Potty Training can be exhausting, so here are some tips on how to make it just a little easier to get your kid out of diapers and upgrade them to big kid status with underwear.
1. Know your kid. Every child is different. Know when your child is ready to potty train—if they start to indicate their bathroom needs then go for it! Do NOT force your child to start potty training too young just because you’re sick of diapers. Chances are, they aren’t ready and will only go backwards in the process. That’s right, just when you thought your child was fully potty trained and in big kid underwear—BAM! The poop will hit the fan, both literally and figuratively. I’ve never done it, but I’m guessing cleaning poop off of fan blades is no enjoyable task.
2. Don’t ever leave them alone in the bathroom. Just don’t, otherwise you may have a literal “poop hit the fill in the blank” situation on your hands. (And by “on your hands,” I mean on your hands.)
3. Be patient. Unless you have a wonder child who goes from diapers to underwear without a hitch, potty training takes time. Accidents will happen, but that’s how the kids learn. Yes, you’ll most likely have loads of horrific laundry to wash, but that’s your doody—I mean duty—as a parent. There will be times when you feel like giving up, but don’t. Take a break if you need to recharge and rethink your potty training plan of attack, but always go back to it.
4. Have some kind of reward for them if they go potty (something extra special for pooping), or to put it bluntly, bribe them. M & M’s, suckers, stickers—anything! If they see that they will get something for going potty, they are more likely to continue to do it. Good luck on breaking the whole reward system when they get older; I still don’t think it’s fair that, as adults, we don’t get some kind of reward for going to the bathroom—and we’ve been doing it for years!
5. Potty training apps are a great way to make this whole endeavor extra special for your little one. Several of these potty training apps, such as Potty Time, Pull-Ups iGo Potty, and Once Upon a Potty, let children receive virtual rewards that are great incentive to use the toilet. Some apps come with potty charts to track progress, games, songs, stories, and even a timer that will go off when you need to take a trip back to the bathroom.
6. Read books on potty training with them. There are hundreds of potty training books; my personal favorites are Pirate Potty and Princess Potty. Seriously two of the cutest books I’ve ever seen.
7. Don’t do pull-ups. This is just my opinion, but pull-ups are just fancy diapers that you pay more money for less of a product. Kids are smart and they’ll know that the feeling of a diaper and pull-up are much the same, meaning they can go as they please in them. Once your kid is consistently dry and pottying, ditch the diapers and pull on underwear!
8. Let them flush the potty! It’s as simple as that. Kids, at least the ones I have met and potty trained, absolutely love flushing the potty. It may be the satisfaction of seeing their “business” disappear into the abyss, but take that joy away from them and you will have a holy tantrum on your hands.
9. Make a potty break routine and stick to it. That means being in the bathroom a lot. Consistency is key.
10. Be encouraging! Don’t flip a lid when your child poops their pants or pees all over your brand new couch. Always praise your child on their potty accomplishments and encourage them at every point. Google+