About 2 weeks ago, I had a momentary lapse in judgement and decided it might be fun to start potty training my daughter.
You read that right.
I thought it might be FUN.
There was just something so cute about watching my little girl sit and read books on her potty and hearing her yell, “BYE, BYE PEE!” when we did the ceremonial dump-and-flush when she was finished.
And don’t even get me started on how adorable it is that she will ONLY pee if I give her some privacy.
But after about 3 days, the novelty started to wear off, and I slowly started to realize that, even though she understands the whole concept of peeing in the potty and can hold it the entire time she’s at preschool, she has no interest in stopping what she’s doing every 20 minutes so she can sit on the potty.
And I don’t blame her.
Because I’m not overly interested in stopping what I’m doing every 20 minutes so she can sit on the potty, either.
So I decided to put the potty training on hold for a bit so she and I can re-group and try again when we’re both ready, and in the meantime, I asked my awesome Facebook fans for their best tips to help me survive potty training.
And since I know I’m not the only parent who doesn’t know what the heck she’s doing in the potty training department, I decided I would share them with all of you.
1. MAKE SURE YOU’RE BOTH READY
“Do not sweat it, do not make a big deal out of it. When they are ready they will do it. But I have also found that you have to be ready too. Once you are both ready it really can happen overnight. It took a week with my first two and literally a day for my third.” –Kathy R., My Dishwasher’s Possessed
“I think it’s up to the kid, not us. I tried to potty train my son for-ev-er, but it wasn’t until he made up his mind that HE was ready that we made any progress.” –Stephanie J., When Crazy Meets Exhaustion
“I waited for her to initiate the process. She suddenly decided that she wanted to use the potty like mommy and daddy and started going into the bathroom, taking her diaper off, and sitting on the potty. After a week of her doing this I decided she was truly serious and ready (not playing a game).” –Michelle C.
2. DON’T BE AFRAID TO PRESS THE PAUSE BUTTON
“Try a couple of times a day and just put her on the potty, if she fights it….stop for a couple of day or even weeks. It’s the one thing they have control over… so it’ll happen way before she is 16… I promise.” –Nicky F.
“I say start and if it doesn’t take stop. Wait awhile, try again. Just keep trying. Make it no big deal – no stress. Keep it fun, keep it positive.” –Cory M.
3. STAY HOME…AND HAVE A POTTY PARTY!
“We did the 3 day, don’t leave the house training. Worked great.” –Debbie D.
“I vote for the bare bottom approach: kids feel “safe” wearing diapers, pull-ups, undies, etc. Take that safety net away and they begin to pay attention to how they’re feeling when they have to go.” –Stephanie J, When Crazy Meets Exhaustion
“Starting on a Friday afternoon, we stayed home for 3 days and had a ‘potty party’ … We were really done in 3 days.” –Michelle C.
4. SET A TIMER
“Didn’t do pull ups, went straight to underwear. Set a timer and took her to the potty every 20 minutes.” –Heather S.
“Don’t pressure your kid, and take them on a regular basis. Like every 45 minutes. Don’t ask if they want or need to go potty cause more often than not you are going to get a no. Just say, ‘It’s time to go try and potty.’ Leave it at that and go do it!” –Elizabeth D.
5. USE REWARDS
“I did M&M’s every time mine went on the potty. 1 for pee pee, 2 for poo. After a few weeks I would ‘forget’ the M&M’s and only give if they remembered. Few weeks of that and we were done with them.” –Lindsey K.
“We started with a sticker for every time she sat on the potty, pee or no pee, then she had to pee in the potty for a sticker, then no accidents.” –Melanie B.
“I have a friend who thought her daughter was taking far too long. She went out and bought a particular toy her daughter REALLY wanted. She told her daughter she could have it after she went 5 days in a row without accidents. Some said it was mean and ‘taunting.’ She felt it was motivation. It worked & her daughter got the toy about a week later. You just have to know your kids – that might not have worked for some.” –Lisa W., The Golden Spoons
“Lots of bribes. Skittles worked for my son.” –Erin F.
6. KEEP YOUR PROPS CLOSE
“If you don’t have a bathroom on every level of your house make sure there is a potty on every floor. Putting one in our playroom saved many trips running up the stairs carrying a toddler who was already wetting their pants.” –Jessica W, Four Plus an Angel
“Our motto was, ‘Where we go, the potty goes.’ It was never out of arms reach and if I saw him start to pee, I’d throw him on it. He figured it out pretty quick.” –Cassidi L.
7. DON’T MAKE IT A BIG DEAL
“Mine has been “in training” for well over a year because I pushed and did charts and rewards and eventually turned to consequences since she dang well KNEW she was peeing in her pants while standing NEXT to the potty. I asked other moms for advice and the one resounding thing I was told was when she’s ready, she’ll go. Ignore the accidents – no punishments, no rewards beyond praise – and clean her up without talking about it. After about a week of changing my game, she finally said, “I’m done having accidents now, can I use the potty?” We’re now 1 month accident free and she’ll be 4 in April. Now for the overnight… that’s not something I’ve tried yet. Good luck!” –Jeannette B., Mommy Needs a Martini
“If they had an accident they wiped it up and got their underwear to the washer.” –Ferrin S.
And, most importantly…
8. MAKE IT FUN!
“Put either red or blue food coloring in the toilet water, so when she pees on it, it magically changes to orange or green!” –Nancy M., a calibama state of mind
“We used to dance and sing a pee pee in the potty song and say bye as we flushed lol it was really silly but they giggled so much and it was fun for them.” –Ferrin S.
“For my daughter it was Disney princess panties. I got those for her and she didn’t want to get them dirty so she started using the potty after refusing for a looong time.” –Maggie S.