I wanted to put together a summary of our potty training tips and tricks for Pia for all those curious or preparing to train yours or possibly still trying to train them. It wasn’t difficult, but I won’t say it was fun. The hardest part for parents is getting their kids to understand the concept. In our case, Pia got the concept after her first pee… our struggle came in another form later on (read on). With that being said, remember that all of our children, while all cute, are all very different from each other. And with THAT being said, here are some resources and tips we used that may help you!
First off, I read anything I could get my hands on about potty training. I’m a researcher; I researched my way into motherhood. We started out with the book “Oh Crap, Potty Training” and moved on some other books and articles like this, this, oh and this one. I also spoke to every mom I worked with… they all did it slightly different and I took pieces from everyone! THANK YOU LADIES!
We had four potty’s all around the house… living room, bedrooms, we even brought one outside when she wanted to play. As close and in visible sight for her was key. We used four types of toilets:
#1 This one is my favorite. It grows with her; it also comes with a deodorizing disk on the lid, didn’t know i’d love that!
#2 Loved this one because it was cheap and light!
#3 This one was so cute and she loved the fake flushing part.. but it was a bit tall for her and not as practical as some of the others. I did read that if you get a potty that has cartoons or bright colors that they would think it was a toy and play with it; which is why we stuck to neutral toilet for potty training.
#4 We purchased this for travel and it’s awesome because it’s so light and can literally slide right into your diaper bag, but we found it easier to just hold her over a public toilet than flip that thing out and set it up on the toilet. By that time, she would have peed her pants already!
#5 I plan on purchasing this one for her bathroom too.
Besides getting overly excited with dancing and singing and shouting every time she peed, I also created a potty chart where she got to pick a sticker and put in a square every time she used the potty. She loved this the first 12 times and then was over it (Maybe your child will appreciate it more haha). Our daughter acts like a mini adult and looked at us like we were foolish and childish each time we would get overly excited. #BabyGirlTooGrown
We also gave her mini M&M’s every time she went. So many people told me that rewarding with treats would enable her to only potty for candy, however, after about a week she never asked for candy and we never gave her anymore.
One of my friends gave us this little handmade stand “Potty Pops” that was bright pink and held five little suckers. We would place this above her toilet as a fun reminder of what’s to come! This helped us tremendously with our one hiccup we ran into during potty training (keep reading). She got excited just looking at it, I mean… come on wouldn’t you?
Next to each toilet I had a basket of fun! I would put mini coloring books with the no mess markers, books, stickers, and some favorite toys to entertain her while she sat on the potty. Here are a few of my favorites:
I read all these books and articles about 4 months prior to potty training her; I knew I needed the time to physically and mentally prepare. Major key (DJ Khalid voice) is getting mentally prepared. We went with the three day weekend method so we had enough time to train and NEVER go back. Since we both work full time, we chose Memorial day weekend; yes, while you were all grilling hot dogs on the beach and taking back a couple of Coronas, we were watching a 2 year old run around the house naked. Boy have times changed.
I feel as though this was the best method for us, one weekend and done. Kids are smarter than we think and cutting out diapers entirely shows them diapers will no longer be in their lives… so basically, get this down or get pee all over yourself. If you falter back to the diaper it shows them that they can always go back when mommy and daddy get weak. A lot of parents go back and forth with diapers/ pull-ups, but just remember they only know what you show them. They feed on weakness. You’re essentially introducing them to a new way of doing life from this point forward, commit!
DAY ONE: Totally naked. No underwear or pants on the first day. We pumped her with fluids, water, juice, ice pops; the more pee the better! We watched her like a hawk waiting for signs of pee. As soon as she showed signs (like pausing play, touching, doing a little dance) we would sit her on the potty and wait for her to pee. Then get REALLY extra with excitement anytime she gets any pee in the potty. We would encourage her to go potty every 15-20 minutes (we set a timer on our phone). Try not to ask “do you need to go potty?” because they WILL get annoyed. Pia’s response in a very condescending tone “NOT YET MOMMY!” every time we asked! Instead say, “It’s potty time!”
DAY TWO: She caught on early in day one so we moved on to undies. She had an accident in the undies the very first pee of the day so we swapped to pants instead. Underwear feels too much like a diaper and since we were in the training zone, we switched it up. This worked WAY better. Similar to day one, we are loading her with drinks and watching her play.. but with clothes on this time.
DAY THREE: Same as day two except we tried to make short trips to the grocery store and prompt her to go potty before leaving the house and while at the store too. We played so many games, and I bought a lot of crafts for new activities. All throughout the days I would pull out a new activity to consume time, but not consume her to the point she won’t pull herself away to go potty.
She caught on too easily that we knew it was too good to be true. The only thing we had trouble with was getting her to tell us she had to pee! She would just go to the potty herself and not say a word to us. We couldn’t leave the house because she wouldn’t know where the potty was, wouldn’t say anything to us, and then pee her pants. To help the girl out, we used the Potty Pops to entice her to tell us when she needed to use the potty; this was a game changer! Something about a piece of candy on a stick makes them go nuts and they’ll do anything. She got accustomed to telling us regularly like a habit and we stopped giving her lollipops.
We re-introduced underwear about a week after consistent potty training with no accidents. We bought two kinds; one with her favorite cartoon characters on them for every day wear and another with thick padding in the crotch for traveling.
They are still learning to control their bladders so this lightly padded underwear helps them from feeling discouraged when they leak a little bit. Great for traveling too when they yell from the back seat and you have all of 12 seconds to get her to the potty… these are helpful!
We use these as everyday underwear. Purchasing underwear with her favorite characters helped with potty training as well. We would tell her, “don’t get Elsa wet!” and she would repeat it, excited for her big girl underwear.
We noticed early that Pia didn’t pee much while she slept and basically never during naps. Now this girl will do anything to sleep with us at nights. Therefore, in order to keep her in her room the whole night and keep us above zombie mode, we have her wearing pull-ups at night. A friend told me that once her pull ups consistently turn up dry in the mornings we can remove them. We may also consider opening the door at night so she can get up to potty when she’s more independently going to the potty. During naps, she oddly has never peed. This picture shows her waking up from a nap and using the potty… then falling asleep on the potty. It was too good not to capture!
We leave a potty in the trunk so anytime she has to go while driving we can just pull over. She’s become accustomed to peeing before leaving the house now… but just in case! Cool tip I learned from my social media friends… line the inside of the potty with a pull-up so that it doesn’t get too messy back there and it’s an easier clean up! #genius
I hope you could take something away from this post! What are some of your favorite tips and tricks you used to potty train your little ones?
P.S. Need some help sleep training? Or toddler room ideas!