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I have already discussed one sh*tty aspect of my job (pun intended), but I have yet to mention the other. Potty training. Potty training can be a daunting yet exciting thing to do with your child. You may be dreaming about the days when diapers aren’t in your budget anymore (they are EXPENSIVE). You may not know where to start with potty training. Even though I’ve potty trained tons of children during the 10 years I’ve been in childcare, I still don’t consider myself an expert. I have picked up some tricks and tips along the way that I’d like to pass off to my readers. Feel free to leave any questions below and I will be more than happy to answer them as I can!
1. Don’t rush!
This had to be number one because it’s the most important. Just because your ready to potty train your child doesn’t mean your child is ready to potty train. Look for signs such as your child is getting curious about the toilet, your child can tell you when he/she has already done the deed in their diaper, they ask. But, be cautious. Your child may be showing the signs but doesn’t want to. If you rush into it, it may be harder to potty train your child. Instead, be patient and let them move at their own pace. It’s okay to give up on potty training in the middle of potty training and come back to it another time. When I was potty training KB, I gave up and waited a year. Waiting that year was everything. She picked it right up and was potty trained almost instantly when we picked it back up.
2. Be prepared for poop and pee EVERYWHERE.
When you’re potty training, you’ll find poop and pee in places you didn’t think you’d ever find poop and pee. Your child may be an a**hole like mine and wait until they’ve gotten off the potty (and not do their business in said potty) and then pee all over the floor seconds after they’ve gotten off (after insisting they didn’t have to go). Always have cleaners handy to get rid of the puddles and smears as fast as you can. As you sit there cleaning up the poop off the toilet or the puddles right outside the bathroom, just remember that when they are potty trained, no more diapers, no more puddles (hopefully). You got this.
3. Timers are your friend
One technique that has really worked for me is having the child go to the bathroom (regardless if they need to or not) every 15-30 minutes. If they’ve already gone in the potty previous, I set them on every 30 minutes for 5 minutes. If they haven’t gone, I sit them on every 15 minutes for 5 minutes to try to avoid accidents. What happens though, is I will forget if I don’t set a timer (and sometimes I forget to set a timer). You may think that you don’t need to set a timer, but do. Set one on your phone so you can carry it around. It’ll save your life.
4. Reward your child (and yourself)
I’ve always heard that using candy or small toys as a reward for going to the bathroom is a great way to encourage your child to use the potty. But, here’s another tip, get a reward for yourself. This is going to probably be one of the hardest tests of patience that you’re going to encounter as a parent and you need something to keep you going too. That could be chocolate, wine, or even a much needed nap. Whatever it is, find it and use it. You deserve it.
5. Help boys aim with Cheerios
I bet General Mills didn’t anticipate this one. If you have a little boy who can’t or won’t aim in the potty, throw some Cheerios in the potty and make a game of it. Have your little one aim at the Cheerios. It doesn’t have to be Cheerios either. Make it a party and throw some Froot Loops in. Either way, this is a fun way to encourage your little boy to not create masterpieces on the bathroom walls.
I could go on and on about this topic. In fact, I had 5 more tips written down but saw that this blog post was getting a little long. Instead, I figured I would split this into two parts. Stay tuned for the next installment in the next few weeks! Again, if you have any questions, feel to ask. If I can offer some sound advice, I would love to give it or maybe another reader can help answer.
Also, be sure to check out my related blog post // Horrors of Potty Training