My daughter is going to be three in November and she FINALLY seems interested in using the potty (just like a Mom to using the word ‘potty’ when talking to adults). My two oldest are out of town this week so I’ve decided there’s no time like the present. I guess you could say that I’m writing this post just as much for myself as I am for you all.
In this post we’ll cover tips on how to tell if your LO is ready, how to go about it and what to do WHEN there’s an accident. Many littles will show an interest in using the toilet by age 2 but some may not until ages 2 1/2 or older. There are some tell tale signs that he or she may be ready such as:
- She is interested in the toilet and wearing underwear.
- He can follow and understand basic instructions.
- Your Little one has his or her own signs that they need to go (squatting, hiding etc)
- She stays dry for two or more hours in the day.
- He doesn’t like to have a soiled diaper and will ask to be changed.
- She can pull her pants up and down independently.
If you answered yes to most of the questions above then full speed ahead! If not, you may want to put those underoos back in the drawer. If you decide that it is time to push forward with getting your little one out of diapers here are some general guidelines on how to get started:
- Don’t start potty training right before or right after a major life change such as moving or a new baby
- Set his or her potty chair out in the open (well kind of) to get him used to seeing it.
- Schedule potty times. With my oldest son, I would take him every thirty minutes to try. With boys you may want to start him off sitting to urinate and gradually move to standing. Even if he or she doesn’t go when they are sitting on the potty, always offer praise for trying.
- Get them to the potty as quickly as you can. As soon as you see their “signs”, take and sit them on the potty. Always teach little girls to carefully wipe from front to back as to keep bacteria from the rectum out of the vagina.
- Offer your little one an incentive for going. Whether it be a sticker on a sticker chart or I’ve even heard of parents using M&Ms.
- Don’t give yourself the option of backing out, get rid of the diapers!!!
- Sleep can be challenging when your little one starts using the restroom. You can use a disposable bed mat (or reusable, but with my kids I found that the washable ones made them very hot while they were sleeping) or invest in nighttime training pants.
- Know when to back off. If it has been more than two weeks and your little guy or girl is still hesitant to go, maybe it’s best to give them some more time.
Ok now take a deep breath, accidents are going to happen. You can try to stop them before they happen by reminding your little one to use the restroom often. WHEN an accident does happen (and it will) just stay calm. It is embarrassing enough to mess on yourself (little ones get embarrassed too) without having someone scold or down talk you as well. Also be prepared, I can’t stress enough that little kids in “training” will have accidents. Always be sure to carry wipes and a change of clothes for them to change into.
Here I am really tap, tap, tapping away like I really know what I’m talking about when my daughter (first time in undies today) walks into the room with a mystery substance on her hand….definitely an “Is it poop or chocolate?” moment (Baby Mama Movie reference). Ugh, it’s poop. Off to the bath tub and to sanitize ANYTHING she may have touched. 😦 Thanks for reading!