In most cases parents are ready to be done with diapers long before their children are. There are some rare cases where toddlers potty train themselves but that wasn’t the case in our home. That being said, three out of our four children potty trained pretty easily but our little Greyson had a mind of his own.
First off, be sure that your little one is ready for potty training. A good sign is when you discover a dry diaper when he/she wakes up. Rush him/her to the potty when this happens! Another sign is when he or she is letting you know they need to be changed or sneaking off to a corner to get their business done.
A simple bowl full of Dum-Dum lollipops worked best for Hunter (our oldest). Many parents use small candy like M&Ms with the hopes that their children will be eating a bunch of it. Thankfully it only took Hunter a few days of lollies before he was a potty trained pro! He did not revert to refusing to use the potty once we took away the treats. Out of sight out of mind!
While candy worked best with our first we did try a variety of techniques to potty train our children that I’m excited to share today!
1. Sit him/her backwards on the potty. Potty training is big business! You can find all sorts of products out there from stand-alone-just-their-size potties to ones that sing them praises upon success. Sounds crazy but our children liked sitting on the potty backwards while they were training. They were able to hunch forward and keep an eye on that “dangerous” hole. I really think that it helped them feel like they weren’t falling in. Beware…you may need to demonstrate this the first time!
2. Train the Bear. Kids love to teach. When we put him in charge of potty training his stuffed bear he showed some real interest. I even tucked a few raisins in my hand to sneak in to the potty while the bear was trying. The look on our little guy’s face when he pulled the bear off was priceless! Make believe is awesome.
3. The Potty Party! This was an exclusive “event” held in the bathroom (door closed) to which only potty trained household members were invited. Whoop it up in there! Act as if this is the best party you’ve ever been to. When your child comes over to see what the ruckus is all about gently explain that only potty trained people are allowed in. Be sure to ask if he/she would like to try by inviting them in!
4. Naked time. Set aside a few days at home devoting time to the task at hand and let them run around naked. This brings awareness to the cause and effect. It helped that we had hard wood floors for easy clean up. When they peed on the ground outside or especially on the floor it stopped them in their tracks. Offer a bit more water, juice (we watered ours down), milk or other liquid to speed the process along.
5. Praise them when they succeed but try not to scold when they don’t. The negativity could shut interest down. Let them know that accidents happen and that you know they will get it right the next time!
We also read potty books together, sang songs together while they were trying, and celebrated with a trip to the Dollar Store when we were 100% finished with diapers. This time (believe it or not) is fleeting and your little one will be in big-boy/girl undies in no time. Enjoy the process!
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