I had been dreading potty training for months and just a few weeks ago decided to go for it! I read online that most people recommend waiting until your little one is “ready” and “interested”. We are on a bit of a time frame with Riley starting preschool at the beginning of August so I figured I had to bite the bullet and just do it! Riley had been showing signs of interest but he just still seems so little to be going potty on the “Big boy toilet”…Maybe that’s my Mama heart holding on to time and wishing it would slow down.
I began to prep him about a month in advance because I knew we were going to be doing it soon. I would say comments like; “Soon you won’t be wearing diapers anymore”, “You’ll be going potty on the toilet like Mommy and Daddy” and “Aren’t you excited to wear big boy underwear?”
It was funny because the day before we started he told me he didn’t want to wear underwear and preferred to continue wearing a diaper…That’s when I knew I was making the right decision to train him – He’s beginning to get smart enough to protest!
I felt a little underprepared… so I was a bit nervous to see how it was going to go down. I’ve come to a point that I feel like too much research can be harmful so I posted on Instagram for advice from my fellow Mamas to see if they had tips to offer. I was so surprised with all of the amazing feedback I got and that was enough for me. I wanted to keep it simple but be sure we were done with the hard part in three days. Let me preface from the beginning that I am not an expert by any means with potty training. I’m just sharing what worked for us and hope that some of my tips will help you along the way.
We decided to do our version of the three-day method with a few different incentives to make it fun and also reward him for doing a good job. We chose to start on a Saturday so my hubby could be home to help. These incentives were such a hit so I thought I’d share them with you.
Big Boy Toilet
First things first…choosing the right toilet. I took Riley to Target and let him choose a toilet topper he liked which made it more exciting for him. It was a great toilet topper for the first few days mainly because it had pad and he was sitting on the toilet a lot. I then decided to see if I could find something that would be easier so he could go without needing my assistance to lift him every time. Below is what I found, it is a lifesaver! I have also included a link at the end of this post. Since I have an 11-month old I wanted him to be able to go by himself which he now can do although he still needs help with putting his pants on…that will come, right?!?
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Every time Riley went pee he put one of the toilet cards on his chart and got a chocolate covered almond. My husband and I eat them so he sees it as a special treat. I’ve also heard others using chocolate chips, jelly beans, M&Ms or you can just use the toilet cards if you prefer to not do a treat.
I printed the toilet squares and cut them individually. My vision was going pee on the toilet four times a day would be a win but to my surprise, he went several more times.
The big “P” word – I heard this was the hardest part of potty training from so many moms! Well, I’m here to tell you it was for us too! I can understand how it’s scary for little ones. With this in mind, I created a “Poop Prize” box as an incentive for him to poop. I am always collecting fun items from the Dollar Store and the Target Dollar Spot so I loaded up the box with all sorts of goodies. Every time he pooped he chose a prize.
I knew the first few days we were going to spend time in the bathroom but I didn’t realize just how much…to say the least we were well acquainted 😉 I put together this busy basket with some of Riley’s favorite books and flashcards. I chose a few books I know he loves and then I also included some ISpy/Search books…I have included a link to the Little People books that were a life saver!!!
- Riley wore a t-shirt and underwear
- We loaded him up with fluids first thing and set the timer to take him to the bathroom every 15 minutes. I know this sounds tedious and it is but he went almost every time
- He wore a pull-up at nap time and bedtime. Some are against this but I wasn’t up for it…We can only handle so much!
- He pooped in his underwear and had two pee accidents
- Wet his pull-up at nap and overnight
- We continued to have him drink lots of fluid and set the timer for every 20-25 minutes.
- He pooped on the toilet once
- He had two pee accidents and pooped in his pull-up at nap
- I didn’t give him as many liquids and would allow 30-45 minutes pass by before asking him if he needed to go to the bathroom unless he was doing the peepee dance
- No accidents
- He pooped on the toilet
- Kept his pull-up dry at nap and overnight. He has had no accidents since day three…Yahoo!
We were sure to make it a big deal and celebrate every time he went to the bathroom on the toilet. Since the first few days he did not poop on the toilet we would let him choose a prize every fourth time he peed…Gotta keep them motivated!
The second day I started to wonder when/if it was going to click for him to tell me he needed to go to the bathroom. On the third day, it CLICKED! It was amazing. I still ask him if he needs to go to the bathroom but it’s so exciting when he tells me. We are now three weeks in and he has not wet or pooped his pull-up at nap or overnight and no accidents during the day… Mom win!!!
The next step was going out in public…eek! I was so nervous but he did awesome! Our first outing I was sure that he went to the bathroom right before we left the house, while we were out he tried but the big toilet was scary. The second outing he went on the big toilet. I decided to buy a folding toilet cover and bring it along with us to use in public bathrooms. It folds up to be super compact and sets my mind at ease that he doesn’t touch the toilet.
Please feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions.
Here’s to a potty trained toddler!
Pin this for when you’re ready to potty train!