simple potty training

The one thing I was most terrified of when having children was "how can I teach potty training?". I was nervous because I have never done it before, I had no idea where to begin and let's face it, it could be traumatizing for both of us.

Ben was adamantly against potty training until he was 3 years old. He was potty trained in 3 days and a few months later was potty trained for the night time with an accident occasionally. It wasn't as traumatizing as I made it in my head and we both came out with smiles and relief.

Ian will be 3 in December and we had decided to wait till his birthday to potty train. Sometimes we would ask him "do you want to be a big boy like Ben and wear underwear?" and he would firmly answer "NO, I don't want to be a big boy!". We would quickly drop the topic and wouldn't push him.

Last Tuesday, while we had been out on a family walk, Ian suddenly said, "I want underwear, no more diapers." We were definitely surprised but excited to finally move forward into the zone of no more diapers in our home! 2 days later and he was fully potty trained, some accidents occasionally but that is because I forgot to ask him, oops!

The plan we use isn't complicated, stressful or tiring. It is simple, effective and I promise you will enjoy it along with your little one!

You will need M&M's, carpet cleaner (if you have carpets), two packages of underwear (need about 14 pairs), water or juice, salty snacks, a towel or two, DVD about potty training and books. 

To begin take them to the store to pick out their underwear (and a little potty if you are going to have one, we did without one the 2nd time around). At home set up an underwear station so he/she can know where to find the underwear. Fill up water bottle or cup with water and keep close by with snacks on the table. Begin the day telling him/her it's time to no longer wear diapers and be excited while talking to them about it.

Set them up on the couch with a towel under them or on the floor and play DVD about potty training. Our favorite is the Elmo Potty Time. While they watch have them sip on water and eat a salty snack. Once the movie is done, ask if they have to go potty and take them anyways to sit. Afterwards go and read a few books about no more diapers and going on the potty.

At first they will probably have 1-3 accidents because they have never done this before but just rush them to the bathroom anyway and say kindly, "uh-oh! We need to remember to go on the potty, let Mommy know next time, ok?". Once they begin to know what it feels like they will begin to get it and probably gasp and say "I got to go potty!".

It's always good to rush them to the bathroom and teach them all the bathroom essentials, sitting down, wiping, washing, etc.  Every time they do go successfully make a big deal and even invite your whole family in to praise them, give them a couple M&M's each time too.

For nap time place a towel or two under them and keep them in their underwear. As soon as they wake up tell them, "Ok, let's go potty!".

For night time I place them in a diaper and tell them as soon as they wake up we will wear underwear and go on the potty.

By day 2-4 and they have gone the whole day with no accidents and have told you each time they need to go, make a big deal and have a little party! Order pizza, go to Chick-fil-a and even invite some family. It is important to praise them for this accomplishment and encourage them to continue.

Viola! You are the proud parent of a potty trained toddler!