With summer knocking on our front door, I’m sure you are like most. Trying to get that summer schedule figured out with your children. Whether it’s navigating summer care for the kids or making a schedule to keep you and your littles engaged and having fun this summer, the list has started, I’m sure.
Does anyone have “potty train the toddler” on their list? Hands up if you do because we have the blog for you!
It can be quite the daunting task and one that most of us prefer to just skip over and hope it gets done on it’s own. But it doesn’t have to be! We’ve compiled 10 of our best tips and tricks to help it run smoothly (no pun intended – well, maybe).
Summertime can come with some extra time which makes it the perfect time for some families to begin the potty training process. Every kiddo is different and potty training isn’t something that can be rushed or forced. It takes time and patience. Summertime can be that perfect time to create a comfortable, calm environment for the learning to begin.
Let’s get your little one excited and on board with the new big-kid task they are about to learn! Take them with you to purchase all the supplies you will need, including the child size toilet if you are going to use one, nighttime pull-ups and of course their big kid undies! Make it fun and exciting that the new task they are going to learn is something that is super special and shows how big they are getting.
Time to take on the task and hit the ground running! As you set out, talk to your child about what they can expect and that you will help them every step of the way. Walk them through what it means to be a big-kid and use the big-kid potty and how you will help them practice using the potty. One tip, sometimes the adult toilet can be a scary thing for kiddos! If you plan to use a small child seat on top, rather than a free-standing youth toilet, consider waiting to have the child flush the toilet until they get comfortable with the big-kid bathroom. Flushing toilets tend to be loud and scary for little ones. You want to make sure they feel comfortable and not scared so we recommend keeping that in mind for the first little bit. Eventually it will be fun to flush away!
Positive encouragement and praise is the name of the game! Whether it’s little things such as they tell you they need to go potty, they attempt to go potty, they put on their big kid undies, they help you set everything up … whatever it is, offer plenty of praise and encouragement that they are taking interest in their new task. Some parents like to have a treat spot where kiddos can earn a small candy or prize every time they use the potty (even if they just sit and don’t end up going; because remember, lots and lots of praise for working toward learning the task!). Whatever it is, be sure to make them feel encouraged to keep going. And when accidents happen, because we know they absolutely will, do not discourage them or make them feel bad for the accident. Help them understand that it happens and it’s part of the learning process!
I know that sounds weird, however you must make time in your schedule for a potty schedule. Using the potty regularly and building in consistency will be the most helpful tool in your toolbelt. Every child’s needs are different, and you should watch for your child’s cues, but starting out taking them to the potty at least once every hour is often best. Chances are they will not use the potty every time, but this helps them get used to the new task and the feeling of understanding when their body tells them they have to go. And then don’t forget to offer the reward or praise after each time they head to the restroom!
Make it part of the new routine! Encourage your little one to add using the bathroom to their nightly bath, brush, and bedtime book routine. By having this routine their mindset will begin to shift into learning to hold it through the night and empty in the morning. Just know that nighttime training is the part that can take the longest to achieve and it should never be rushed or discouraged when your child has nighttime accidents. Often, nighttime training can come after daytime training is well established. Just be patient!
As summer activities are inevitably in full-force, be prepared with on-the-go potty training. Be sure to pack a lot of extra supplies (clothing, undies, flushable wipes, portable potty if you choose to use one, etc.) While the hustle and bustle of the day is taking place, be sure to stick to your schedule and routine by allowing your child to use the bathroom hourly and as needed. Yes, it will take extra time so plan ahead and be sure to make room in your schedule! Your child has put in so much effort and hard work that you want to be sure to keep it going. Even when you are out and about!
Depending on where you live, summertime weather often yields itself to the perfect time to dress in less layers. The less layers a little one has to remove, the easier it will be to make it to the potty without any mishaps. One technique that some parents swear by is allowing your child to run around sans diaper in their birthday suit. This helps them to feel the urges and remove the temptation of going potty whenever they want to while having a diaper on. Get ready because you WILL have lots of accidents. However, the process can be fairly quick and get the initial phases of potty training under way. If you are able, set aside a few days to focus just on potty training at home before attempting to train while on-the-go.
Have older siblings in your home? Encourage them to take part in the new training as well! Siblings can be the best teachers of all! When littles see their older siblings routinely using the potty, they can feel encouraged to be just like them. If you are comfortable with it, encourage your child to go to the potty with you as the parent. The more they see how to do it and how routine it is, the more they will be excited to do it as well.
The last and most important tip is to make it fun! If it’s fun your child will be more likely to participate. Just like when they were babies, they feed off your emotions so if they feel the daunting stress in you, they likely will treat potty training the same way.
Here are a couple of ideas to amp up the fun:
- Add blue food coloring to the toilet water and watch the color changing magic as your child pees into the water. How fun is that?
- Encourage them with fun books! Reading about going potty and the process makes it fun. So, grab a book or 2 and get your read on.
- Create a potty chart where they get to place a sticker or stamp on the chart every time they try to go potty. After so many stickers, they can earn a fun surprise (think outside the box such as a special walk to the park or a fun play date with a friend, etc.)
What tips and tricks do you seasoned parents have? We would love to hear them. Share them in the comments below!
Have a blessed week,
Team Simply Blessed Kids