natural curiosity. Let them observe an older sibling (or Mom and Dad) using the toilet. Isbe’s training potty sits catty-corner to the big toilet so anytime Ade went, she could sit down, too.
~ Implement a routine. Get them in the habit of washing their hands from the beginning. If there’s something else you want them to do (like flushing the toilet), put that as part of the routine, as well.
~ Ask if they need to go. When they wake up in the morning or from a nap, ask them if they need to go. The timing will depend on your child. Some don’t need to go until a few minutes after they wake up. Others need to go right away. For us, we ask whenever Isbe takes off her pajamas (they don’t last long on her once she’s up). If they’ve been drinking a lot or have finished a meal, ask if they need to go. Ask at least once an hour or so.
~ Praise instead of reward. We haven’t used the reward system for Isbe at all. What we have done is praise her each time she’s attempted to go, whether she’s successful or not. The reward system can work, but sometimes the trainee can become too focused on the reward and not on what they’re supposed to be doing (ahem, Ade).
If you’re wondering why I haven’t mentioned pull-ups or any other training pants it’s because we never used them. Part of that decision came because we already use diapers that pull up instead of strapping and I felt that actual pull-ups would be too similar to their diapers that they wouldn’t care or notice. We switched to underwear when Ade was almost completely potty trained and will probably do the same with Isbe.
I hope these tips help you and your little one on the potty training journey.
Have any insight or questions, feel free to leave them in the comments! I’d love to hear from you! Happy Tuesday.