Before reading this…keep in mind that all children are different and what works for one family may not work for the next. What works now might evolve to something else entirely in the future. Potty training is tough but there’s no way around it. Here are a few tips from a mom with experience that we hope will be helpful to you and your little one! The following are top tips to achieve potty triumph and get your little one on the right track for success - while also keeping your sanity!
1. Be Ready
You never know when your little one is going to need to go or “try” to go, so ALWAYS be ready. Literally, DROP EVERYTHING when they finally utter those words “I need to go to the bathroom!”These seven heavenly little words are a dream come true - especially when they are spoken prior to your child going and there’s a toilet nearby!).
2. Always Have Your Supplies Nearby
If you are home or in a public bathroom you want this process to be as seamless and simple as possible. So, after your child goes, be sure to have wipes within an arm’s reach or in an outside pocket of your diaper bag. Automatic toilets will be your arch nemesis! They flush when you least expect them to and can scare your toddler - then you have a crying toddler sitting on a toilet that’s covered in toilet paper while you precariously hold them over the toilet bowl so they don’t fall in.
Simple tip: Bring post-it notes with you to every public restroom. All you do is stick one of those bad boys right over the sensor and voila! Problem solved. The toilet will not flush when you least expect it. Once you are done, and the TP is in the toilet, just grab that post-it, drop it in, and away it goes! Simplicity is key.
3. Sometimes Bribing DOES Work
If the only way your child will go to the bathroom is by holding a toy, do it! Obviously not a huge plush toy, but a smaller plastic one that can be a “friend” during the journey. I’m not in the camp of giving M&M’s after my little one goes to the bathroom, but sometimes if something as simple as stickers do the trick…then okay! For a while we had a dry erase board and each time she went to the bathroom she could draw a star on the board, making it a fun reward.
4. “All By Myself”
At the tender age of toddlerhood or being a “threenager,” it’s as if all your kiddo wants to do is to be independent and do everything “all by myself!” My advice – let them! If they feel in control and you give them the choice to make the decision,” then you’ll eventually have a successful bathroom experience. So, that means you’d say something like “We are going to the bathroom now. Do you want to go with mommy or daddy?” Or, “we are going to the bathroom now. Do you want to bring this lego character or this princess figure?” The choice is not about going to the bathroom, it becomes about who they want to go to the bathroom with. Nine times out of 10 this trick will work.
5. Make It Fun
Karate chop the toilet paper, sing a song while washing your hands together or shake your hands and have the water spray onto the mirror. Do something to make it fun! If your child needs a song to listen to, choose a song and make it your potty anthem! Eventually, the bathroom experience isn’t so bad, and you have a Win-Win.
6. Choose the Right Potty
If your child doesn’t like their potty then you’re probably off to a bad start. There are many different types of potties and the choice should be inclusive of your child’s opinion. One product that worked really well for us was the My Size Potty
. This potty looks just like mommy & daddy’s grown up potty. My little girl already wanted to do what we do so the transition was easier than I expected!
Experienced Mom of two, good luck!