Potty. Training. Two words every parent dreads. Potty training can be an exciting time (no more diapers, woo!) but it can also be super stressful for both the parents and the child. Here are 6 potty training tips from parents who have survived it! Ha!
Accident Will Happen:
Repeat after me--accidents will happen! And that’s ok! You can’t expect your child to learn how to pee and poo (and tell you before it happens) in a day. Most kids will be potty trained within 5-7 days, but you should still have a plan for nighttime, car trips, play dates and school accidents.
Use the Sticker Method:
Every parent we’ve recommended the sticker method to has had a lot of success. Parenting experts are against bribing children to learn to pee and poo, which is why the sticker method is so great. Here’s how it works: you make a potty chart with their name on it and have them help you make it special and unique. Every time they pee in the potty (accident-free) they get 1 sticker. Every poo gets 2 stickers. Once they reach 5 or 10 stickers (you can pick the number), they get a small reward. Make sure that the reward is too small to feel like a bribe. The $1 store or Targets budget aisle are a great place to stack up on small toys. Bonus: pick out stickers for things they love--maybe car stickers, or stars and rainbows.
Set a Potty Schedule:
Your child won’t know to automatically tell you when they have to potty, so setting a potty schedule is really important. Set a timer and every 30 minutes, walk your child to the bathroom and ask if they have potty. You’ll repeat this process all day so get comfortable.
Train them with underwear, not diapers:
Toss out the diapers. Ok, that’s dramatic, but maybe just put them away. Do not train your child with diapers, or else it’ll feel like any other day. You should always potty train with real underwear. If they have an accident in their underwear, they will absolutely feel the accident. With a diaper, the urine will get absorbed and it’ll be like nothing has changed so they don’t need to adapt.
Set aside 3 days to commit to potty training:
The best way to successfully potty train is to make sure you are present and available to help them. When I potty trained my son, I took a Friday off work, so I was available to help him Friday, Saturday and Sunday. We stayed home all weekend (so there wouldn’t be any discouraging accidents), and by Monday he started telling me when he had to pee in the potty. Giving your child 3 full days to work through potty training is a great way to set them up for success.