Now that my little ones are potty training graduates I feel like I kinda sorta know a thing or two about getting started. But do you know who knows even more? You! Well, all of you, us, collectively, parents who have been there and gotten advice from one another. Because every child is different, but in a pool of hundreds of children, a few are bound to respond similarly to potty training, right? Well that’s my theory anyway.
I’ve partnered with Pull-Ups to compile your stories. Last month I asked for your best potty training advice. I thought maybe I’d get a handful of answers but you guys gave a plethora of replies. We hit the jackpot, and surely there’s something in here to help even the toughest trainers through your potty training woes.
Reading through them all I saw many reoccurring themes. Here are the top suggestions to get you started on a successful potty training journey:
Take cues from one another
It’s not about waking up one day and deciding today is the day your child will be magically potty trained. There is no set time to start potty training your son or daughter, but you can prepare yourself for the journey by identifying some potty training readiness behaviors.
“Let your child watch you go to the bathroom, keep a potty in the bathroom even when your child is a baby, when you notice that your child is going in her diaper, acknowledge it in a positive way, never act disgusted. I could go on and on!” – Brenda Kosciuk
Make it a game
Sometimes making going potty fun is just the trick to getting them to go for it. Potty training can sound daunting, but why not make it fun? There are a variety of ways to do this – games, incentives and stickers – whatever works for you and your child. Visiting Pull-Ups.com is a great place to start looking for fun activities to do with your child when potty training.
“I nannied for almost 3 years for a family of 4. For the boys if they are being taught to pee standing up you can put things like Cheerios or fruit loops in the toilet. It’s like a ‘ready aim fire!!’ Some kids love it others don’t. Also each kid develops at their own time. For some kids its several days and done, others it’s months and then setbacks. They are small, still learning, and their bladder is still developing. Getting mad can just scare them and make things worse. When all else fails we always have good old Daniel Tiger ‘stop and go right away’ and ‘flush and wash’ and be on your way.” -Rachel Marie
“If you have a boy, throw some Cheerios in the toilet and let him shoot them.” –Tara Miller Nesbit
Find Their Motivation
Every kid is motivated differently. What gets your child excited? A sweet snack? A new toy? Stickers for their sticker chart?
“Find out what motivates your child. We tried and tried to potty train Xander. We tried stickers, candy, big prizes. Nothing worked. It wasn’t until we clapped for him that he actually did it!! Who knew! He just wanted positive verbal reinforcement. He did this sweeping bow as if he finished an aria!” – Amey Zeigler
“I learned that you need to find that thing that motivates your kid. For my son it was quarters. Backstory: back when he loooved opening and closing doors, a friend of my brother in law handed my son a quarter and made a big deal of thanking him for opening and holding the door. My son looked at that quarter the way Gollum looked at the ring. So when we got home, I bought him a clear piggy bank and we gave him one coin for #1 and two for #2. He loved asking for his money and watching his loot grow.” –Allison Cassidy
“A sticker chart worked wonders for my son. And keeping the characters on panties dry worked for my daughter. As well as a potty seat in front of the tv. I’ve also heard of ‘feeding the fishes’ and peeing into an old water bottle for boys. And we tried using small bags of M&Ms and reading a book while just sitting and waiting for it to happen.” – Heather Jones
And the most common piece of advice is to not lose your cool, be patient, they’ll get it.
“Wait until the child is ready. Don’t force it.” – Bethany Combs Alexander
“My first and second were so awful to potty train because I forced it. With #3 I said ‘screw it, I’m not potty training him until he comes to me and tells me he wants to pee in the potty.’ He did and he was trained in a couple of days with very few accidents. I’m doing the same thing with #4.” -Brooke Fresh
“’Big picture here- they won’t be wearing Pull-Ups when they go to college, so relax, ’don’t borrow worry’ I’ve applied this advice in many other aspects of parenthood.” –Amanda Winter
Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom! I hope it serves as a great reminder to others that there are so many different ways to get going with potty training. For the full list of tips check out our Facebook thread.
You can also share your Big Kid’s moments on Instagram or Twitter using #DisneyAndPullUpsSweepstakes for a chance to win a vacation to Walt Disney world with your family. Cause I mean, come on – who doesn’t love Disney?
What worked for you? Tell us how you got your kids (and yourself!) excited to start potty training and made the journey fun.
This post is sponsored by Pull-Ups Training Pants.