After the first month of potty training we have learned at lot! If you have gone through my other posts (which I suggest you do) then you know that it took 2 days to potty train our 22 month old daughter.
Our daughter was ready and eager to go on the potty. At the time of writing this post our daughter has been using the toilet for 3 weeks now and she is doing amazing! We no longer use a timer on our phone since she is telling us when she needs to go potty.
She is in her big girl underwear for nap times and bedtime. Taking her to the potty has now become a normal part of our routine.
I am so excited to be writing this post because we have learned a lot about potty training in the last three weeks. And I am excited to share them with you!
Keep on reading to see the do’s and don’ts we learned and how you can make sure that potty training your toddler is as successful as ours was!
Make sure to check out my other potty training posts:
Tips For Successful Potty Training
When we first started potty training the hardest part was making going to the potty apart of our daily routine. When you leave the house for the first time it is super overwhelming! I kept praying that our daughter wasn’t going to have an accident in public.
But after her 3rd accident in public. It wasn’t that big of a deal any more. We just dealt with it can continued on with our day.
I promise you will be able to get out of the house. Don’t feel like potty training is going to keep you home forever. It is actually good for you and your toddler to go on errands and go potty somewhere other then at home.
That way you and your toddler get more confident in leaving the house.
My first tip I am going to give you is…BE PATIENT! Think about it, your toddler has gone in their diaper for 2 to 3 years of their life! Breaking that habit takes time.
Potty Training Tips
1. Don’t give candy to your toddler for at least a week or more before you start potty training
Our daughter hardly gets treats or candy. So when she knew she was going to get 1 skittle for pee and 2 skittles for poo she was highly motivated to go in her potty.
If you don’t give your toddler any treats or candy a week or two before you start potty training. They will quickly learn that the only way they will get candy is when they go pee or poo on the potty.
You will be surprised at how motivated your toddler will be to go in their potty! I promise your child will start to forget about getting candy as a reward after a few weeks or so. Don’t feel like you’ll be giving candy as a reward forever.
After a solid week of our daughter going to her potty she had totally forgotten about getting candy afterwards. I will randomly give her some but it is not every time she goes potty.
2. Don’t make your child feel bad or embarrassed when they have an accident
This is a big one! If you are scolding your toddler for having an accident they may start to hide their accidents. And when you are in public don’t make it a big deal that they had an accident.
Toddlers get embarrassed just like adults do!
When our daughter would have an accident this is what we would do.
“uh oh Bobbie did you have an accident?”
She would show us or say “yes”
Then we would get down to her level and calmly say “Bobbie we do not go potty in our big girl underwear. You have to tell mommy or daddy when you need to go potty okay?”
Then we would take her to the potty and have her sit there for a few minutes. After wards she would help us clean up her accident.
After a few accidents. Our daughter actually started saying “uh ho” when she had an accident.
3. Don’t give your toddler any water or food 1 hour before nap time or bedtime
Most toddlers are great at going potty during the day but run into problems for nap time and bedtime. For night time or nap time potty training follow this tip. It works like a charm! We still don’t let our daughter have any snacks, food or water 1 hour before bedtime or nap time.
This is a lot easier said than done. So don’t get discouraged if you forget. Before bedtime I would do no water or snacks a half hour before bed. And our daughter always woke up dry and when we heard her in the mornings we would take her to go potty.
It was very rare if our daughter had an accident during her nap time or bedtime. Once your toddler gets older and can hold their pee and poo longer than you could let them have some water or snacks before bed.
But, start doing no water or food an hour or even an hour and a half before bed.
4. Follow the BME method at home and in the public
The BME method stands for Beginning, Middle, End. This is what you do. When you first arrive some where you take your toddler to the potty, then take them again 30 minutes later so in the middle of what you are doing. Then again before you leave somewhere.
Your toddler is most likely to go one of those times to take them.
For example: if I am going to the grocery store. Before we leave the house we take our daughter to the potty. When we get to the store the first thing we do is go to the potty. If she went potty when we got there I won’t take her half way through my shopping trip. But before we head to the checkout line. I will take her potty again.
Once we get home we will take her to her potty again.
Following this method has limited our daughter having an accident in public! Or even at home!
5. Make sure you stay positive and excited every time your toddler uses their potty
When your toddler goes in the potty you really need to crank up your excitement! The more excited you are the most your toddler will be too. Be excited about going to the potty after your timer goes off and when they go potty.
One way I got our daughter excited is I let her push the stop button for the timer on my phone. When she did that she would run to her potty. I never had her try to hide or throw a fit when her timer went off because we made it such a fun experience!
6. Use positive reinforcements
When your toddler goes pee or poo in the potty let them know how proud of them you are. Give them a “congratulations” a “woohoo” and even a high five! When our daughter goes pee or poo on her potty we did a two hand high five and knuckles!
Toddlers and kids want to please. So let them know that when they go potty in the toilet you are super pleased and proud of them.
We even ask our daughter if she is proud of herself for going potty in the toilet and she would say “yes” with such excitement. We do this so that she can build up her self esteem and be proud of herself with out needing our appraisal.
7. Make sure to pack a lot of extra pants and underwear for your toddler
Just like how you stocked up on diapers before leaving the house. You now need to bring a couple pairs of pants and underwear. I will bring 4 pairs of pants and 4 pairs of underwear. That way if your toddler does have an accident you will have a clean pair of clothes for them.
8. Pack an extra pain of clothes for you
You never know if your toddler will be sitting on your lap or you’re holding them when they may have an accident. And I promise you don’t want to spell like pee or poo! Make sure to put a change of clothes for you in the diaper bag as well!
9. Start on a small potty. Then switch them over the the toilet.
There are actually many different views on this. Some moms don’t want to mess around with a small potty and potty train on the toilet right from the start. For me I liked using the small potty for the first three days.
This laid down a good foundation and habit. It allowed our daughter to get comfortable at going potty before switching to the toilet. I did not want our daughter going on her small potty forever.
I read a lot of blog posts that said after a few months your toddler will transition. But there was no way I was going to be cleaning out her small potty and lugging it around for a few months.
On day four I put her small potty away and we started using her travel potty on the toilet. She transitioned perfectly and has not regressed once to her small potty. Starting on a small potty allows your toddler to become familiar and comfortable at going potty before moving to the toilet.
10. Have your toddler sit on a towel on the floor or couch
For the first 2 days lay a towel on the floor and whenever your toddler is watching a movie. Have them sit on a towel. That way if they have an accident it will be easier to clean up. Plus a towel will protect your carpet or couch better than if there was nothing there.
11. Make potty training a super fun experience
Like I have said a few times before. Make going potty like they are at an amusement park. If you are super excited about it. Your toddler will be too!
12. Don’t ask “Do you need to go potty?”
Almost every time you ask this question. Your toddler will say “no”. We still sometimes ask our daughter this question and she usually says “no” on rare occasions she will say “yes” but most of the time it is “no”
So instead of asking “do you need to go potty” Say “let’s go potty” or “it’s time to go potty” This doesn’t give your toddler the option to say “no”. I found when we asked our daughter if she needed to go potty she would say “no” and throw a mini fit.
But when we said “let’s go potty” or “it’s time to go potty” she never threw a fit. She would run right to her potty.
13. Don’t let accidents make you mad or frustrated
Accidents happen and will continue to happen for a few months. They will lessen with time but don’t get mad or frustrated if your toddler has an accident.
If you toddler has an accident calmly explain that we do not go potty in our underwear and that they need to go in the potty. I know it can be frustrating when your toddler has an accident but if you get mad it doesn’t help the situation.
14. Have your toddler help you clean up their accidents
Having your toddler help clean up their accident will give them some responsibility to their mistake. This worked really well for our daughter. Because any time she makes a mess with her toys or when she gets things out. She knows it’s her responsibility to put it all away.
Same applies to cleaning up her messes. Of course she doesn’t do it perfectly and I help her a lot but she is taking responsibility for her accident.
15. Remind your toddler what when they go pee or poo in the potty that they will get a candy
This worked out nicely. When our daughter would have an accident she sometimes thought she would get a candy. But we had to remind her that she doesn’t get candy when she has an accident. She only gets candy when she goes potty on the toilet.
If you remind your toddler that they will get candy when they go potty on the toilet. They will be more motivated to go potty on the toilet! Don’t give candy if your toddler sat on the potty but didn’t go.
They only get candy when they go pee or poo in the potty. Your toddler will test you to see if you remember so make sure you make it clear that they only get a treat when they pee or poo on the potty.
If our daughter sat on the toilet but didn’t go. We still thanked her for coming to sit on her potty. And sometimes she would ask for a candy but we would tell her that she only got candy if she peed or pooped in the potty. The next time she went potty she really tried so that she could get a candy.
Like i’ve said before. Candy can be a huge motivator!
16. Really pay attention to your toddler’s pee pee dance
After a few days or even a week you will start to notice when your toddler needs to go potty. They may grab their bum or the front of their bum, they may start to wiggle more or do a little pee pee dance.
Our daughter does all three! If she is watching a movie and I see her start doing a little pee pee dance or grabbing her bum I tell her it’s time to go potty.
Make sure you pay attention to your toddlers signs that they need to go potty. This will help limit accidents and teach them that they need to go regardless what they are doing.
17. Have your husband take your toddler to the bathroom too
After day 2 of potty training. I had my husband take our daughter to the bathroom occasionally. Sometimes we would just switch off especially on the weekends. If i just took our daughter potty the next time he would.
If your toddler is use to going potty with one person they will have a hard time going with your husband. Our daughter will go potty with either of us just fine since she is use to one of us taking her potty.
18. Use puppy pads to protect your toddler’s car seat
If you read my potty training must haves post. Then you would have seen that one of the must haves i recommended was puppy pads. This is a great way to protect your toddler’s car seat incase they have an accident. Puppy pads are super absorbent and are wide so it protects more of their car seat.
It is easy to throw the pads away and then you don’t have to worry about washing the car seat and seat of your car!
19. Have your toddler be naked for the first 2 days
For the first 2 days we only have a shirt on our daughter. This is a great way to have your child learn that when they pee or poo it will get all over them. I actually looked forward to our daughter having accidents for the first day.
If she didn’t have any accidents she wouldn’t understand that she gets wet when she has an accident. It took 3 accidents until it clicked for our daughter that she can’t just pee or poo because nothing is to catch it anymore.
If you want you could even do 3 days of your toddler being naked. For us we only did two days and on the third day she was in her big girl underwear.
20. Don’t give up!
There may be a day where your toddler has more accidents than normal. And that can be very discouraging. But DON”T GIVE UP! Remind yourself over and over that your toddler is learning something new and they have to break a habit that they have been doing since they were born.
One thing that really helped me get through those hard potty training days was knowing that in a month from now or even a week from now. Our daughter was going to get better and better and have less accidents.
Stick through it because it will all be worth it! Just like when your toddler was born it took awhile to get into a routine. Same with potty training. It took us about 2 weeks before we got into a really good routine. Now having our daughter use a potty is easy!
In the end, potty training can be a great experience for you and your toddler. I have really enjoyed potty training our daughter because I love watching her learn something new and then get really good at it.
The biggest thing is to stay positive and push through the hard days. I know you got this mama!
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