As a nurse and mother of three daughters I am no stranger to body fluids. Of course I have been peed and pooped on more times than I care to keep track of.
My oldest daughter Boo has been potty trained for nearly four years, so I find myself revisiting this task with my 22 month old daughter, Owl. I had forgotten how frustrating and time consuming this business can be!
Most Important Things to Remember when in the throes of potty training:
2.) Timing and Consistency
3.) Praise and Rewards
“Pre-potty Training advice”
I started at about sixteen months with introducing the potty. I let my girls watch me use the toilet. How better to teach than to lead by example? And let’s face it I don’t think I have used the restroom alone anyways since having children. I make it a learning opportunity by saying,
“Can you hear me use the potty? Yay mommy went potty! Now let’s flush the potty! Great job, now we get to wash our hands!”
It makes you feel a bit insane after repeating this every time you go to the bathroom BUT it helps children not fear the potty. It also helps establish the expected order of how to toilet appropriately.
During this time I also read tons of books to my children about potty training. We potty trained with everyone from El mo to Dora. This helped my girls relate to their TV and book heros. If Elmo thinks it’s cool so do they!
“Ready to Try out the Potty”
After my girls were comfortable with the potty we went on to sit on the potty. Even if my girls didn’t go, or want to sit still very long I always gave them praise. Any positive interaction with the potty was met with lots of praise and celebration. I want the potty to be a fun place that makes them feel happy.
I went on to take my girls to the potty about every thirty minutes. Don t be discouraged if it takes several attempts before they actually go on the potty. This stage gave me an opportunity to see how often my girls actually went poo or pee as well as established a routine.
When the time comes they are successful give them tons of praise! I also suggest using rewards. Use something your child loves and gets excited about. It could be m & ms , stickers, putting a penny in a jar etc. This makes it more fun for them, and gives them more incentive.
“Mastering the Potty”
By praising them and staying consistent they will get there. If you have setbacks don’t be tempted to put the diaper back on, this will only set you back more. Keep going forward! Potty training is tough and very time consuming. One day will go great and the next ypu feel like you’re starting g all over again. Just keep at it, it will pay off!
Try to avoid common hang ups like they are ______ months old so they should be ready for this. Every child is different and will learn in their own time. We have enough stress as parents, so try not to be too hard on yourself!
There is a vast number of approaches to potty training so pick and choose what works for you and your child!
Happy potty training!