Congrats, you had a baby. Everything they told you about during pregnancy was true. You’ll never sleep but you’ll be in love. The first few months are hard but they get easier. Having kids changes everything but it will be pure bliss. They don’t tell you about the poop and how to get it into the toilet. They don’t tell you about your toddler pulling at a wet or dirty diaper, or what to do when your toddler finds coyote poop in the backyard… and then goes to chase his play date with it. This is about the time that I knew that I had to introduce him to the porcelain gods. He was ready. But potty training is never easy, they never tell you that stuff so I will. As part of the Pull-Ups® Potty Partnership I’m going to share the low down on the dirty side of parenting…potty training. Check out my tips on potty training your toddler!
5 Tips on Potty Training Your Toddler
It is a big deal.
Make the first time they put on Pull-Ups Training Pants a momentous occasion, emphasizing that they are a big kid and not a baby. Make it a point to throw away diapers because you are not going back. Your little one is no longer a baby, but a toddler! Making and sticking with the transition to training pants is important to the potty training journey you’re taking together. Plus, Pull-Ups are designed specifically to teach potty training skills. They look and fit like underwear and your kid can slide their pants on and off all by themselves, giving them the independence they are craving. In fact, have your big boy (or big girl) throw them away themselves and cheer them on. It’s fun for them and nerve wrecking for you but you are in this together! We will go in the potty Mom, just you wait.
Do not compare
We find ourselves constantly comparing ourselves to other parents and then unintentionally comparing one child to another. Sure your first (and by first I mean mine) was potty trained before she was two but remember every child is different. So maybe it’s okay that your toddler (and by your, of course, I mean mine) has decided that he prefers to hide behind the couch to handle his business well past the two year old mark. That is okay. He will start showing signs with he’s ready and Pull-Ups even has a potty training readiness quiz to help you recognize some of these signs of readiness and determine when it’s time to start your family’s potty training adventure.
A lesson in patience
If potty training has taught me anything, it’s that you need all the patience in the world. Potty training is a developmental process and no amount of teaching can help make those developments happen before their time. Plus, going to the bathroom can be scary for children first learning to potty train. Check out Pull-Ups partner and child development expert Dr. Heather Wittenberg offer some potty training tips to help your kid want to go to the bathroom like a big kid!
It is okay to reward your child when they have gone to the potty. It is not okay to bribe them. Here is an example.
“Yay, you went potty all by yourself. Here is a sticker.”
A bribe is more along the lines of…
“If you go potty, I will give you a sticker.”
So stock up on stickers, make a chart like this one, and make it fun. When they do a good job and they get their sticker, they will remember on their own the next time. Also keep the stickers out of reach, or you may end up with unwanted wall art. Just remember that stickers are most effective when used as an immediate reinforcement rather than as a goal to save up for later. Toddlers don’t really have a solid sense of time yet, but it’s still important to have your child review their stickers later and show off their progress.
Accidents happen during potty training. Plain and simple. Disheartening? Yes, of course! But common and totally normal. I know there were times my little guy had been pooping in the potty for a couple of weeks, then started insisting on pooping into his Pull-Ups again. Potty training is a complex, new skill so just try to keep things in perspective. Don’t take it from me though! Watch Dr. Heather Wittenberg explain what to expect from accidents during potty training, and what it means for your child.
Potty training is hard, a full time job all on its own as if you possibly had that time anyhow, but it shouldn’t be burden on you or the child. Patience is that virtue we were gifted in the delivery room when they decided they wanted to stay inside for a few more hours just for good measure. Use that gift, ease up, and trust that they should be fully potty trained by the time they are off to college.
To find out your child’s potty personality, take the personality quiz at Pull-Ups.com, and get tools and advice to help you and your child partner together throughout the potty training journey.