It’s quite difficult to tell when your child is truly ready to be potty trained. Everyone on the internet and almost everyone that you meet is going to have an opinion on how to do it. You’ll hear stories on children being potty trained at a very “early” age and you’ll hear equal amounts of the counterpart of parents struggling after the kids are well passed their third birthday. In my opinion, both are completely acceptable. Every kid is different which means each of their potty adventures will be different. This is our story on what worked or has been working for us.
Before I begin, the number one thing that I truly believe is to wait until your child is showing signs that they are ready. I don’t think it’s possible to force them into using the potty. I think that trying to start when they’re not ready will end up just delaying the entire process for you and them. So, some of the signs that my son displayed that he was ready to start this process were…
- Showing obvious signs of discomfort in a dirty diaper.
- Waking up at nap times dry.
- Playing and showing interest in his potty chair.
- Fighting diaper changes and refusing to put a new one on.
So on Sunday August 30th, he woke up and I began the usual routine of changing his diaper. He was very persistent that he didn’t want to put it on. In all honesty, I was lazy that morning and didn’t feel like fighting with him so I just didn’t. I decided to show him where his potty was and tell him that’s now where he goes poo-poo and pee-pee. Not even an hour later he ran up to me, more excited than I have ever seen him, and says, “MAMA, I poo-poo’d.” Sure enough, there was poop in his potty. We haven’t looked back since that morning.
To help him along in the process, I wanted to do some type of rewards system. He is a very food motivated child but I really didn’t want to offer candy or anything like that. So I decided to make him his very own sticker book. I had a few sheets of stickers from the dollar store and an old notebook. BAM!
You can tell that my “Type A” organizational side came out. I tracked when he was doing what just so I could understand any type of routine that he may have.
So, what worked for us:
- Starting when he was more than ready. He is almost three which is just how it worked out.
- We started him out naked. I didn’t want to fuss with underwear in the beginning and wanted him to easily make it to the potty. Three weeks later, we’re still struggling a bit with undies. He is more likely to have an accident or needs to be reminded when he has them on. It’s a work in progress.
- We kept trips out and about short at the beginning but didn’t use pull ups. When we would go to a friends house we’re bringing his potty to keep up with familiarity.
- Nighttime is going to a be a long work in progress. I’m not ready for interrupted sleep or a nighttime hallway roamer.
- I think the biggest thing is not turning back. Once you and your child have decided to potty train, just do it.