Believe me, no one knows better than I do that every kid is different when it comes to potty training. So when Pull-Ups® asked if I would do a post for potty training moms, I was happy to step up. I have three kids. One of them was asking to sit on the potty by the time she was a year old. One of them, because of some medical issues, was not potty trained until four-and-a-half. I’ve been in the trenches wiping hineys since 2008. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that- unless you want your own life to revolve around trying to psychically read other people’s bathroom signals- this is the one area of parenting where the kid is completely in charge.
I reached out to my Facebook community and asked the moms there for their best potty training advice. Here’s what they said:
- WAIT. This is what the moms said over and over again. Don’t try to rush your kid. For some reason, we all have a timeframe in our heads of when we think our children will potty train. It almost never matches reality. One of my kids was readier earlier than I thought she would be, one was ready much later, and I’m still busy working on the third one, although she has made a ton of progress!
- CONSISTENCY. Make sure that whatever reward system you decide to use is simple (and affordable) enough that you won’t mind keeping up with it. Also, make sure you are ready to commit to stopping at every public restroom known to man for the next gazillion years. 😉
- BRIBERY. I prefer to call this “positive reinforcement.” Several moms commented that they used food treats such as a small piece of chocolate or yogurt melts. One mom suggested collecting pennies in a jar. I’ve found that collecting fancy stickers in their own notebooks has been enough of a reward for both of my girls.
- ATTENTION. My son could not have possibly cared less about any sort of reward system. The one thing that eventually worked for him was an entire weekend of one-on-one time with his dad. We packed A LOT of clothes and and Nick tagged along wherever Eddie went. They went to the town dump and the hardware store and Eddie just kept patiently changing him whenever he had an accident. He had 9 the first day, just a few the second day, and then he was done. I know my girls, and that particular method never would have worked for them (Abby would have been a complete emotional wreck by the third or fourth accident in public), but Nick LOVED getting out with his dad to do “grown-up stuff” and it did work for him.
- ENGAGE. Try to involve their interests in some way. Penny loves Minnie Mouse. So we often find ourselves sorting through our Pull-Ups®looking for Minnie and telling her to try to keep Minnie dry. When Nicholas was little he was obsessed with the movie Cars, so he was thrilled that his Pull-Ups® featured Lightning McQueen.
- BE OPEN. You probably have an idea of how you want to potty train, and it might not necessarily match the method that works best for your child. Be open to what you find is working and willing to adapt. Use the resources you have available to you, like the Pull-Ups® Big Kid Academy. Most importantly, try not to be judgmental. Give yourself, your child, and the other moms and kids around you a little bit of grace and the whole process will feel a whole lot easier.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Pull-Ups®.
You might also like: How to Create a Simple Potty Training Chart