1. Prepare Your Child
Kiddos thrive on routine and predictability. When they know what to expect, it helps them feel more in control. This is especially true for a big milestone like potty training! “Planting the seed” in fun and playful ways to give your child exposure to and experience with the potty before putting any pressure on them to change anything themselves right off the bat is a huge way to take some of the stress out of the situation.
Here are a few helpful tips to prepare your child for potty training:
- Read potty-themed books – Change out one or two books per day with a potty-themed book
- Watch potty-themed videos together – Replace a video that your child normally watches with a potty themed show or YouTube short
- Play – Pretend playing “potty time” with your child’s dolls/toys to help them learn the steps of the potty while allowing them to be the teacher!
- Potty time – Set a time each day for your kiddo to sit on the potty (whether they do anything or not). Choose a time when you’re in transition anyway, like getting dressed in the morning or before getting into the bath at night. Giving them some practice with sitting before you ditch the diapers will help them see there’s nothing to be worried about!
2. Prepare YOURSELF
We often hear about how to get children ready for potty training, but what about US!? We’re the guides, the coaches, the teachers, laying the framework for this new milestone and steering our kiddos in the right direction as they learn to be independent with this new skill. Therefore, we must prepare ourselves emotionally as well!
Here are a few helpful tips to help prepare YOU:
- Read up – Browse different methods and decide which one if right for your child AND your family’s lifestyle. There is no one-size-fits-all way to do it!
- Mentally prepare – Mentally prepare yourself for this transition. It’s not only a big change for your child, but for you too! The convenience of diapers is going away, your baby is growing into a big kid, and so much more. Getting in the right mental space first will help you fully commit, feel confident, and have realistic expectations.
- Meal Prep – Grocery shop ahead of time for easy meals and snacks so that you don’t have to be stressed and distracted when it comes time to prepare dinner! Or, make your life way easier with Little Spoon.
- Have cleaning supplies at the ready – Stock up on all your favorite cleaning supplies BEFORE you start the process and have them in a handy caddy so you’re ready to tackle any messes that might (and probably will!) happen those first few days.
3. Don’t Compare
Comparing one child’s potty training experience to another is like comparing apples to oranges. Each are COMPLETELY different! No, if Karen’s child down the street was out of diapers at the age of 18 months old, that doesn’t mean you’re doing something wrong or that there is anything wrong with your child!
Every child is like a snowflake; beautiful and different in their own way. Because of this, different potty training methods will work differently for each child. Some children will need to be given more freedom and privacy during this process and others will need their hand held a bit more. I say it all the time – there is NO one-size-fits-all method that will work for everyone! The end goal remains the same – having a child that can use the potty reliably. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how you get there!
4. Utilize Your Support Network
Now is the time to ask for help. When you first begin the potty training process, most of your time and attention will likely be on your toddler who is undergoing this transition. Don’t worry, this intense stage only lasts a few days. However, during this time it’s important to ask for help! Whether you need support with:
- Meal preparation
- Carpooling to and from school
- A friend on speed dial to vent to
Reach out and utilize your support system during this potty training process! You’re not alone in this and it’s okay to call on those who love you! You don’t have to get through this alone.
5. Call On The Experts
For many busy parents (What parent isn’t busy?!) it can feel overwhelming to decide on when to potty train, how to potty train, and what exactly to do step by step. Calling on an expert for help can lessen your mental load as well as the time it takes for your child to become fully potty trained. Whether that expert is a family member who has already potty trained 4 little ones and knows all of the ins and outs of this milestone, or an expert potty training consultant who is able to walk you through the entire process step by step, you deserve help! Chances are your experience will be much more positive if you go into this milestone with an experienced guide to lead the way!
All in all, potty training can be a daunting process to jump into with your little one, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming! Potty training can be an awesome bonding experience between you and your child, especially when you make each step fun and positive! Take each day one step and a time and remember that you AND your toddler got this!