I’m not gonna lie… potty training was one of my least favorite parts of parenting a toddler. There were a few little tricks that helped me along the way, though! What is your biggest potty training tip?
What Is Your Biggest Potty Training Tip?
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The interesting thing about potty training children is that what works for one child might not work for another, even if they are siblings.
One of my top tips is to tailor your potty training plan to your child. Potty training tips that might have been successful for other parents you know might not work for you and your little one, and that is okay!
Make Potty Time Special!
Before I started potty training my daughter, I tried to plan ways to make potty training special for her. I went to the mall and bought a sparkly tiara from the prom/ bridesmaid section of a store. At that age she was obsessed with princesses, so I figured I would milk it for all it was worth, and dubbed her “Princess Potty”, from one of her favorite books.
At first, she could only wear the tiara when she was on the potty (as incentive to get her to try). As she became accustomed to trying to go, and then finally using the potty regularly, I would allow her to wear the tiara long and longer. I’ll never forget how excited she was the first day that she was finally able to wear her tiara and big girl underwear to the store (instead of Pull-Ups). She donned that tiara so well it would’ve put Cinderella to shame!
You can also turn this into a fun DIY project and make a tiara together.
Talk About Using the Potty and Teach About It
I stocked up on used DVDs about potty training that featured my daughter’s favorite characters, like Caillou, and Elmo for us to watch together. I also bought a few potty training books that we read together and we talked about it as much as she wanted to, in order to prepare and educate her.
Lots of Positive Reinforcement
I bought a bag of M&M’s (or “Nem-Nems” as my daughter called them), and doled them out to her one or two at a time (along with lots of hugs and kisses), whenever she successfully used her potty.
Then, I borrowed an idea that my parents used on me when I was potty trained, that I remember to this day! I made a chart each month, out of construction paper, markers, and glitter, with foil star stickers. Whenever my daughter used the potty, she got a red star sticker on that day on her chart. When she made it through the night dry, she got a yellow star.
As an incentive, my parents let me choose two toys from the Brand Names catalog to collect stars toward (wow, that dates me, huh?!). I loved that little bubble lawn mower and my Fisher-Price skates so much, and I was super proud of them.
My daughter chose some Disney princess dolls, so I added a picture of her “prize” at the bottom of her potty chart, to cheer her on! She picked out Disney Princess “big girl underwear” and was so excited to show them to her sister!
Keep It Positive If They Have An Accident
Accidents can be really frustrating (no parent likes having to change pee-drenched sheets–or worse–at 2AM!). Just try to remember that your kiddo is still a teeny, tiny new soul in this world. Potty training is just as hard (if not harder) on them than it is on us.
All kids want to do at that age is please Mommy and Daddy. So, imagine how terrifying it is when the two people they love most in the world snap over an accident. We are all human, so if it does happen, make sure to apologize and give extra cuddles.
When they have an accident, stay patient. Tell them it’s okay, and that they can always try again.
It may feel like it takes forever, but you and your kiddo will make it through potty training!
Playing Motherhood Free Online Summit for Moms: Speaker Becky Mansfield
Are you potty training one of your kids right now (or will be soon)? Register now for the free Playing Motherhood Online Summit for Moms so that you can check out Becky Mansfield’s awesome potty training advice!
More Potty Training Tips
- Potty Training the Strong Willed Child
- 8 Potty Training Tips From a Current Potty Training Mom
- 15 Overnight Potty Training Tips
- Potty Training a Child with Physical Disabilities
What worked best for your kids when you potty trained them? Comment below!