We’ve been struggling to get Braydon potty trained for quite some time now, at first we tried getting him a potty seat that connects to the “big potty” and it was Elmo themed and everything! ( his favorite) Every time I tried to sit him on it he would scream and cry for me to take him off. Recently we’ve acquired a small potty that he can sit on by himself and he seems to like that better. I also researched some potty training techniques online and on social media and have decided to go with a “Montessori” approach while setting up the bathroom for him. I know it’s not completely Montessori since a lot of his stuff has “characters” on them but the idea is the same. Basically we set everything up so he could independently access his self care items like his tooth brush, comb, wash cloths, and potty books. He really loves this set up, and although he has yet to actually go on the potty he will now sit there and follow me into the bathroom easily! He is so proud of himself that he can get into his drawer and brush his own teeth or comb his hair while sitting on his potty seat.
This was so easy to do and it has made such a difference for us in the bathroom! So now that I have his space figured out, I need to really crack down in learning how to teach a child to potty! I decided to go online and try to get some real life advice from mommies on the internet. I connected with a few women from some of my favorite mommy support groups on Facebook, as well as participated in a twitter discussion #PottyPartnership with Alyson Schafer and Today’s Parent. I had asked on Twitter; how do you help a non talker potty train? I received a response back from parenting expert Alyson Schafer stating; to watch for body signals, teach sign language, or wait until they are more verbal. Some other great tips she had posted during that discussion was that the best reward children get is your encouragement of being excited for them. She had also tweeted that you should remain consistent, and not go back and forth with diapers since that could lead to confusion. I also took to facebook to ask some real life mommies potty training advise and also what age they started their child in potty training. here are a few quotes I received from these awesome moms!
“I started Elizabeth when she was about one and a half. I left her naked and when she peed on herself it would splatter all over the floor and on her feet and she hated it.”
-Colbie Walls Rooker, from Hey Mama! Facebook group
Although this sounds super messy and scary, I have found that most moms agree that letting your child feel the wetness helps them to know when to go potty. Most moms that I asked suggested to only use pull-ups at night time. Here’s another quote from a real life mommy!
“My son is eighteen months and potty training. He learned from a young stage what pee and poop are, so now he tells me when he has to go for the most part, but still wears a pull up right now. He gets prizes for telling me he has to go and going on the potty. We have a sticker chart and when the week is full he gets to choose a prize and candy out of the went potty basket. It seems to really be working. He is even starting to try to pull his pull-up down himself to go and runs in the bathroom now.”
-Chelsea Reed, from Momma Chat Dark Edition Facebook group
I love the idea of doing a reward system and it seems like most other moms agree that it works for them! I have set up a sticker chart above Braydon’s potty seat in the bathroom and when each row is filled he gets a Whopper candy. Rewarding a potty training child teaches them to potty with pride and makes them feel more confident.
“I’ve never put an age on when to start training. I’ve just listened to my kids and started teaching when they showed interest. My oldest was completely trained (even stayed dried through the night) by 18 months, and my 2nd born was completely trained by the age of 2. My son just turned 2 and only recently started showing any interest in learning.
When I started potty training I only used pull-ups at night time or long car rides. I found that putting them in training pants vs. pull-ups made them want to use the bathroom and not just use it on themselves. Mainly, because the training pants don’t absorb like pull-ups, and they tend to not like feeling wet.
I found that waiting until they showed interest to be a lot less stressful and time consuming. Although, it is nice to cut out the expense of diapers, it is so much easier training them when they are ready and not forced.
I rewarded my kids for using the potty with prizes or clapping and showing excitement. I’ve personally never disciplined my kids for soiling the bed or having an accident. Their minds don’t work like ours, and they forget or don’t always realize they need to go, until it’s too late. Also, they sleep soundly and their brains don’t always wake them when they need to potty.”
-Alicia Summers Herbert, from Hey Mama! Facebook group
The quote from this last mother really spoke to me because I am always feeling pressure to get my son potty trained, but every child is different and forcing them or punishing them for having an accident is not going to solve anything and will only result in associating the potty with shame and other negative feelings. It also seems that children really do become ready at all different ages, some moms hardly have to suggest it while others have to implement a reward system. Either way, potty training is a messy and stressful time and I hope these tips and tricks help you and me both with teaching our children the joys of pottying in the toilet and independence.
If you found this post helpful or have some of your own potty training tips and tricks you would like to share please leave a comment!! Don’t forget to subscribe and check back often for other parenting posts, recipes, craft ideas, and support!