Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Sure Fire Potty Training Tips

A week ago, we took the plunge & started potty training newly turned 2 years old Peyton. He is now potty trained. It took him pretty much four days. Done. Finished. I can't believe it.


Okay. So, let me tell you how this is accomplished.

Step 1. Give birth to a wonder child.


Step 2. Raise the child with a strong desire to succeed in independence & in pleasing you.






Just kidding. Sort of. Peyton was seriously such an easy little guy to potty train. I didn't know he would be. But, he was. My sweet little stinker was really, really easy.

But, I will tell you my potty training tips & methods. Though they are perhaps not Sure Fire, they were taught to me by my mother who successfully potty trained 10 kids. I know people do potty training all different ways. But, here's the way we do it.



Wait until you think they are ready to go all the way.

Things I wait for

-able to clearly communicate that they need to go.

-able to walk (run!)

-keeping a dry diaper for a good chunk of time (so they don't have to be slave to the potty seat).



But, don't wait too long.

The younger ones are often more excited about the whole potty thing, easier to encourage (not so jaded by the world, you know) & hopefully not quite as stubborn.



All kids are different, but, I'm looking for readiness in the 18-26 month range.



Be done with diapers as much as possible.

Don't put your tot in disposable diapers anymore. It can make it confusing for them. If it is bed time, or you need to go out, and you are not confident that they are all the way there, try putting them in a cloth diaper or a good training pant. My favorite trainer pants are ImseVimse. Check it out.




They are cute. My kids really like all the farm critters. And they are super comfy. They are sold in the smaller sizes that are not as available in other brands. And, it keeps small leaks in really well.



Stock up & get ready to go, because you aren't going to leave you house.

Once you start, work in earnest. Help them to focus. Offer them every opportunity to succeed. Don't be putting them in the car & driving around town. That is an accident waiting to happen. (That line is my dad's. I think he made it up. He sure said it a lot when I was a kid.) Get all your household supplies before you begin.



My potty training supply list -

potty chair - we have the Boon bench. I am sure there are tons of good seats out there nowadays. But, I do like this one. It is super hip looking. And, for a boy, the deflector has been fantastic. He learned how to use it super fast & can go on his own now, without any help.

baby gate - If you have a room that you can completely close off & stay in all day, you don't need this.

Child's favorite beverage - plenty of it.

A potty baby doll - This is for a child who hasn't seen the potty chair in action. Peyton has seen Gillian using it for a long time now. He didn't need the doll to understand what to do. We used one with Gillian. It was a really weird looking thing that didn't go potty very well. It only went a few trickles. It was pretty humorous.

Training pants - for bed time & for when you are ready to venture out.

big underwear - as a motivation for when they are doing well enough to wear them.

some little stickers or little candies or treats of some sort.



Stock up on sleep & relaxation, because once you start, you will be a little short on these things.
You need to keep a watchful eye, all the time. And, once they start being aware of when they are wetting, they won't sleep as soundly. You'll have to get up through the night with them when they need to go. And, maybe get up much earlier than before. (Or, you can have a trooper of a husband who does most all of the getting up part, like mine does.)



Set it up.

Designate the room. Where can you hang out all day & not stress out too much about accidents? I happen to have a linoleum room adjacent to my kitchen that is a family room of sorts. Set up your potty chair. Bring in your food, drink, books, toys, paper towels & cleaner... Close off the room. Close the doors. Put up any needed baby gates to keep your young one near you. Have the house warm.



Wake up in the morning & GO!

The house needs to be warm. Your going to let your little one be naked on the bottom. This way you & the child are better aware of what is going on. Keeping the room closed is so that your child is always near & you can look for signs of when they may need to go. You can make sure they aren't hiding in a corner having an accident!



Start the Tea Party

My kids like tea. That works to our benefit for potty training. Tea "goes through you" pretty fast. So, we just hung out & had a tea party all day. Offer fluid to your potty trainer as often as you can. If you are doing the potty doll, give the dolly her drink & show how she goes potty. If you want, you can reward the baby with a sticker or candy.

With all the drinking your child is doing they will get a lot of repetition & be able to catch on to the excitement of going potty in the seat.

Of course, cheer like crazy when they do it correctly. Make them feel like they've done something great.

When your tot is on the younger side, hopefully you can get them excited about doing it right, without having to offer reward. I gave Peyton some little stickers throughout the day. But, it wasn't directly linked to the potty. It was just to keep the excitement level high. But, he had no ongoing expectation of receiving a reward.



Don't Slow Down
The next day, get going first thing. Don't keep the diaper/training pants on them. Take it off & get going. Once they seem to really be "getting it" you can slow down on the amount of liquids you are offering. Let things go back to normal, so he's not having to go as often. When things seem like they are going smoothly, try introducing wearing underwear. Peyton was ready to wear underwear by day 4. Before that, he had an accident every time he had something on. Day 4, he could wear underwear & still be aware when he needed to use the potty. He was wearing underwear that are a little big, so he could take them off easily. We took him out by day 6 & brought the potty chair along. This was after 2 full days of zero accidents.

To sum up - Give them every opportunity to be successful

Most of this is you focusing.

When I started potty training Gillian, trying to follow what my mom had told me, it started out rather poorly, with a high number of accidents. It was because any time I was distracted and not paying attention, she would wander out of sight & go on the floor. I think I was telling my parents how rough it all was. My dad told me if I couldn't focus on this, I just needed to quit. I was just confusing & frustrating my daughter. I wasn't helping her to be successful.


Don't confuse them by letting them go in the diaper, just because you want to be able to leave the house, or spend time making dinner. Don't confuse them by letting them go potty in the backyard, because you don't mind. They may not understand why the back corner of the yard is any different from the corner of the living room. Don't discourage them by showing frustration when they are really trying hard. Do tell them how proud you are of them!

Have your own potty training tips or thoughts? Share with us!

14 comments:

Krista said...

Good tips Erin. One of those was the big reason I failed with Elijah for so long... after he was successfully potty trained, 2 months later we went on a plane and I was nervous and put him in diapers. Bad call on my part. After that trip he had months and months of random accidents. :( Finally he is fine now, but that was the biggest setback we could have had- all because I didn't want to have to worry about running to the potty in the airport/airplane or possibly having an accident on the plane.

This is a good reminder list for me, I think I am almost ready to try with Elena. She had been going poop and pee in the toilet again this week! We will see though, not quite sure if I am stocked up enough on sleep yet! :)

Melissa Joy said...

I hope this is something I will be needing to refer back to this summer. :) Thanks for typing it all up for me! :)
Good job, Peyton!
And good job, Erin! :)

Tina said...

That is awesome. Next time someone asks me how it's done, I will send them to this post! And congrats to you both!

...and the best part of potty training is the cool cartoony undies, I say!

Stef said...

Go Peyton!! That's very exciting! Ethan was not so cooperative, but he isn't with most things, so it was no surprise. Rachel was trained in one week's time and has had maybe 5 accidents in 2 years. She was the pro in our house. Now I'm wondering how Kara will do.

I agreed spot on with so much of what you said. I am curious, however... have you actually gotten back to your regular routine and been out and about for a day where he stayed dry? I'm not as much of a stickler with the staying in the whole time to do such intense potty training, only because Ethan personally seemed to be very confused when a week later, I would think he was trained and we'd go to the park or go out and he'd wet his pants in the car on the way there. I'm not sure if he's just hyper sensitive or not. I was way more relaxed with Rachel - didn't pump her full of liquids or anything, just set a timer and took her to the potty every 20 minutes. We did this for 48 hours and she caught on!

But your tips were awesome. I will save this and use these for our journey with Kara. I'm looking at starting with her sometime this summer. Already :)

Stef said...

oh, I love what you and Krista said about confusing them too! Its so true. With our kids, we've always just acted like the diapers are gone, never to return. I don't do pull-ups or anything. I think its kind of mean, like provoking them or teasing them. But I do understand a mother's fear of having accidents in a place like an airplane as Krista experienced. We did this with Ethan and I totally regretted it. He spent the night at Jason's parents house and I didn't want him to wet their beds, so I sent diapers for the night time and they used them. His set back was only about 2 weeks, but still... I felt horrible.

Erin said...

Krista - wait until you are ready, for sure! I don't think I would have the energy to potty train while pregnant!
Stef - We are back to our own normal routine. But, we don't go out a lot. We went to church on Sunday & the drive is 40 minutes each way.
We've gone out for a short time both Monday & Tuesday & he stayed dry.
We did bring the potty chair with us, just in case.
I won't be driving taking any major trips too soon, though.
I took the chair with me for a long time with Gillian. We used to have to pull over on the side of the road to use it all the time!

Jason said...

yay! sounds like he got it and is doing really well then!! I take a small potty chair with me still. I hate being in weird situations where they have to go and we're on the side of the road. Its so easy to stick in the truck and use when we're out all day, so I still do that :)

Congrats to you as well!! potty training is a huge effort on the parent's part, so its just as big for you as it is for Peyton!

Stef said...

okay, so... that last comment is from me, not Jase :)

Anonymous said...

I have found a different method that you might also want to try. It worked on my 1st and 3rd kids. I did something a little different with my 2nd, I can't remember exactly what.

This method I got from the book, "Potty Training in Less Than a Day". Basically, it's brainwashing. What makes it different is that you are training your child to "be dry." It was so effective with my first kid that after a morning of brainwashing he didn't wet the bed even though I put him in diapers. He did have some daytime accidents as his little brain processed the whole thing. After about a week he was fully trained, although there were a few accidents here and there through the years.

1. The method. Choose a day to STAY HOME. Do the following pretty much all morning.
Ask you're child, "Are you dry?" about every five to ten minutes at first then every 15 minutes. For every positive answer reward with a corn chip or sugar cereal and a sip of juice.
2. Call Grandma, Dad, aunties, Big Bird, Barney etc. and announce that the child is dry. Let the child feel fully affirmed that he is wonderful for being dry.
3. Practice going potty every fifteen minutes. Reward the child for getting his pants down, getting the toilet lid up, sitting, going if they need to, getting the pants pulled up, flushing, washing and drying hands. (a chip/cereal and drink.)
4. After practicing potty for an hour, train wetting doll to go. (For this be sure to have extra panties for dolly sewed up the night before.) As the child helps to train dolly to be dry, he gets to eat her reward whenever she does something right. Teaching her teaches himand uses a different part of the brain.
5. Practice running to the potty from different parts of the house and going through the potty routine.

After a morning of this, then keep rewarding the child every half hour for being dry. It will take a few days, in my experience, for them to fully get a grasp on how to go to the potty on time, especially if they are watching a video or something like that. When accidents happen, have them practice from that point, running to the potty and doing the potty routine.

That's my method. It's all positive reinforcement which is nice because it kind of circumvents their stubborn will.

Kaja Ramsey

Stef said...

Kaja - we did this with Ethan when ALL other methods seemed to fail and it worked like a charm! He was close to turning 3 though, not sure if that was part of it. Sometimes I think parents are a bit too eager with their small children and try too much too soon. But, every child is different.

We still ask this question now - I never say "did you wet your pants?" we say "are you still dry?!" Its the only thing that helped Ethan "get it" and I'm glad you reminded me b/c I will most likely try it with Kara as well.

Jason said...

yay! sounds like he got it and is doing really well then!! I take a small potty chair with me still. I hate being in weird situations where they have to go and we're on the side of the road. Its so easy to stick in the truck and use when we're out all day, so I still do that :)

Congrats to you as well!! potty training is a huge effort on the parent's part, so its just as big for you as it is for Peyton!

Stef said...

okay, so... that last comment is from me, not Jase :)

Stef said...

oh, I love what you and Krista said about confusing them too! Its so true. With our kids, we've always just acted like the diapers are gone, never to return. I don't do pull-ups or anything. I think its kind of mean, like provoking them or teasing them. But I do understand a mother's fear of having accidents in a place like an airplane as Krista experienced. We did this with Ethan and I totally regretted it. He spent the night at Jason's parents house and I didn't want him to wet their beds, so I sent diapers for the night time and they used them. His set back was only about 2 weeks, but still... I felt horrible.

Anonymous said...

I have found a different method that you might also want to try. It worked on my 1st and 3rd kids. I did something a little different with my 2nd, I can't remember exactly what.

This method I got from the book, "Potty Training in Less Than a Day". Basically, it's brainwashing. What makes it different is that you are training your child to "be dry." It was so effective with my first kid that after a morning of brainwashing he didn't wet the bed even though I put him in diapers. He did have some daytime accidents as his little brain processed the whole thing. After about a week he was fully trained, although there were a few accidents here and there through the years.

1. The method. Choose a day to STAY HOME. Do the following pretty much all morning.
Ask you're child, "Are you dry?" about every five to ten minutes at first then every 15 minutes. For every positive answer reward with a corn chip or sugar cereal and a sip of juice.
2. Call Grandma, Dad, aunties, Big Bird, Barney etc. and announce that the child is dry. Let the child feel fully affirmed that he is wonderful for being dry.
3. Practice going potty every fifteen minutes. Reward the child for getting his pants down, getting the toilet lid up, sitting, going if they need to, getting the pants pulled up, flushing, washing and drying hands. (a chip/cereal and drink.)
4. After practicing potty for an hour, train wetting doll to go. (For this be sure to have extra panties for dolly sewed up the night before.) As the child helps to train dolly to be dry, he gets to eat her reward whenever she does something right. Teaching her teaches himand uses a different part of the brain.
5. Practice running to the potty from different parts of the house and going through the potty routine.

After a morning of this, then keep rewarding the child every half hour for being dry. It will take a few days, in my experience, for them to fully get a grasp on how to go to the potty on time, especially if they are watching a video or something like that. When accidents happen, have them practice from that point, running to the potty and doing the potty routine.

That's my method. It's all positive reinforcement which is nice because it kind of circumvents their stubborn will.

Kaja Ramsey