Potty Training: Tips & Gear
Ok, so we are 60 days out from starting potty training and I finally have the guts to talk about it publicly. Lol.
Let me preface this article with; I tried to do as much research as I could beforehand. I read “Oh Crap Potty Training,” twice. I also read every potty training related post I could find in my mom groups on Facebook. Hoping that I may see advice for questions, I didn’t even know I had.
So, after 60 days of starting to potty train, we are officially out of diapers and only wear pull-ups at nap and night. I haven’t started night training yet, because I just don’t have it in me. I just started the third trimester for Chulengo’s sibling, and I am not that brave, nor do I have the energy to tackle night training right now.
And don’t get me wrong, we’ve had our moments. Chulengo peed down the stairwell, just as his dad was coming in the door below. He also pooped on my foot while standing up, after he told me
So, I wanted to share with you tips that I found most helpful and lessons I learned along the way for daytime potty training.
Potty Training Tips
- Introduce the potty early on, long before you actually start potty training. Talk about using the bathroom as much as you can. Point out restrooms in public places. Demonstrate how you use the potty each time you go. Put a small potty in the same bathroom you regularly use. Over time, your little one may become more comfortable with trying to sit on the potty themselves. We put Chulengo’s potty in our bathroom months before we actually potty trained him. He would pee in the potty once a day for a few weeks before we officially decided to pull the potty training trigger.
- Read kid-friendly books to your child about potty training. Books have been a great way to introduce new things to Chulengo, so I always pick up a couple for new experiences. A couple of my potty training favorites include: Potty by Leslie Patricelli, P is for Potty (Sesame Street), and Daniel Goes to the Potty. Chulengo loved Leslie Patricelli’s Potty book. Like we seriously read the book 5-10 times each day for weeks. Good thing it’s a quick and fun read!
- Each time you change your little one’s diaper, ask if they want to sit on the potty. If they say no, carry on with the day. If they say yes, let them sit for as long as they feel comfortable.
- Find a method that works best for you. Like I said above, I followed the “Oh Crap Potty Training” Method, but there are plenty of options out there to find what works best for you.
- Don’t push the issue. No one — child or adult– likes to be forced to do something they don’t want. If your child has absolutely no interest in sitting on the potty, it may not be the right time. It was important for us, not to make potty training a negative experience. We knew forcing Chulengo to sit on the potty would never end well, with both of us very frustrated
- Try to maintain a positive attitude about potty training. Don’t get mad when your child has an accident. There will be moments where you want to pull your hair out, but take a deep breath and know this won’t last forever. Just go into potty training hoping for the best and expecting the worst, so you are not disappointed. When Chulengo would have an accident, I would say, “Uh oh, pee [or poop] goes in the potty.” Eventually, I was able to ask him where pee and poop go, and he would respond with “in the potty.”
- Find a reward system that works for you. Maybe it is positive affirmations. Maybe it is a little bit of screen time. Maybe it is a little snack. Maybe it is extra cuddle time. Find something that makes the process positive and rewarding, and you will get better feedback from your child.
- Give yourself, and your child, grace. There will be challenging times. There will be times when either, or both, of you, lose it. Be gentle with yourself. Be gentle with your child. You guys will come out of this on the other side at some point.
- Prepare yourself with the right tools. I found that being prepared at home and on the road made potty training I bit less stressful. Below is a list of products I found helpful during potty training.
Potty Training Gear
I liked that this Summer Infant My Size Potty Chair looked like a real potty. My son seemed to gravitate toward it because it was life-like. It even has a little flushing sound that makes it seem more real.
Having a small potty in the car was vital for outings. We had a couple of different options for my son. One that we could use in the trunk of the
This BabyBjorn potty chair is quite popular because it is lightweight and compact. I keep this potty in our trunk and it’s been a lifesaver when my son has to go while we are out and about and there is no potty nearby. Some of my good friends love this one for the house too!
This OXO Tot 2-in-1 Go Potty for Travel has been a lifesaver when we are away from the house. We use it flat, over a normal toilet, to provide a small toilet ring for my son to sit on. The legs actually flatten out, so it sits safely on a regular toilet. It can also be used as a free-standing potty when there isn’t one available, but you have to use a bag to collect pee or poop. We really like to take this one when we are away from home for a long period because it is compact and functional.
The Built-in Toddler Toilet Seat has been a perfect addition to our home. I like how functional it is. My son can climb up on the toilet by himself without me worrying about the seat sliding out from underneath him. I also love the idea that it’s attached to the toilet, and Chulengo can’t pick up the toddler seat and run away with it, hiding it god knows where. We switched from the little potty chair to this after a month of potty training, when Chulengo was brave enough to sit on the big potty.
We used character themed underwear for Chulengo and it was a huge hit. He was very excited about his Spiderman undies and felt a sense of ownership when wearing them. He started saying things like, “Don’t pee on Spiderman. Don’t poop on Spiderman.” This helped me realize that he understood he had to pee and poop in the potty. I introduced the undies ahead of time, so he could develop a fondness for them. Below are a couple examples of our favorites
Having this step stool was important to increasing Chulengo’s independence around the potty. He uses the step to climb on to the commode. I like that he can rest his feet on the stool while sitting on the toilet, instead of letting his feet dangle. He also uses the step stool to stand at the sink and wash his hands. I have a step stool in every bathroom of our house so that he can easily access the toilet and sink.
Just like the step stool, the Munchkin faucet extender is great for increasing Chulengo’s independence around potty training. He is able to wash his hands under the water without me having to lift him up. Being in my third trimester of pregnancy, this is vital!
Having something gentle to wipe Chulengo’s bottom has made potty training much easier. Chulengo’s not very fond of me trying to wipe his bum with toilet paper, so we have found flushable wipes to work well. Thankfully, he typically has what I call a ghost poop. He poops in the potty, but there is no evidence left behind on his bum…haha! But the flushable wipes come in handy when needed.
My biggest fear with potty training was leaving the house and Chulengo making a mess in the car seat or stroller. I found these piddle pads to be the perfect solution. They protect the seats from any wet mess. I placed one in each stroller and car seat and thankfully, knock on wood, haven’t had any major disasters yet.
These were a couple of my favorite books to read with Chulengo
Remember, it’s probably not going to be a walk in the park. If it is, lucky you! But being prepared can help make things go a bit more smoothly. There will be days when you will feel like losing it. You’ve got this, and you will come out on the other side at some point.