Time to start thinking about potty training? We’ve got you covered.
Doing a simple search online will yield a great deal of opinions about the best way to potty train. You can find gender specific potty training tips, even information on how to potty train a baby!
Well, dear friends, I’m here to help you cut through all the noise so you can focus on what matters most…actually potty training.
If you are like me, too many options (with any topic) can leave you paralyzed, not knowing which advice to take and afraid that you’ll choose the wrong one and screw up your child. Sometimes, we just need someone who has been there to narrow the selection for us. That’s what I’m here to do.
Three out of four of my kids are potty trained, so I know a little something about doing the do. I worked with them each within their own time frames and it worked out beautifully.
I know moms that have done it differently than me and it was a great success for them, too.
The thing is,
There is no one right way to potty train. Each child will learn in his or her own time.
Successful potty training is subjective. What one mom feels is a success, another may think is a complete failure.
Johnny staying dry in his tidy whities all day, but wearing protective undies at night because he still doesn’t wake up to go to the bathroom? One mom sees that as a huge success, while the next mom feels he isn’t completely potty trained, yet.
Kate hasn’t wet herself in weeks but refuses to do number two on the potty? Again, there is a mom that feels Kate is potty trained (just needing a bit more encouragement), while another mom wouldn’t call that potty trained because Kate won’t do number 2 in the potty.
See what I mean by subjective?
Moms also know that when to potty train a child is just as important as how to potty train them.
Daycare is a huge concern for many families. And the way it stands now, many daycare centers won’t take a child over a certain age if they are not toilet trained. Moms can really feel the pressure to get their little ones going…and fast! When you have to work and you rely on childcare, sometimes you can’t afford to wait for potty training to happen naturally.
Each child and each family’s circumstances are different, so here are 3 different potty training methods from moms who’ve been there.
#1 Three Is the Magic Number
Let’s start with the method I’m most familiar with. Wait until your kids are about three years old.
This has worked with all three of my kiddos and I truly believe it helps to cut down on so many nighttime (and daytime) accidents.
We started out by trying traditional methods: setting an alarm to go every hour, sitting on the potty “just because,” so they can start becoming familiar with it and accidentally pee in it, etc., etc. None of it worked for my kids, and here’s why.
They weren’t ready.
With my first son, we tried around 24 months. Both of us became really frustrated that it wasn’t working (him, because he didn’t want to do it yet, and me because I really wanted him to do it now). I finally gave up and about a month before his third birthday, we gave it another try. Success!
The key was waiting until he was ready-mentally and physically. And the best part? He’s only had a grand total of one nighttime accidents since. If I would have persisted and made him learn too early, I have a hunch that nightly accidents would have been a common occurrence until he became physically ready to make it through the night.
The same thing happened with my second son. We tried too early, became frustrated, gave up, tried again at 3 and wala! Success! When my daughter came along, I pretty much knew to wait until she was three to even try.
If you are able, and not on a time crunch, I think waiting until three years old might make for a much more enjoyable transition from diapers to big kid undies.
(Watch this video of a mom who talks about how she screwed up (royally) by potty training her twin sons too soon)
#2 Potty Train in a Weekend
Ok, this book totally blew my mind when I read it. My three kiddos were all trained by the time I got my hands on this book, but I was surprised that this mamma was able to potty train her kiddos in a weekend!
She gives a step-by-step play of how she did it and she coaches you through the process as well.
I definitely think this book could be the difference between being able to go back to work versus needing to stay home longer because your kid isn’t accepted into daycare for not be potty trained yet.
I highly recommend it if you’re on a time crunch. Potty train in a weekend!
#3 The Relaxed Method
As you may have guessed from the name, this method involves simply relaxing and going with the flow of your child.
It is similar to the first potty training method mentioned above, but the difference is that this relaxed method can take place anytime you and your child want. You don’t have to wait until three years old.
As an example, your little lady may decide she wants to be like her mom, and at 18 months, sits on the potty by herself. Great, right?! The relaxed method works, because it is a very “no pressure” method. You simply let her decide when she wants to try to use the potty, and when she’d rather not.
That way she can take her time, get a feel for the potty and for how her body works. She may try a couple of times in a day, and then not again for another week.
The point is to let her do it naturally. You want to keep the peace and go with her flow.
Naturally, this doesn’t work if you’re on a time crunch. But if there is no hurry, this method has worked for moms that prefer a more relaxed approach to potty training.
And don’t worry, we promise she’ll be potty trained before she starts first grade.
Choose one of these methods (or a combination of all three!), and your little one will be toilet trained in no time!