Teaching a child to use the toilet isn’t so hard once you figure out how to do it. We all go to the bathroom to do our business but how do you teach someone that the urge to go means go to the potty?
The concept of potty training baffled me when I was confronted with it at first. It isn’t like training a dog to do their business outside, you can’t rub a child’s nose in it and tell them they’re bad. Not to mention, I’m a lady and teaching a boy how to use a toilet just seemed so foreign to me. I was truly stumped, but luckily my boyfriend and I managed to work up a short list of things that worked remarkably well for us.
1. Start with getting rid of the bottles all together. We took them out of the cupboard so he couldn’t even see them if he asked. None for day time, none for naps and none for bed! Once we eliminated the (1-3) bedtime bottles, there was less night time peeing.
2. Offer a reward! What child doesn’t want a cookie or a piece of candy? We kept a jar of candy on the bathroom shelf so he could pick whatever piece he’d like after doing his business.
3. Say goodbye to diapers. Getting rid of the diapers sounds crazy and frightening but this is the most important step. Let your child pick our some underwear at the store or surprise them with it as a present. I brought home super hero underwear for my boy and he was thrilled. We sealed the underwear deal by telling him, “if you poop or pee in your underwear, it’s going in the garbage.” It sounds harsh but he loved his new underwear so much he wouldn’t want to risk losing a pair.
4. Say NO to pull-ups! Pull-ups are the biggest rip off ever. These products advertise themselves as a way to help potty train your child (by still letting them pee and poop in their pants). In reality, these are just a way for diaper companies to keep profiting off of parents once their kids get a little older. Don’t fall for these tricky little things, they will only hinder the potty training process.
Understand that this is not an all inclusive process. We began placing big man on the toilet every time he seemed like he was about to poop so he would know where the toilet was. We then spent some time trying to have him tell us when he had to pee so we could get him there on time. These are two things we did for a short while when he was still in diapers so he somewhat had an idea on where to go and what to do. Then once we completely ditched the diapers he had almost no accidents at all. This is the same system we’ll be using for our younger boy as well.
Another nice benefit of getting rid of bottles and diapers at the same time was finally getting some shut eye. No more crying in the middle of the night over an empty bottle or a soaked diaper. Instead we went to the bathroom right before bed and then maybe went once in the middle of the night. Zzzzzzzz…