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Potty Training Survival Guide

Alexa, can you potty train my toddler? Ha! If only it was that easy.

Where do I even begin? First off, I will fess up and say that I was completely terrified of potty training my toddler. I procrastinated for months, but finally ran out of reasons not to start {thanks a lot, pandemic}. Spoiler alert: our sweet Henri is now fully potty trained so there is a happy ending to all of this. However, it was a tough one for us. Let's just say we had to try at two separate occasions.

On our first try, Henri decided it would be a good idea to hold his pee until nap time where he knew we would use a pull-up. FAIL. He also was terrified of peeing and pooping in his potty in general. No amount of stickers or candy could convince him. He would sit on the potty, but that was about it. We tried for over a week, but nothing was really working. We let him run around without underwear on as well as with, but he was a master holder. I let our pediatrician know and she told us that it might be a good idea to put a hold on it for a month or two, because he just might not be ready {internally I was doing a happy dance, because my patience had ran its course}.

So we waited one whole month and decided to try again, with a fresh perspective. There are a few key points I'd like to emphasize when potty training:

  • Make the process FUN

  • Eliminate fear for toddler

  • Be patient {it's hard, I know}

  • Let accidents happen for toddler to understand consequences

On our second try, we ended up buying a very simple Baby Bjorn potty, because I wanted to create a new and different experience from our initial try. And guys, he used this one with a lot more ease. Because it's such a simple potty, it's also more welcoming and less intimidating for toddlers. Also, because of its small size, it can travel around very easily.

We also got a potty watch, which we could program every 30, 60 or 90 minutes to go off. We put it to 30 minutes and it would light up and play a song, which triggered a sense of excitement. Henri had a huge smile every time it would go off, creating a positive attitude, which is crucial in all this.

Instead of the naked method, we put on underwear from the start. Henri ended up having less than a handful of accidents in the first two days. He strongly disliked the feeling of wetness in his undies so that was a huge win for us.

After each successful round on the potty, we praised him like he had won an Academy Award. The exaggeration was real, but necessary. They need to feel the excitement!

Once he got the smaller potty down, we moved him to a regular toilet with a toddler seat. To get him to cooperate, we got him a fun, soft seat. I also redid our guest bathroom to make it more kid-friendly. Simple things, like getting him his own soap dispenser. And if you have to keep some potty books in there in the beginning, so be it. The smallest details can often have the largest impact on them.

So that's that. If you're about to begin the process, you got this! I hope this post will provide some useful info for you. Feel free to leave any questions or comments down below.

By: Tina of Stripes & Strollers