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So you’ve come to the point where you think you ought to try to “potty train” your child huh? Either you are just plain sick and tired of changing diapers (and who could blame you) or someone else is telling you that it is time. While it is true that kids generally learn how to use the toilet at a certain age it just doesn’t do to stress yourself out about it too much.
I have a 4 year old and a 5 year old and they are both (pretty much) totally potty trained. They usually go by themselves with no prompting and they usually take care of clean up on their own. Because they are relatively young, however, they do occasionally need help with wiping or hand washing and they sometimes forget to flush. They’re kids, they’re not perfect. But the best part about them knowing how to use the bathroom on their own is that for the most part they taught themselves! Pretty unbelievable right? But it’s true! And I’m going to tell you how that happened and how your kids can do the same thing!
The first thing to do is to arm yourself with the tools of the potty training trade.
I’m not talking m&m’s or jelly beans or special charts either. Just the basics. A potty (or potty seat), a couple of fun potty books (to read at not potty times), pull-ups ( or a good quality cloth variant), two mattress protectors (per bed if you have more than one child) and underwear in a couple of different sizes and styles. Let your kid pick out the underwear because, as demonstrated by my kids’ refusal to wear plain underwear, characters matter.
Here are some of the supplies we used when the kids were learning.
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We made sure to have a potty seat for the toilet.
We also had a regular little potty but the kids spent more time wearing the insert as a hat than anything else 😂
I’m personally not a huge fan of wiping up pee so pull-ups were essential for us until the kids really got the hang of using the toilet every time
My son just decided one day that he was no longer going to be wearing pull-ups. good thing we had some underwear in his size ready to go.
I also kept a selection of underwear for my daughter on hand for when she decided to make the switch.
We learned the hard way to keep more than one these mattress protectors on hand. Sometimes accidents happen more than twice in a night and it’s good to have a back up that you can put on right away.
The next thing you need to do is expose your kids to using the toilet.
Let them come in with you when you go (Ha! If you get the chance to go alone at all that is). Explain what you’re doing. Ask if they want to try but don’t force them. Let them flush for you. Show them that using the toilet is a part of your daily routine. The more normal you can make it seem, the easier it will be for them to make the transition.
Set out the potty where they can see it regularly.
Let them play with it. Let them use it as a chair when they sit and watch TV. The point isn’t to make them use it, just to let them become familiar with it.