Of all the milestones your child will achieve, potty training is probably the one that most parents least look forward to. It’s messy, it’s laborious, and it feels like there’s no end in sight. But you don’t want your kid to be heading to preK and still not be potty trained, though. That’s why you’ll need some potty training tips to avoid having pee (and ick, poop) all over your floor.
Potty training isn’t for the faint of heart. It feels like you’re incessantly reminding your kid to go pee, and they stubbornly refuse to. You’ll spend what feels like days sitting on the floor in your bathroom while watching your half-naked child sit on the potty, insisting, “I don’t have to go!” But once you finally spy those first few drops of pee in the potty, you’ll both feel such a sense of accomplishment that you might, just might shed a tear of happiness.
So if you’re looking to help your kiddo ditch their diapers, these potty training tips can help your child pee and poop with ease.
1. Time It Right
No two kids will potty train at exactly the same time. And while there’s no specific age when all kids should start it, potty training typically occurs between 18-24 months, according to the Mayo Clinic. That said, some kids aren’t ready to train until they’re 3 years-old — and that’s okay. If you try to start too soon, you could both wind up stressed out, which is never ideal. And if it’s possible, you should try training during the warmer months. That way, your kiddo can wear less clothing and you might even consider going diaper-free for a few days.
2. Understand The Signs
More often than not, your child will let you know if they’re ready to start the process of toilet training. There are some surefire signs that show potty readiness, like your child’s ability to stay dry for two hours, or during a nap. If your kiddo can let you know that they have to go to the bathroom, or dislike like the feeling of being in a wet diaper, you might want to begin the potty training process.
3. Stay At Home
If it’s possible, you should plan your potty training for when you’ll be home for a few days straight—like a weekend. Why? Well, there are going to be accidents, and you’ll have more time to clean up the messes your kiddo makes. Then, include your child in on the process by showing them where the potty will be—you might even let them carry it around or play with it a bit to make them feel more comfortable. Then, remind your child to use the potty every so often so that they feel that sense of accomplishment when they actually do pee (or woot, poop) in the potty.
4. Don’t Ditch Your Diapers
If you thought that your child was completely trained because they don’t have any accidents during the day, think again. Day training and night training are two totally different things, and just because your child has mastered one doesn’t mean that they’re ready to wear undies at night. “It can take up to two years to stay dry at nighttime,” the experts at Bambino Mio explain. “Continue using diapers to start with and then move on to potty training pants.” Another option: Put your child on the potty just before bedtime and as soon as they wake.
5. Expect Accidents From Time To Time
Sure, your child may be rocking their big kid undies, but that doesn’t mean that accidents won’t happy. “Be prepared for setbacks and odd accidents even when you think you have got it mastered,” the Bambino Mio experts advise. “Carry spare clothing with you and always use potty training pants, especially for long trips when out and about.” If your kiddo has a lot of accidents, be sure to heap on the praise when they do use the potty correctly, and reassure them when they have accidents. You can even ask other parents for their potty training tips to see how they did it — and survived.
6. Use Rewards
From stickers to pencils, the sky’s the limit when it comes to potty training rewards. You can always use a reward chart so that your child can visually see how often they’ve used their potty. You can make it a fun craft project and have them decorate it, or even pretty up their potty each time they poo or pee in it. You might even read a potty-related story as a reward (and reminder) about how much fun it is to use a potty!
There’s no denying that potty training is a stressful mess. That’s why it’s important to remain calm and relaxed with this newfound stage with your kiddo. Eventually your kid will pee and poop in a potty, and those darling diaper days will be a distant memory that you will miss.