Is it that time already? When do I start potty training? What is this experience like? Is it as hard as they say? My kid is 3 or 4 and not potty trained, is something wrong?
As a mom and preschool owner/teacher, I here these question all the time. They are very common for experienced or first time parents, so I wanted to touch on the subject a bit and share some of my knowledge from helping to potty train a bunch of kiddos. I have seen everything from the kid that potty trains overnight to the kids that do good and then bad and then good. I have also taken the first step for a couple of my preschoolers.
What to Expect
- A lot of effort from you!
- There will be days they will do great and there will be days they do horribly! Just don’t give up on the process no matter how frustrated you get. I know it is hard but if you give up so will they.
- Stay positive, they will get there!
- The potty schedule is annoying and inconvenient but you have to stick to it if you want success! Stick to the Potty Schedule!
- Accidents are going to happen and their will be plenty of them! Prepare to do lots of laundry and get all the cleaning materials to clean pee out of beds, carpet, couches, the floor and pretty much every surface.
- The time frame varies on the kid, It could be a
The first and most important thing to understand is that all kids go through this stage at different times!
Some kids are ready shortly after they start walking and some are ready when they are a bit older. Do NOT worry! They will be ready and they will get it down. There are some things that you can do to help them want to take that step.
How to Start Interest
- Introduce you kid to the potty: Show your kid the potty and tell them what the potty is for and why we have them. Show them how to use it (Ex: Toilet seat, flush ect.). A great way to do this is to use your kids favorite toy or stuffed animal to show them about the potty.
- Sing potty songs: Sing those potty songs a lot! The kids love them and it exposed them to the concept of the potty! This really helps.
- Talk about the potty: Your goal is to get your kid comfortable with the potty and the concept of the potty so keep talking about it and exposing them to it as much as you possibly can.
- Read potty books: Just like the songs you are trying to introduce it to them to the potty and at this age songs and books are two of the best ways to do this.
- Undies: Start putting big kid underwear on over the kids’ diaper. It gets them used to underwear which can be a problem for a lot of kids.
- Make Potty Fun!!!! You want you kid to want to go potty so make it fun! Yes that means the happy voices, the clapping, the cheering and all those other happy indicators!
Potty Gear Advice
- Training Underwear: These are thicker then normal underwear and feel more like a diaper, this makes it a good transition to underwear. They are also a bit more absorbent for those small accidents. These are good if your kid is having issues transitioning to underwear otherwise I would say they are not needed.
- Potty Watch: These are great to teach the kid how to go potty on their own and help them not to forget. Personally I feel that a phone or smart device timer can do the same thing but if you kid isn’t interested in the potty or isn’t telling you when they need to go after they are doing pretty well for a couple of weeks then you might want to get one of these.
- Pull-ups: Very important! Pull ups make it easy for the kids to take their diaper off and on to go potty. Its also a step up from diapers and the kids think that is cool which will help the kids gain more interest in the potty. When picking out the right kind of pull up it is important to consider when and how you will be taking it on and off. I highly recommend getting one with straps that come on and off so you can put it on like a diaper if you don’t want to take their pants off every single time they have an accident. You will thank me for this advice the first couple of weeks.
- Kids Potty Seats and Potty: Cute but not needed. Get a stool and teach them on the big kid potty. Big kid potty excites them and when they go in public they wont have one of the kid toilets. Also cleaning them is yucky! If your kid is struggling to use the big kid potty just expose them to it more. Show them all the parts of a toilet and show them that it is totally safe and fun (very few kids have this issue, especially if you do the how to start interest steps first).
- Change of Clothes and Undies: Always have tons of these ready ! The more undies and pants you have the less laundry you must do!
We have talked about what to expect, how to start and what gear you need and don’t need so now lets get into some good potty practices. We are going to start with the everyday potty schedule and then move into a bunch of tips.
Wake Up Potty
Every 30 minutes potty
Before nap potty
Wake up potty
Every 30 minutes potty
Before bed potty
- If they have an accident ask them where they should go potty and take them to the potty to go potty. DO NOT GET MAD! They are still learning.
- Keep pull ups during nap & night until they really have the hang of potty and aren’t peeing while sleeping. Start with nap then go to over night.
- Have them try to pull up & down their pants every time they go potty. If they can’t do it help them but give them a chance to try first. This is also a good time to teach them to put their clothes on.
- Teach them to wipe with the right amount of tissue from the beginning.
- Wash hands afterwards
- After dinner don’t give the kids drinks or an hour or 2 hrs before bed time.
- When they start getting better and/or good at going potty still do not forget to remind them if they haven’t gone in awhile
- Potty Reward Chart – Potty Parties
- We do ours when you have a day without accidents you get a sticker. 5 stickers and you get a potty party with balloons. I fill the bath tub up with balloons and let them play!
- Naked Method
- If you are a stay at home mom you can try it. The only real con is that sometimes kids will have issues with undies and/or clothes afterwards. They also must wear clothes and undies in public so you might have a lot of issues when you take them out places. I have heard great success from this though.
Hang in their parents! No diapers is in your future!
Please comment below any questions or problems you have! I am here to help!