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My Super Secret, No Fuss, No Muss, Easy Peasy, Potty Training Method
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.
(As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases) 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.
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.
Get everything ready for the when the time is right.
If you don’t have mattress protectors on already now is the time to put one on. edit-we’ve actually started using these instead of traditional mattress protectors now that our youngest is down to the very occasional accident. Put the pull-ups near where you change your kiddo’s diaper. Wash and put away all the underwear you bought.
And now we wait
Seriously. That’s it. Just continue to let kiddo into the bathroom with you, to casually ask if they’re ready, and to let them be exposed to all the tools of learning to use the potty, and one day they will surprise with you when they use the toilet on their own. My daughter’s first attempt at using the little potty on her own resulted in her accidentally dumping pee all over her head, buuuut we never looked back. My son’s first foray into a diaper-less existence occurred when he insisted he wear regular underwear for the first time ever, to a doctor’s appointment. Out of the house, when he’d never used a toilet at all! I decided to trust him and that was that.
Save Night Learning for Later
Kids’ bodies aren’t always ready to recognize the need to go to the bathroom while they are sleeping at the same time as they learn to use the toilet during the day. My advice for night time training is the same as for day time. Just wait. Your kid will let you know when he is ready. Both kids just told me one night that they would not put on a pull-up before bed. Sure they’ve had the odd accident here and there but since that first night they never wore a pull-up again.
And that’s it. My big, super secret, super easy, potty training method all boils down to a couple of things: Be ready, and follow your kids lead. Barring any special health circumstances all kids will know how to use the toilet mostly on their own before they head to kindergarten. So don’t stress about it. You’ll get there, and so will they.
Until next time,
Chantal, the Secular Homemaker