We are here. The day I knew was coming but tried my hardest to put off until the VERY last minute. Olivia’s early childhood teacher told me at her Parent Teacher Conferences that she must be potty trained before going into EC3, which is her 3rd year of early childhood. Honestly, we were just being lazy about it especially since after long days and her coming home from school, we just wanted to eat and relax, send the kids to bed and be done. We finally decided (well, I guess you can say we were forced) to face Potty-Training HEAD-ON! Here is our tips and tricks for Potty-Training the STRESS-FREE way:
Set a date on the calendar that includes 3-consecutive days that you can be with your child in the home. Prepare read, or have food and movies to make it enjoyable for all parties involved.
Find their favorite color panties or underwear and them decide which one they want to wear and let them put them on.
Make sure to have the essentials ready in your home. We recommend a potty seat cover, instead of a fake potty. This encourages and trains the kids to go to the actually potty and get use to how it works and what it looks like. We like this Potty Seat Cover because it doesn’t throw off the decor in the home (we put one in the upstairs bathroom and the downstairs bathroom).
We also purchased a step stool that matched the seat so their legs aren’t hanging down off the seat. My daughter will sit in peace when she is comfortable and I found that this step stool helps for not only when she washes her hands but when she is sitting on the potty.
4. Find some rewards for when she really gets going to encourage her to continue. Instead of giving her candy, we saved up all the toys from the kids meals when we went through the fast food drive-thru. Mostly from Chic-Fil-A because they have the best toys. After a while, I had a whole bag full of “surprises” for when she went to the Potty on her own or told mommy when she had to go “Potty”. She loved it.
5. Be patient with her, be gentle. If you’re stressed out about potty training or yelling at her because you just want her to go, just imagine how she feels. Her whole life she’s had someone take care of this for her, now she’s having to figure it out for herself and how to communicate that to those that help. She needs to see you as a safe place. This is a major transition for her and a vulnerable place as well. Take it one day, one moment at a time. She will get it. Let her know that “It’s okay” “She can do it.” “I’m right here with you.” “We can get through this together.” “Mommy is proud of you.” “You’re mommy’s big girl”.
6. Every 15-20 minutes ask her if she has to go potty. Put her on the potty every 30 minutes. Some people say every 15 minutes, but I’ve found 30 minutes works for us. If you need to do every 15 minutes, I hear that works for a lot of people as well. Just plan on this being the focus for 3-days straight. You can do it mom.
7. Make sure you have help, either from your husband/spouse, or a friend/family. Just in case there is an accident or something happens, you will have someone to not only help with the clean up process but to talk to as you go through this process with your daughter. The support is much needed and maybe even their encouragement will help as well for her to hear it from two different sources.
8. Have lots of clothes and undies ready to go because accidents will happen definitely for the first day. As the second day comes, less accidents and by the third and final day you should be on your way. Some people allow the child to walk around with no undies on, but I want my daughter to feel what its like to go so she knows that she doesn’t like that feeling and will tell me when she has gone to the potty.
9. Change your verbiage. Olivia actually taught me this. Apparently at her school they have stopped saying “potty” and now say “rest room”. She said, “it’s restroom mommy, I have to go to the restroom”. LOL. This surprised me and made me proud. But she’s right, that’s what its called and is the the big girls way of communicating. Mommy had to catch up.
10. Celebrate each time she goes. In addition to the “surprises”, we gave her a high fives and made a really big deal about how awesome she did and how proud of her she was. Yes, it gets redundant after a while but THIS will forever be planted in her mind as a good thing to do.
11. Download the app Potty Toilet Training. It has resources such as setting interval reminder, tracking what happens when she goes, stickers, games and more! Definitely helped us.
Cheers to your journey with your little girl! She will get there and you will be excited, proud and sad all in one. Your baby is growing up! Good job mom! Feel free to comment any suggestions you have for Potty Training as well!