How we are Potty Training
Updated: May 10
I am not going to try to tell you how to potty train your kids. Every child is different. What I will tell you is what I know about potty training. And the first thing to know is that it is not super fun. At least if you want to do it sooner than later. There are two main approaches to trying to potty train a child. The first method is waiting until the child is old enough to more or less decide that they are ready to potty train. This usually occurs between the ages of three and four years old and from what other parents have told me is a fairly painless process. The second method (which is the route we opted for) is much more stressful but can be performed at a much younger age.
To put it simply as possible, this method requires that you let your child run around naked for a few days. Keeping a very close eye on the child every time they start to pee you pick them up and carry them to the training toilet repeating the word potty. Then if they sit still for a few minutes on the potty you give them a treat(we used skittles). If they manage to get some pee or poo in the toilet you make a big deal about it, cheers, big smiles, and congratulation, then give them a second treat. (For anyone wondering, this is exactly the same process that you go through to litter box train rabbits)
By repeating the word potty during the process your child will quickly start to try to alert you when they need to use the bathroom. They begin to associate the sound with the action giving you a small window heads up when the time to go has come again. Once you have made it to that point you have pretty much won. Then your job becomes heading them to the toilet when they warn you and treating them if they pee in the toilet rather than on the floor. Toddlers are smarter than most of us give them credit and I have never met one that was not willing to do most things for a small amount of sugar. I am not suggesting that you spoil your child to get them to use the toilet. We gave Sebastian one skittle every time he sat on the potty and another when he actually used the toilet. That's 2 skittles about every 30 minutes for 13 hours a day, for a whopping 26 totals candies less than a whole severing every 24 hours. How much you choose to use is up to you.
While I will leave the bribe of choice to you I will recommend these five things.
Find a way to keep you and your kid contained in a room with hardwood, concrete, or tiled floors. Basically no carpet, it will make accidents much less frustrating.
Remove all none plastic toys from the potty training area until you are confident they will stop playing to go to the bathroom.
Once you think they are ready to start doing clothes again do a day of just loose shorts. Them getting frustrated with trying to get the clothes out of the way first will only hurt the process.
Once you do feel ready to start going out about with your kid again don't wait for them to warn you in public. Set a time that you think is appropriate for how they are doing and take them to the bathroom every time it goes off. Don't just ask, they don't really know.
Take the training toilet with you when you travel. Just trust me on that one.
If you are ready to stay home for a few days and try to potty train your kid's good luck to you. Just remember that accidents happen, the parents are on the same team, and that it is nice not to have to change (or buy) diapers anymore.
I hope this post has found you in good health and of a sound mind. Until next week I am just another confused father wondering...
How did I make it through two of these without a single poop joke?