7 Proven Potty Training Tips From Mamas Who’ve Been There
As a team of moms who have tackled potty training more times than we can count on two hands, when we say we’ve been there, trust us, we mean it! At first, it’s a bittersweet moment because it dawns on you that your little one is getting older, then it quickly can become frustrating because your child has accident after accident–and then there’s the period of fear that overcomes you as you feel like you’ll never actually be able to successfully potty train your child. It’s one of the many emotional roller coasters of being a parent, but you will get there!
We’ve pulled from our collective experiences here at Latched Mama, and compiled a list of our seven favorite potty training tips and tricks that have been the most successful for us.
1.) Stay consistent
With many aspects of parenting, consistency is key. You won’t want to give potty training a try one day and then take a break until a week later. With potty training, you’ll want to be consistent with how often you bring your little one to the potty. For some, this may look like every 10 minutes, for others you may start with bringing your child to the potty every 20 minutes. If your little one is in daycare, coordinate with their caregivers and keep that same consistency while they’re away. More than just timing, stay consistent with what your child likes to do while sitting on the potty. Maybe they want to read a special book or listen to special songs that are only for potty time. Whatever appeals to your child, stay consistent with incorporating that every time you try!
2.) Incorporate rewards
Not all parents like to utilize rewards in changing their child’s behavior – trust us, we understand! However, many parents have found using rewards like stickers, cheerios, mini-M&Ms, or even small Matchbox cars keeps their child motivated to keep using the potty.
3.) Use standard bathroom talk
Establish standard bathroom talk early, and normalize talking about the topic. You can start to use terms that your little one will hear at daycare and out in public, so they know what “going to the bathroom” means. Along those same lines, you never want to cast shame or provide negative comments on your child’s poop or pee. If you call it smelly, gross, or yucky, your child may not want to continue using the potty!
4.) Praise your child when they use the potty
With establishing a new behavior for your child, positive reinforcement and praise will go a long way! If your child successfully uses the potty, or does a good job with telling you they need to go, praise them for the behavior! A high five, a big hug, or a reward as mentioned earlier can go a long way!
5.) Teach by example
Some moms have found success with potty training when they bring their young daughters to the bathroom with them, and some fathers have found the same success with their sons. This shows your child that it’s normal to use the toilet to go to the bathroom and makes them more comfortable with this. If you prefer, you can also act out a potty scenario with your child’s toys. You can use a doll, teddy bear, or figurine to act out how those toys would go to the bathroom.
6.) Include your child in the process
Since this is a behavior that will impact your child, include your little one in the training process. Some parents have found luck in involving their little ones in choosing a potty. Some parents may bring their toddler to the store with them and let them help in choosing their new potty. Then once the potty is purchased, involve your child in choosing where the potty should go in your home. Of course, you will have ideas about where you want to put it, but if your toddler feels involved with that potty’s placement – whether that is the bathroom, bedroom, or even the playroom – the likelihood of them using it will be higher.
7.) Never punish your child
It’s normal for your child to have an accident – they’ve been using a diaper for so long and this is an entirely new process for them! If and when your child struggles to go to the bathroom on the potty, or if they have an accident, never default to punishment. Instead, let them know it is okay and that you’ll try again later.
At the end of the day, potty training may be intimidating to your child and the whole process can be frustrating. Think about the last time you tried to do something new! The most important thing you can do is remain patient and make this task as fun and stress-free as possible for your little one! Potty training won’t happen overnight, but you will get there once your child is ready to ditch the diapers!
Our own experiences!