When I talk about our potty training “journey”, it really was just that!
We had a TON of trial and error on our way to a diaper free toddler, and I’m very excited to share it all with you!
I will need to release these in a series as it was A LOT of trial and error! But hopefully in the end we will be able to save you some of the steps we tried and just get your little one on the “potty train”!
Let’s start with the basics, and the very first thing you need to figure out is if your toddler is ready to use the potty at all!
As much as getting your little one out of diapers is a huge money saver, this can’t be rushed. If you start trying to “force” this milestone on your child according to your own timeline and they are not ready, it will end up taking much longer than it needs to, and will put undue stress on you both.
Is my child ready to start potty training?
Every child is different, so the worst thing you can do is assume that because of their age, they are ready!
Some children are ready as early as 18-24 months, whereas others are more comfortable to dive in between 2 1/2-3 years old.
The best way to know when your child is ready to potty train is to look out for these signs:
- showing interest in the toilet
- are coordinated enough to walk/run (because you’ll want them to be able to get there!)
- demonstrating curiosity when you use the toilet
- has regular bowel movements at fairly predictable times
- stays dry for 2 hours or more at a time
- can remove hi/her own pants
- pulling, tugging, or any other signs of discomfort in diapers
- refusing to wear diapers
- tells you when they have to go/have gone
- takes pride in their own accomplishments (this is great for utilizing rewards systems!)
- can follow simple instructions
- understands the concept of putting things where they belong
- removing diapers immediately when they are wet/poopy
You’re child may only demonstrate a few of these signs, or all of them, but either way when they start showing up, it’s time to get a potty in the house!
Introducing the potty to your child…
Simply having it present in the house is a start, but not enough to get them excited.
When we got ours, we treated it like Christmas morning! We put a big bow on top and sat one of her stuffed bears on it and had a big “unveiling” of it first thing!
Once we had gotten her excited about her “new toy”, we placed it in the washroom next to the toilet, and every time I would use the washroom, she would come with me and sit next to me on her potty. Even though she wasn’t using it, it showed her that this was something Mommy does regularly, and we’d cheer and celebrate every time “Mommy did it”!
Making the potty a “safe place” is extremely important in showing your child that this is a time it is OK to remove their clothes and do something they may otherwise at this age think is “dirty”. Teaching them that it is normal, and even Mommy and Daddy do it all day long, is a comforting feeling that provides them confidence in making this big change in their lives.
Once your child is comfortable around the potty, you can decide what method of potty training you think your child will adjust quickly to.
As I mentioned, I feel like we took the long road around this one, but our long journey can hopefully help make yours a little shorter!
Check out Our Potty Training Journey: Part 2, where I discuss our first attempt at potty training, which was temporarily successful (but way more work than it needed to be), and also set Maddie’s comfort with the potty back a step or two!
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