Potty Training….Tips, Tricks, Readiness

After running into my friend, Lisa, outside on campus a few days back, I decided that I was ready….ready for potty training.

Well, that and that fact that we were down to 3 diapers Wednesday night when I was getting Anthony ready for bed, prompted me to tell Anthony…”We don’t have any more diapers! Anthony, say, ‘No more diapers!’ ”

He repeated, “No more diapers!”

Well, with that…we were ready for Thursday morning in big boy briefs.

Has it been easy? NO

Has it been worth it? YES

Thursday, day 1, was a complete mess. Since it was warm outside, we spent most of the day out there.

I probably did 5 loads of laundry, and changed his clothes just as many times.

I cleaned pee briefs and poop briefs.

I almost gave up, but after being cheered on by my neighbor and friend, Karlie, I kept with it.

Oh how easy it would be to throw a diaper on him again and go back to normal!

But…I thought to myself…that would make Anthony think that this is always only temporary and if I do a “icky” job at it, then mommy will put me in the diaper again.


Day 2 was messy, but a little better. Day 3 was almost mess less…just 2.

Nights are dry.

So, as we are still in the middle of this, what did I learn and realize?

BOTH mom and child have to be ready.

You’ve got to be able to stay home for a good 5-7 days and KNOW there will be messes and more messes.

I was ready last summer, but Anthony wasn’t. He was only 18 months, didn’t have enough of a vocabulary yet, and really wasn’t interested.

When he was 2, he was beginning to be more interested in playing with his little play potty. This was a good sign. I wasn’t ready though. I maybe should have been, but I wasn’t ready to be cleaning up all the messes. It was winter.

This has worked out great.

So…my tips.

1. Pick a good time for BOTH of you. Watch for signs…is his diaper dry for a long period of time? Does he grab at his diaper? Tell you when he’s wet or made a “poop”? Does he have interest when he’s in the bathroom with you?

2. Have your child help pick out some fun underwear. Have at least 10-12 pairs.

3. Wait until warm weather. I’ve just found it easier to be outside most of the time. He’s been wearing shorts, so not as much of a mess down the pants. Also, less floor clean up when you are outside.

4. Have a sticker chart with EXTRA special stickers. I let Anthony play with stickers on a regular basis (working on motor skills as he places them on the paper…a teacher thing πŸ™‚ ) , so I surprised him with sparkly Oscar the Grouch stickers.

I quickly was running out of those! My hubby had an excellent FRUGAL idea. Get some of those HELLO my name is stickers or anything you are not using with a sticky back. He printed out pics of Buzz and Woody and taped them on to the HELLO badges. He cut them out and we had a ton of makeshift stickers! It’ll save you some $$

5. Be silly for him! I shouted YAY!!!! YOU DID IT!!! and clapped my hands while I danced around each time he went on the potty. Anthony got such a kick out of it! He clapped his hands and laughed each time! I know that was motivating for him!

6. Reward with allowing him to pick a treat. We are not big with giving treats all the time, so this is a big deal in our healthy home. Each time (especially on the first two days) he went on the toilet, he got to pick his treat. He chose a small square of chocolate once, mango sorbet once, some mini chocolate chips once, and many times he picked the mint chocolate patties I froze for him. All allergy free of course!

I’ll admit, I was afraid of this last one, but he doesn’t even want the treats anymore…and this is day 5. He’s tired of it. The novelty is wearing off.

7. Set a time for no more liquids at night. My friend Karlie gave me this tip. For us, we stop at 6/6:30. Anthony goes to bed around 9. Depending on your child’s bed time, you may need to adjust that. This totally has helped with a dry bed at night!

These are the tips that have worked in our home this week.

Nothing drastic, but it has worked. Tip one is really the most important in my eyes.

Both the teacher and the student need to be ready!

Ok readers…SPILL IT! What are your tips? What has worked for you in the potty training world??