I potty trained my second child recently and let me tell you, it was SO much easier than potty training my first. Maybe it was the second-time-mom experience or maybe it was because potty training a girl is a bit easier than a boy, either way I want to share my experience with you.
Potty training my first child was the epitome of my parenting. OK, I’m being dramatic, but it was SO difficult for us. Days and weeks of frustration and losing patience all over something so silly. Over something I knew he would eventually figure out, all kids do!
When it came to potty training my second child, I knew I had to do something differently. I knew I needed to reboot my patience level and just go with the flow. Here is how I managed to potty train my toddler in just 2 weeks.
*I am not a potty training expert or consultant, I didn’t base this method off any books I read. This is simply just what worked for us!
How I potty trained my toddler in 2 weeks flat
The biggest mistake I believe I made with my first child and potty training was starting too early. I tried training him shortly after he turned 2 and after one month of it, he still just wasn’t getting it. He was willingly going, but the accidents were constant. I decided to give up and try again in a few months. So when he was about 2.5 we tried again, and although it went smoother than the first time, it was still tough.
With Mallory, my second child, I waited much longer. It’s mostly because I just didn’t want to do it, I admit. I was nervous and I didn’t want to go through the same thing I went through with my first. So I waited until she was just about 2 months shy of 3 years old.
1. Get Rid of Diapers and Don’t Use Pullups
When I say get rid of diapers, I use that term lightly. During the day we did not use diapers and I NEVER use pullups. I just think they are confusing for kids. I recommend going straight to underwear or have your child be naked for a few days. Mallory didn’t want to be naked, plus it was the middle of winter and too cold to do that.
We used diapers for bed time, because night training is a whole different story. And, the first few days she specifically asked for a diaper to poop. I didn’t want to scare her and force her on the potty, and I’d rather her not poop in her pants, so I let her wear a diaper for pooping. Know that poop takes a little longer for kids to figure out, but I feel it’s better to NOT force them, they will eventually get it. Like I said in the beginning, go with the flow. And after about a week (and maybe a small bribe) Mallory was pooping on the potty no problem!
2. Use a “Potty Timer”
For the first week or so I used a “potty timer.” This was simply a timer I used right on my microwave. The first couple days of potty training I set the timer to go off every 20 minutes. Have I mentioned you pretty much can’t leave your house the first 3-4 days of potty training?😅 Anyway…whenever my daughter would get resistant about going every 20 minutes I upped the timer by 5 minutes. By day 3 she was going every 30 minutes. This helps beat the accident and gets them use to going potty. After about a week she didn’t want to listen to that timer at all! So I attempted to give her independence and let her choose when she needed to go. This didn’t always work, but it’s a good learning experience. She learned that having accidents and being wet was not fun. It only took a few for her to figure out she should probably use the toilet.
3. Use A Sticker Chart
Rewarding your child for using the potty is a big deal! You want to over-do it. Lots of clapping and praising will help build their confidence and let them know they’re doing the right thing. I made my own sticker chart on white printer paper. Whenever Mallory went pee she got 1 sticker. If she pooped, she got 2 stickers. I marked 2 spots with an “X” on the chart, so when she reached that spot she earned a prize. For the first “X” she reached, she got to go to the store and pick out new underwear. The second “X” she got to pick out her favorite candy. When she finished the chart she got to pick out a small toy at the store.
My daughter sure runs on motivation, so giving her some incentives to get potty trained really helped!
4. Use the regular toilet – No small training potties
I don’t know about you, but I think the small training potties are gross. The last thing I want to do is clean up pee out of a plastic “toilet.” I put a small potty seat on the regular toilet. I truly believe if your child is too scared to use the regular toilet, they probably are not ready to be potty trained anyway, so give it a little more time. And I also wonder, if you’re using a small training toilet, what will you do when you go out in public? There’s no little plastic toilets there. 😉
Becoming potty trained
Just know the first few days of potty training are going to be spent at home. As your toddler gets a little better at controlling their pee, you can take short trips out such as, school drop off or a quick trip to Walmart for new underwear. Every few days you’ll be able to make your outings a little bit longer, until you forget you have a potty training toddler in the first place!
After following each of these 4 steps for two weeks, Mallory finally started telling me when she had to go potty. It’s like something just clicked and she knew, and would run to the toilet herself! Now don’t get me wrong, she has had an accident here and there. But 95% of the time I don’t have to worry about her having an accident, we can go out in public worry-free, and she tells me when she has to go. She proved to me that potty training can be pretty easy!
Do you have any tips for potty training. Leave a comment with the things that worked for you!
If you have a friend who is in the trenches of potty training, or thinking about starting soon, click that share button please!