Welcome to the stage of parenting where you wonder why everything is wet and what the hell you just stepped in. I guess it isn’t that ba— what am I saying yes it is THAT bad. But at least you don’t have to buy diapers any more right?
All right, in all seriousness for some, potty training your toddler will be a breeze and your child will pick it up right away. For some others, it is going to be stressful, and exhausting, and messy for a while. But that is ok, you can do this! keep reading along and you will learn how to potty train your toddler.
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How to Potty Train Your Toddler
First things first if you haven’t read my post on when to potty train go read that now. You want to first make sure your child is ready to potty train before you begin. This will cut down the stress level A LOT. So go read that post and then come back here!
Before you start potty training your toddler make sure you have at least three full days where you do not plan to leave your house. It is much better to stay home rather than be out worrying about accidents while out and about.
Ditch the Diapers
Once you decide to potty train I find it is best to ditch the diapers completely! Except at nap time and bedtime. Use the last of your diapers up and then switch to pull-ups. Pull-ups are great to use because if they wake up during the night you can easily pull down the pull up for them to use the potty, instead of taking off a diaper and putting it back on.
Naked and Free
Now there is a bit of controversy over starting potty training with your child being naked. Some say it is not good because they won’t always be naked and it hinders them from learning to use the potty with clothes on or something along those lines.
But I figured it is easier to watch for potty cues while they are naked. So I decided on the first two days to let Hudson run naked. PLUS there is less laundry this way. And anyway I can cut back on extra work and cleaning I’ll do it.
For the first two days, I let Hudson run naked. I watched him closely for potty signs and tried putting him on the potty often. We made it out with only one poop on the floor and about 3 pee accidents. YAY! Because he was naked he was also able to catch on to what he was actually doing. So every time he peed on the floor I picked him up placed him on the potty and said this is where the pee goes. Which I believed helped him understand the concept easier.
Watch for Potty Cues
These are going to be different for each child. But some of the common ones are acting antsier, some children like to hide to go poop, some grab at their privates a bit more when they have to go. Just watch your child closely and see what cues you can pick up on.
Set A Timer
Set a potty timer for every 30 min in the beginning and take them to use the potty every time the timer goes off. If 30 minutes seems to quick each time then set it for 45 minutes or so.
On to Big Kid Underwear
After you let them run naked for a while put them into regular underwear. For some, this is going to be the better option from day one. Wearing underwear helps them understand the feeling of the wetness. So they will learn they do not like it and will want to use the potty.
Do You Have to Go Potty?
You will be asking this question over and over again all. damn. day. long. Because if you don’t remind them at the beginning or you don’t ask all the time, they will forget to go. And you will have more accidents. So ask, ask, and ask again. Because this will save your sanity in the beginning.
Accidents happen, you will not be able to avoid this. There will be a lot of messes and a lot of laundry. But you have to stay calm and not discipline them for having accidents because this can cause them to be fearful of using the potty and can set them back.
Pro tip — wine helps for all the accidents and the laundry at the end of the day.
Chose from the bringing if you want to do a reward system or not. A reward can be a special treat every time they use the potty, a dollar store toy, or even a sticker chart. I used cheese and pickles as a reward for Hudson because those are his favourite.
I only used a reward for the first two days because I eventually forgot about giving it to him and he never asked for one. So that was that.
If you don’t want to use a reward system that is completely fine. I do not believe that using a reward or not using one is going to help them potty train any quicker.
It Does Get Easier
I promise you it will get easier. One day you will wake up and you will not have to ask if they have to go potty they will start telling you when they have to go. There will be a time where there will be no more accidents. It just takes time a patience for these things to happen. For some they will have a fully potty train toddler in 3 days, others it can be a week, two weeks or even a month. Patience and wine will solve most potty training whoas.
- If you need to go out and you are afraid of accidents in the car seat. Put a diaper on over their underwear. Or use a towel or puppy pad under them to protect their seat.
- For the first 2-3 days have them drink a lot more water so they will use the potty more often. This will help you learn their cues and it will help your toddler pick up on using the potty faster.
- If your toddler is really struggling to understand the concept of potty training than now might not be the right time for them. Try again in a few months.
That’s all you need to know about how to potty train your toddler. If you have any question and areas you need help with leave a comment below!