Friday, April 27, 2018

4 Ways to Make Potty Training A Success

How would you describe potty training to a new parent? 

Was it the most exhausting experience you've ever had? Was a great time to connect with your child? Did you love seeing your kids become more independent or was it a frustrating and negative time?

When I describe potty training, it has been all of the above depending on the kid!

Kids only have a few things that they can control- what they eat, when they go to the bathroom, and when they sleep. As adults, we can't really force them to do any of these things. These three things are the parenting challenges that parents ask me about the most!

Potty training is when a parent or caregiver helps a child learn to recognize their urges and then hold them until they are able to make it to the toilet and relieve themselves. 

It seems so simple, yet there are a lot of moving parts and for some kids it takes awhile for everything to come together... while other kids pick it up quickly!

This post is sponsored by Tot on the Pot.

What does being potty trained mean to you?

Kids that are potty trained are able to recognize that they need to go to the bathroom without any help or reminders. Many kids take time to recognize their urges depending on where they are in their development. This isn't something that needs to be rushed! There are no awards for parents who get their kids potty trained the quickest. Some kids are daytime potty trained but may not be nighttime potty trained for awhile. This really depends on the child, how deep they sleep, and their body's development.

How can I make potty training a success? 

To begin with, in order to make potty training a success you need to recognize that each kid will be different, so don't compare your son to your friend's daughter... or even your own kids to each other. There are some simple things that can help make the process go more smoothly though.

This post contains Amazon Affiliate links.

Here are 4 ways to make potty training a good experience for you and your child!

1. Make sure your child is ready for potty training!

There are a lot of potty training readiness signs. I share 10 signs your child is ready for potty training here. Just because you are ready for your child to be out of diapers, doesn't mean he is. Check out these signs, especially watching for increased dry periods and kids telling you they need to go potty (or already did!). Just because your child is ready, doesn't mean things will go seamlessly. If they do go seamlessly for you, go give yourself a pat on the back and take a nap. If things aren't easy, hang in there! Your child will get there.

2. Set realistic expectations.

Realistic expectations can make the whole potty training process easier. I had a book with my first child that made it sound like he would be done with potty training in a weekend. I was sorely disappointed when that didn't happen. What I hadn't taken into consideration were certain aspects of his personality that made potty training harder for him along with his development. It took him awhile to recognize when he needed to go. You can't speed up that process. By recognizing that it might take awhile, my subsequent two kids were much easier to train. I was less frustrated too!

3. Get yourself prepared.

There are a lot of great potty training resources out there. One of my favorites is Tot on the Pot. It's an all-in-one kit for potty training that uses the power of play to get your toddler excited about using the potty. It comes with everything you need to potty train, starting first with the Parent's Guide.

Unlike many other potty training books which can be 100+ or 200+ pages, the Parent's Guide is about 30 pages which is perfect for a busy parents like you and me. The book clearly goes through the process of potty training and then answers tons of questions and helps you troubleshoot through the some issues. I also love collecting ideas on my Potty Training Pinterest board.

Some examples of the really important topics that Tot on the Pot addresses are:

  • Understanding something about kids and how they develop. It is also helpful to understand some of the reasons that kids push back against using the potty. 

  • Having a potty seat or portable toilet is also an important part of being prepared--the Parent's Guide discusses the pros and cons of each one! 

  • I also like to load up on toilet paper and like the Tot on the Pot Parent's Guide suggested, assemble a "clean up kit" for any potty training accidents. I have mopping wipes, paper towels, extra underwear, cleaning spray, and towels. When I am prepared, I usually get way less frustrated!

--> Once you're ready to go, you get to the best part: your Tot on the Pot doll and potty! They are part of the Tot on the Pot package and are a "must" for all kids that are potty training. You also get a Tot on the Pot board book to read along with some of our other favorite potty training books that can be helpful too!

You can buy your own Tot on the Pot here ==>>

4. Keep the potty training experience positive!

This is the hardest thing for me! There are all sorts of different positive reinforcement strategies out there to keep potty training positive. When you get started, you need to do a gear shift and recognize that potty training is actually a big deal in the grand scheme of things. Not to put pressure on you at all, but kids and adults use the potty every day. It is a necessary thing and we want kids to want to go to the bathroom... not fear it or get into a big struggle when it is time to relieve themselves. Keeping it positive at this early stage can help your child have a healthy relationship with the toilet (and you) and help you avoid big problems.

I love the way that Tot on the Pot makes potty training so positive. It makes every potty visit an extension of your child's play so they don't end up feeling like going potty is a chore. It helps keep the process simple for parents and fun for kids!

Here are a few things I love about Tot on the Pot:

  • Their children's board book is funny and gives kids some good strategies to use while kids are going to the potty. My older kids love reading this book with my toddler to help her get excited about potty training.

  • The Tot on the Pot doll can be a great reminder for kids to go use the potty, and a great partner to keep them company while they go. It can also be a fun teaching tool to use as they role play using the potty.

  • The Tot on the Pot pot comes with simple Activity Reward cards to let your child celebrate their progress as they begin to get the hang of it. Instead of rewarding your kids with M&Ms, if they use the potty, they get a reward card. These reward cards have simple activities you can do outside with the kids. My kids especially loved the one where they got to balance a toilet roll on their heads! I love that they are activity based rewards versus food based rewards.

  • The Parent's Guide shares examples and suggestions for how to keep kids excited about potty training and also how to deal with some problems- like constipation and fears. It also has an easy instruction sheet to help you remember how to get started. By understanding some of the potty training issues ahead of time, and recognizing what is developmentally appropriate (and not), it makes it much easier to stay positive. It is also much easier to be patient with kids when you understand how they are developing and why they move quicker/slower through this process.  

What are some of your favorite potty training resources?

You can find 9 of our favorite potty training resources here. The Tot on the Pot website is also a great resource for parents as is the Tot on the Pot Instagram account.

Special Offer for Toddler Approved Community Members

Because I love Tot on the Pot so much, I've partnered with them to offer all of our Toddler Approved community members a 12% off discount code! Hopefully you can use these tools to help make your potty training experience a success!

Please use this code: Pooped12

Buy your Tot on the Pot here ==>>

Do you have any additional ways that you make potty training a success at your house? Please share! 

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Tot on the Pot. All opinions are mine.
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