When my daughter was about 18 months old I started noticing a trend. Some of her friends between the ages of 18 months to 2 years were starting to get potty trained. I will never forget eating out with some friends when one of the kids (18 months old) sitting next to her in a highchair said he had to go potty. We had to go to the bathroom too…to change a diaper. Potty trained at 18 months?! This child must have been a genius.
Potty training is like every other milestone in your child’s life- it will happen when your child is ready. Some kids are completely trained at 18 months (I hate their parents) and some kids are closer to 3 or even older. It will happen, but for some kids it is harder than others.
If you Google potty training you will come up with a thousand articles telling you how to potty train your kid in one day. Let me break your heart now- that’s not going to happen. If it does, I’m happy for you (and secretly also hate you) but just go into it knowing that it
will might take longer. There are a few things you can do to prepare yourself and your child for a smoother potty training experience. I would recommend at least THINKING about these things between 18 months and 2 years:
– Figure out a plan. Do ALL of your research and figure out an approach before you get started. However you decide to do this, you MUST stick with it. Consistency is key and being prepared will help you stand your ground.
– Let your child become familiar with the potty. Take them to the bathroom with you (if you are a stay at home Mom, your child probably just stares at you when you go to the bathroom anyway) and talk to them about it. Make a big deal about you going potty- “yay! Mommy used the potty!” and get them used to hearing the toilet flush. They need to be comfortable in the bathroom…you’ll be spending LOTS of time in there. Bust out the potty seats and mini potties so they can explore.
– Purchase some new books, movies or apps for your phone/tablet. I can not tell you how many hours we spent sitting on a little potty in the middle of our living room watching Finding Nemo. Or how many hours we spent in our bathroom playing ABC games on the iPad.
– If you are going to use rewards, start stocking up. Make up sticker charts or decorate a “poop jar” (oh yeah…it’s going to get wild).
– Depending on your game plan purchase underwear and/or training pants. If you are going straight to underwear, buy LOTS of it.
– Make sure you are stocked up on laundry detergent and carpet cleaner, things are about to get messy.
– Make sure you have an extra outfit and blankets/towels in your car. Again, things are about to get messy.
-Brace yourself. This has the potential to be the hardest thing you’ve ever done. For some (me), you may feel like potty training will be the death of you.
How did you prepare to potty train your child? Anyone out there about to start?