Potty training is by far one of my least favourite things to do as a parent and caregiver. Kids are usually not interested in doing the deed and it is one of the messy and smelly portions of life that is kept private and now your being forced to share in the “joy”. I have learned some very interesting things that have helped me to potty train dozens of kids in my daycare and my own 3 kids as well.
Every kid is a little different and not the same in any way shape or form so what may work for one may not work for the other. So what should you watch for to know when to start potty training?
- Is your child hiding when they poop?
- Can they tell you when they have to go?
- Are they physically able to pull their pants up on their own?
- Is your child performing routine poops?
- Are they not wetting many diapers?
Kids can potty train at different ages but it doesn’t make a lot of sense to start too early as you will be the one pulling up and down the pants and it kind of defeats the purpose. Most kids start between the age of 2.5/3 and it can take some time to get it mastered and some regression is bound to happen at some point so be prepared for that. This is the age and stage of lots of laundry, baths, and washing floors.
Tricks to help potty train:
My Little Pony Pampers Easy Ups are a great potty training helper and can help encourage that big kid look and feel. Pampers Easy Ups are just like big kid underwear in the sense that they are easily pulled up and down for potty breaks but they can absorb all accidents without creating a mess or discouragement. You just rip the sides open when doing a bum change for a poop but you can easily pull them down and exchange them for a fresh one if it’s just a little pee. They come in all types of styles as well to ensure your big kid is wearing their favourite characters and loving their new undies.
Girls and boys are completely different when it comes to body parts so why wouldn’t they be different when it comes to potty training? Girls are sometimes easier to work with not only because they are calmer and more patient but because they don’t have a fire hose to play with.
Rewards and treats are a great way to encourage potty training. You can start a potty chart and let them put stickers on it every time they go on the potty, actually pee on the potty and when they take a poop on the potty.
Celebrate the little wins like less accidents in a day, sitting on the potty more, and telling you when they have to go. Remember timing might be off for a bit and they could be telling you they have to pee right after they already went, take your time and celebrate the fact that they knew they had to go. Positive reinforcement works like a charm.
Reading a book on the potty while sipping on some water for a while can encourage some peeing, girls are usually more intent and patient during this process but boys can also participate if you can get them to.
We encouraged the open door policy with our own kids so they can see us using the potty when they are smaller. It helped to normalize using the bathroom and teaches them proper bathroom etiquette like hand washing, flushing, and generally going potty.
For kids that I cared for in daycare we kept potties and potty seats around the bathroom for them to see and use if need be. You never know what a parent is using at home so communication is key if your helping another parent’s child to potty train. Open door policy obviously doesn’t work with other peoples kids so keeping them comfortable in your home when learning to use the toilet is essential.
Have your boy sit down for the first portion of training as learning how to aim their stream can be a struggle. Tell them to point it down to the water in the toilet while they are sitting to ensure it doesn’t just spray all over their legs and the floor.
When you are ready to stand and pee with your boy a good truck is to drop some cheerios or other cereal you have on hand in the toilet bowl and tell them to aim at it. This will help them to learn how to control where they are peeing.
Wiping is never a fun job and yes it can be messy. Many parents will opt in for a moist wipe for a while but apparently they can be bad for your plumbing even if they say they are washable, a good way to avoid a costly plumbing bill is to keep a garbage can lined with a bag and with a lid handy to place the wipes in there. Wiping takes practice and patience so for the first bit your going to be the designated wiper. Always teach the girls to wipe front to back to avoid getting their other parts dirty because this can cause infections. Teaching them how much toilet paper to use is also a very important step because they will use a an entire roll every time they go.
Be prepared! Always pack extra clothes, wipes, and Pampers Easy Ups when your heading out and about. Even if your child has been wearing big kid undies for a while be ready for some regression. All of a sudden your big kid will decide they want to pee on their pants and there is nothing you can do about it. If your out at a party and this happens it’s nice to be able to slip them into a Pampers Easy Up after changing them into fresh clothes just to ensure it doesn’t happen again. Kids are very easily distracted and when it comes to playing it is always play before potty! Just be prepared it’s the best advice you could ever receive!
Night time can be tricky even for a big kid that hasn’t had accidents in a long time during day time training. Don’t get discouraged if you have to use Pampers Overnights diapers it is a lot harder to get a kid out of bed at night to go potty and they are not ready to do it on their own yet. When they are ready to sleep in underwear expect accidents to happen so be ready to do laundry a lot and ensure you buy a mattress protector to keep your mattress from being destroyed.
These are just some of the many ways I have learned to potty train over the years and yes they do work, try different things and see what works for you. Be patient and it will happen. I own my own daycare and have 3 kids of my own so yes these are tried and true methods that actually work!