So about 2 weeks ago I completely lost my mind and decided to potty train my two year old. Actually its going really well now! After nearly a week of no accidents I’m starting to feel fairly confident that it actually worked, by jingo! I decided to start after talking with a friend who was thinking of starting with her son who is a few weeks older than Judah. I had some good friends who had told me to not even attempt to potty train a boy until he was closer to 3, but this conversation got me curious. I came home and read several blogs as well as googled lots of “how do I know when my kid is ready…” articles. I felt like this article provided a pretty good checklist. Judah seemed to fulfil pretty much all the suggested guidelines, so I figured, eh, why not give it a shot?
I’m not about to write a book any time soon on my 10 sure fire methods or anything, but here is what has seemed to work for us:
Be consistent! I honestly did not realize how hard this process was going to be on me until we had already started. If I had had the opportunity, I would have probably tried to have Eleanor watched by someone else for a day or two because I needed to be SO aware of Judah. Especially the first 3 days. Day 3 was by far our hardest day. The excitement and novelty of the potty chair had worn off, and both Judah and I were pretty tired of the constant trips to sit on his potty chair. He had 2 accidents on day 3 and both were because I got distracted for a couple minutes. I also ended up staying home from a night out that we had planned because I felt like he needed me there to stay consistent with the training. I’m really glad I did, because once we got over that day, it became much, much easier.
Treats! We cycled through various treat options before landing on the winner: fruit snacks. For a while we were giving him one every time he “tried” to go to the potty. Poor kid was being shuffled back to his little seat every 15-20 minutes that first day or two. But then he caught the jist of it, and we were off. Also, the first couple days, I bought a ton of salty snacks that I knew he would like (goldfish, pretzels, crackers etc) and then loaded up on the fruit juice. Normally if he has juice I water it down… not for this week. I wanted him to be thirsty and enjoy what he was drinking because I wanted that little bladder to fill up a LOT. Plus, these first couple days were kind of hard for him, so I wanted the rest of the day to be filled with fun treats. He got one fruit snack if he tried to go; two if he pees; three if he poops. It was raining sugar in our house… and I think it was totally worth it. I didn’t feel like this was the time for me to stay super principled about the amount of sugar my kid is allowed daily. For the record, most of the time we eat healthy, but c’mon… pick your battles, right? I have a friend who’s daughter loves stickers, so they drew a picture of underwear and everytime she used her potty, she got to decorate the knickers. Within reason, if it works for your kid, then I would do it! I also let him watch a ton of cartoons on my laptop as long as he was sitting on the potty those first couple days. Again, I just felt like a lot of the normal treats that we limit in our household were worth splurging on during that first week.
Like I said though, the first few days we were on the seat all. the. time. So, mostly he spent the day naked. This was also a new wondrous experience. He spent a while strutting around the living room and admiring his willy from all reflective surfaces our house offers. I also didn’t put a diaper on him when we went places. I never chastised him if he did have an accident, but I wanted him to know the feeling that he had wet himself and even the hassle of having to change his clothes when he might be in the middle of a game that he was playing. I would just say, “uh oh, we wet ourselves, we have to change our clothes now. Next time you have to go potty, let mommy know, ok?” Mostly we just highly praised him whenever he went to the bathroom. We told him we were so proud of him, we would call nana and tell her the news… we made a big deal of his achievement!
Also, Judah really likes the PBS show, Daniel Tiger, which is super cute and based one the world of Mr. Rogers. They are always singing little catchy jingles that go along with whatever lesson they are learning in the episode. And they have a potty training episode! We have sang, “if you have to go potty, stop and go right away! Then flush and wash and be on your way!” so much that Judah sings along with us. We stream it off of netflix.
We made a special Target run where we picked up his little (frog??) toilet and he got to pick out what kind of “big boy” underwear he wanted to wear.
He is perfectly capable of saying, “train”, but he has decided that these are only to be referred to as his, “choo choo” underwear. I think having a potty seat for him was really beneficial for the training aspect of that first week. He isn’t really scared of going on a larger toilet now, but I think in the beginning, it was really great to have a potty seat that could be in whatever location we were currently playing in, and also, I think when he pooped it really helped for him to feel like he could brace his feet on the floor.
Seriously, I cannot get over how cute his little butt looks in his “choo choo” underwear.
We have slowly fazed out snacks until he really isn’t getting them anymore. We didn’t really take them away, we just stopped offering them unless he remembered. He doesn’t ask for them anymore, so that’s just fine with me.
After a few days I asked him less and less. And I believed him when he said he didn’t have to go. We were nearly a week into it before he actually came up to me to tell me he had to go potty. He was pinching the front of his pants and said, “mommy, snack! mommy, snack!” haha. I still ask him when I think about it and remind him before we go out anywhere, but he’s doing awesome, and generally will tell me when he needs to go now! I’m really proud of our little boy and super excited for the money we will be saving on diapers!!
This is Judah getting annoyed with me for taking too many pictures and saying, “cheese”.
What worked/didn’t work for you in potty training?