Ahh, potty training. There is light at the end of the poopy diaper tunnel, I promise! There is nothing as 'wonderful' as packing and lugging an entire diaper bag just to go on a day trip. Or daycare. Or grandma's house. Or church. Or .. anywhere really. So how about we just get rid of that big 'ole bag shall we?
Enter the diaper-less world of a potty trained child. It's amazing! It's something we parents dream of. It's better than wine! ......... Well, ok, let's not get in over our heads here. It might not be better than wine, but it is damn close.
Just image it: no dragging diapers and wipes and creams of all kinds, no wasted space in the trunk (Hey, that's SUPER important on a Hobby Lobby run- you can NEVER have enough trunk space), no worrying about how disgusting the diaper changing tables are- if there even is one. It's something dreams are made of.
So what's the easiest way to get the job done you ask? Well, let me introduce you to my beautiful daughter, Miss M. She was potty trained in a WEEKEND. TWO DAYS peeps. She was only 20 months old at the time. Listen up. It's really simple, but it takes a lot of diligence on your part. You wanna have good results? You can't be lazy! Got it? Awesome! Let's get started!
You can do this!
Get a Potty Chair
You might think it's best to save money by skipping the potty chair, but trust me on this. The toilet can be scary to many kids. It makes a loud funny noise, it sucks water down (perhaps a few toys too), and little butts tend to fall in. A potty chair is a necessity.
The reward system. It's awesome isn't it?! Toddlers love stickers. My daughter felt so accomplished and proud when she got to pick a sticker and place it on her chart. I had an extra one to send to daycare too, but check with your provider and see if they offer one.
I had printed a potty chart via Google, but it constantly fell off the wall. Next time around I will be going with this: http://amzn.to/2dI4w4A It's really cheap and it will save you a headache! Believe me, you need one.
Miss M didn't get much candy or other sugary items, so a "big" potty prize for her was mini chocolate chips or Reese's pieces candy. I know some parents do significant potty prizes like toys for going #2 or for not having accidents for a week. We personally didn't need them, but it's really up to you and your child. Whatever you get, just make sure it's something that motivates your child.
Purchase Some Big Kid Underwear
There are a million different characters and colors to choose from- pick something your child really loves. For Miss M, that was actually a combo of Cars and Hello Kitty.
Kick the Crib to the Curb
This one might be self-explanatory. Your child needs to be able to get out of bed at night to go potty if they feel the urge. I know it might be tough to let go of your "baby", but remember, he/she is trying to be a big kid now and we need to treat them as such. Bring on the toddler bed!
Clear Your Weekend Schedule
Potty training is a little bit tricky, so the last thing you want to do is confuse your child by being in and out of the house. Put your to-do list off for another time and just focus on the business of training for the weekend. Your diligence will pay off big time!
Ok, hold on a second! I didn't mean you... that'd be a little weird for the UPS guy. Save that for another time... like a weekend in Vegas.
So why have your toddler go naked? It's easier for them to remember that they aren't wearing a diaper and need to use the potty instead. It's hands down the quickest way to get your child to grasp the concept. We started training Miss M in the middle of winter, so I compromised the cold temps with wearing dresses. It gave her body some warmth, but everything else was the same concept. You can try an over-sized T-shirt if you have a little guy.
We started out the day with making trips to the potty every 15-20 minutes. (This is where diligence and lack of laziness need to be in full gear) I had made a big jug of pink lemonade and let Miss M drink as much as she wanted. I'll be honest. Day One was rough. Miss M had many accidents and I was wondering if I should have waited until she was "more ready". Afterall, she didn't have dry diapers in the morning. Maybe I was rushing it. The end of Day One I was frustrated and ready to throw in the towel.
We woke up Sunday morning and I debated if I should even attempt potty training the second day or wait a few more months. But then something encouraging happened. Miss M plopped herself down on the potty without being prompted.
Hallelujah... the angels were singing! What a great way to start the day!
Our daughter is VERY independent so she didn't really like being told to go potty. I explained to her that I wouldn't make her go every 15-20 minutes as long as she would tell us when she needed to go. It worked! Miss M had a couple accidents, but overall she did amazing on day 2. (Remember she is still 4 months away from being 2 years old!)
Day 3: Back to Daycare
Miss M got to wear another dress and her big girl underwear to daycare. She was SO excited! She was accident FREE the entire day there! We agreed on pull-ups for naptime (and also bedtime at home) She came home with a mass of stickers on her chart and was beyond excited to show mom & dad her accomplishment.
Let's talk poop for a second. Many little kids are scared to go #2. Knowing that going in, we decided to take a different approach. Bare with me for a moment, I know this might sound completely off the wall! Each time our daughter went #2 we praised her like crazy and said "bye-bye poopy" while she flushed the potty. I know that's probably weird... but kids are weird and it's a definite bonus not to have to deal with a poop-fear issue. Be weird. I dare you.
One of the biggest mistakes parents make is waiting too long to potty train.
Remember when I said I was worried that Miss M wouldn't be ready for potty training because she still had wet diapers in the morning?
A quick survey of mommy friends discovered that that is super common. And about 3-4 months after our daughter was potty trained during the day, she was consistently dry at night too. If your child shows the smallest bit of interest, gather your supplies and get started!
You'll be able to ditch that diaper bag in no time!