We started potty training Liam just before his second birthday. While reading this I want to say that every child is ready at a different time, and I DO NOT have the answers to how to do this right as we are still struggling with it. But why not share a few tips we have found successful to help out the next mom, right?
First of all, whoever said potty training would take 3 days lied. Family Day was approaching and I saw this as an opportunity to do three straight days of being naked, and BOOM he'd be potty trained. This is not what happened in the slightest.
Liam was showing signs that he was ready. We have had our potty in his bathroom since December, and we would use it every night before bed. He would also talk about using the potty, and could pull his pants down himself. After reading a few blog posts about this, I figured we were ready to take a stab at it.
It has not been easy, and thank goodness I also have a friend who decided to tackle this beast on the same weekend, so we have been helping each other through this! It has been a month now since we have started, and we are still having accidents, but taking each day as a new day!
A few things that has helped us:
- Spend the first 3 days bottomless: this way we could help him recognize when he had to pee and show him that we RUN to the potty as soon as we get that feeling.
- Use a sticker reward system: I drew a picture with a path and some fun animals, and every time he peed/pooed on the potty he would get a sticker! Once we got to the end I told him he would get a prize, which was a book about trucks!
- Provide snacks when they use the potty: We would celebrate each pee/poo with excitement and a graham cracker.
- Read to him on the potty: We had a few books in the bathroom at all times, and a few fun ones about poop. I will link them at the bottom of this post! We also used a "Super Bunny" and named his Super Pooper, to make things fun!
- Read the book "OH CRAP! Potty Training": I skimmed this book, which has a lot of great tips. But a lot of moms I have spoken with say it is the potty training Bible.
- Using Mickey Mouse Training Underwear: We chose a character that he really likes, and use these during the day to help him get used to wearing underwear eventually.
- Have lots of patience: Like I said before, we have been at it for a month now and still not completely potty trained, and it is hard, and frustrating for all parties, but we are all learning and eventually will get there.
I do feel like he had a bit of a 4 week "regression". When we would ask him if he needed to go, he would scream NO! and then started having accidents. So now what we have been doing is making it a routine to go at certain times of the day: after we wake up, before we go outside, before nap time, after nap time, before dinner, and before bed time. This way I don't ask him I physically pick him up and say "It's been a long time since we have gone to the potty, we are going to go sit and try".
So like I said before, I am not a pro, we are making mistakes, but hopefully some of this was a bit helpful for you as you tackle this big event with your toddler!