Ahhhh, I could scream right now! Actually, I have been screaming with joy every 10 minutes because my little guy has been going on the potty successfully for days now. I’m so happy to say that Jax is potty trained. Not to brag, but we have him fully potty trained in a matter of 72 hours. With some wonderful help from my husband, and some innovative thinking on my end – we got ‘er done.
I wanted to share what worked for us with my readers because I know so many of you have toddlers at home just like I do.
Here’s what you need, how to succeed, and what worked for us…
A Quick Note…
I’m not here to tell you that I know everything.
This is my second round of potty training efforts for Jax. We tried potty training after he turned two, and it was a total failure. While my other friends with babies around the same age were successfully potty training, Jax wasn’t there yet.
He is 2 1/2 now, and I guess that was just the magic timing we needed to give this a real go. No pun intended.
Bottom line, if your child isn’t ready, they aren’t going to do it. They’re only human, and this whole potty business is pretty vulnerable and scary territory for them. Remember to stay positive, be encouraging, and be consistent.
This post contains some affiliate links to relevant potty training items, however all opinions are my own.
Pre-Potty Training Tips
- Make sure they’re ready!
This can be tricky to determine (especially if your child isn’t really talking yet), but follow your instincts and your child’s interests. Are they interested in your potty habits, or the potty habits of their older siblings? Are they waking up from naps with a dry diaper?
Those are the first signs you should be looking for, and encouraging that curiosity is something that will prompt them to want to try going on the potty like mommy/daddy/brother/sister/etc.
- Every child is different, especially when it comes to potty training.
My oldest son needed to pee standing up, refused the potty chair, and would only go if my husband was in there with him (so they could pee together). He was 3 1/2 before he was fully potty trained.
My nephew was also almost 3 1/2, and needed constant reassuring and a potty seat on the toilet.
Jax needed something entirely different (see below…). They all learn a different way, in a way that is unique to them and their needs.
My point is, even if you’ve potty trained before, read up on all the books you can, and listened to your BFF’s tips on how she potty trained her son at 18 months – it might not be your child’s cup of tea.
Finding what works for them is the key to success.
- Let them pick out underwear with their favorite characters.
For Jax, this meant we picked out some Paw Patrol, Batman, and Mickey Mouse undies. It may seem excessive, but I picked up 5 packs of underwear for training.
Because when you’re potty training, you need to worry about going, not doing laundry to keep up with all the little accidents they will have. Plus, you need some extras for your diaper bag ;).
Also, they are less likely to want to pee on their favorite TV characters.
- Poop Happens Later
Children’s bowels become very skiddish when it comes to potty training, so the main focus should be on getting them comfortable peeing on the potty/toilet first.
You may even find that your child wakes up with a messy diaper the next day following potty training because their bowels have relaxed overnight after being so tense all day.
Get the essentials
Day 1: Potty Chair
For the first day of potty training, I sat Jax down on his potty chair first thing in the morning. I placed a towel under the chair, with most of the towel covering the carpet in front of the chair (to avoid any ‘accidental spraying’). Jax’s favorite movie right now is Despicable Me 3, so I put that on the TV so he would sit down long enough on the potty chair to pee. I sat with him the entire day and waited for the magic to happen.
I pumped him full of milk, water, and watered down apple juice.
It worked – he sat on his chair and watched his favorite movie until he suddenly looked down at his penis and watched himself pee into the potty with utter fascination. It’s usually wrapped up in a diaper, so I guess seeing it do something cool like peeing must have been a sight to see, haha!
Once he peed, I immediately cheered “YAAAAAAY!”, clapped my hands, and got up and danced. The more enthusiastic I was, the happier he felt about doing it.
I gave Jax a piece of his favorite snack, which right now happens to be dried papaya chunks (with sugar added), as a reward.
We did this for the rest of the day, although he did not poop. Pooping in the potty takes longer, so don’t feel discouraged if it doesn’t happen right away, or if it seems to take a longer time.
Day 2: Introducing Underwear And Moving The Potty Chair
The next day, I started the potty training once he woke up, only this time I placed the potty chair in the next room. I adapted it from the Fading Method (used in sleep training). With this method, the parent would start by sitting in a chair next to the crib, and then each night move their chair a little bit closer to the door until they reached the day where the chair was outside the room. With this Fading Method in mind, I planned to take the potty and move it room to room each day until it reached the bathroom, and the transition him to the BIG BOY potty.
The second day of potty training, I put a movie on, and every 10 minutes I would pause his movie and ask him to sit on the chair. I didn’t require him to sit on the potty chair all day. From the previous day’s routine, he knew exactly where to sit his cute little tush down, and peed!
When he was done peeing, I jumped up and down for joy with him, and he began to shout “YAY!”
We took the little catch cup to the toilet, dumped it, and rinsed it in the sink together. Jax loves routine, so he enjoyed dumping, flushing, rinsing, and putting the cup back into his potty!
I offered him his ‘reward’ of dried papaya chunks, but he refused them. He was just…happy to go on the potty….like a BIG KID, or something!
I placed underwear on him with his favorite characters, and started the movie again.
We repeated the process for the entire day with success, still keeping up with 10 minute intervals. Even if he didn’t have to go, we still tried. No poop action the second day (or night).
I think the process of pausing the movie and asking him to sit on the potty encouraged him to do his business faster so he could get back to doing what he wanted to do, and that was reward enough for him.
Day 3: Successfully Potty Trained
Originally, my plan was to move the potty chair through the house each day, closer and closer to the bathroom so he would make the connection that we would be moving to the bathroom toilet soon. I thought the process would take me at least a week – but I was wrong!
Because Jax did so well on day 2, I decided to try and see if he was ready to jump straight to the toilet. It was risky, and I have a very strong-willed little human that loves the word “NO”, but I had a feeling he was ready.
We placed his potty seat on the big boy toilet, sat him down first thing in the morning, and he peed! We kept cheering him on, praising him for peeing, and placing underwear on him.
And then the poop came – he bent over and pushed, and then cried. A little bitty bowel movement was happening, and he was so upset because he didn’t want to go in his new underwear. “Poop! Poop!” he cried, and we rushed his little tush over to the toilet. He pushed, and pooped in the potty!
Suddenly, we were potty trained.
Two hours later, he grabbed my hand as I googled fall sweaters, and declared he had to poop. We rushed to the toilet, and he pooped again! I made sure he looked into the toilet before we flushed it together, and said, “Bye Bye Poop!”
What potty training tips worked for you when you were potty training? Are you potty training yet? Share with me in the comments below!