Toilet training your little one can seem like a very daunting task. I remember feeling this before I started training my son when he was about two years old.
We bought a brand new potty chair, some cloth training pants, potty-training books and taught him signs to let us know when he needed to go. According to the books it all should have gone according to plan but it didn’t.
It was failry obvious that our son wasn’t ready to potty train at that particular time so I am glad we did not push him. We decided to wait a couple of months before trying potty training again.
For the second attempt we ditched the training pants and decided to go with a couple of days of full-time naked time potty training at home with no outings planned and no visitors; just us and his potty. I had read about that method before and it made a lot of sense to me so we decided to try it.
I also decided not to use rewards (like candy/treats) for each time he successfully used the toilet. I didn’t like the feeling of his training being bribery-induced and instead used a lot of verbal encouragement and positive re-inforcement. We tried to show excitement every time he went “pee-pee or poo-poo” in the potty and not making a big deal out of accidents. When accidents did occur we tried to get his help when cleaning the mess.
I imagined that during our first day of naked bum training there would be lots of floor messes to clean and I was mentally prepared for all the work. However by the end I was very happy see how quickly my son understood what was going on and started running to the bathroom to go in his potty instead of the floor. I still had to clean multiple accidents of course but it was gratifying to see that he truly was finally ready for this training and he was going in the potty more and more.
After three days of “full-time” naked potty training (he was still wearing trainings to bed) and with almost no accidents happening I decided to venture outside and have him wear his little boy underwear. It was a bit nerve wracking at first but I was prepared with a full-set of change clothes in case of an accident. I also made sure to bring our travel potty with us, especially when going to parks, playgrounds or places where washrooms were not conveniently located.
After switching to “big” boy underwear I packed all of our diapers and never went back to using them again. He has been potty trained for almost five months now and the entire process was definitively a lot easier than I ever imagined. I truly believe that it had to do with it being the right time and him being ready for the change.
I am definitively glad I waited and didn’t push him to train earlier. He is now fully potty-trained during the day and night time and he even tells me when he needs to go if he is in the pool or taking a bath. All without making his training a big source of stress for him or us.
- I do believe that each child is very different and what works for one child many not work for the next. As a parent you know what works best for your own child and you have to trust and follow your intuition to find the best time and method to train your little one.
- Toilet training shouldn’t be stressful for yourself or your child, explain the process to your little one, listen to what they have to say and give it some time if you believe it is too early, trust me, it is worth waiting if you are going to have a better experience at the end.
- Encourage your little one and give him or her lots of positive re-enforcement when using the toilet successfully. Remember to NEVER punish your child for accidents, simply change his or her clothes or clean the mess right away (try to ask for their help with cleaning and move along).
- Be consistent, once you are both ready and you decide to switch to not using diapers anymore put the diapers away. Asking your child to wear a diaper when going out while training at home will be confusing and slow down the training. Get a travel potty if needed and ensure that they can go when they ask to go. Here is the travel potty we have and love.
For those of you that have a potty trained child, do you have any other tips to share? What worked for you? What didn’t? Would love to hear from you!