Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Potty Training tricks

    Since I was one of the first of my friends to have children, I have found mommy friends have been coming to me for the potty training tips since I have already "been there, done that". Since I only have boys, I can really only give advice pertaining to them, although I'm pretty sure my methods would work just fine with either boys or girls.
    I always heard boys were especially hard to potty train, but to be honest, I found it to be very easy and my son caught on very quickly. I bought him a cute little mini potty to put in the bathroom when he was as young as 18 months, not to start training him, but just to introduce him to it and get him familiar with it. At first, he just loved to sit and play with the little handle and pull on the toilet paper holder. After a while, I would just let him run around the bathroom naked after bath time and he finally realized he could sit on it. He would just sit and play with it, or even relax on it while he brushed his teeth (as you can see from my picture above).
    Around his 2nd birthday is when I really started the potty training process. I had heard that bribing with m&m's sometimes worked, but my little guy was much more interested in the sticker rewards. I printed out a calendar with pictures of his favorite Disney characters and bought a few of the 99-cent sheets of stickers from Target (or Wal-mart or any craft store). I taped the calendar on the wall right beside the potty and every time he used it, he got to pick a sticker to put on his calendar. Another helpful trick is to ask them throughout the day if they need to go to the potty. I asked my little guy about every 30 minutes or so for a while, just so he became more aware and had to start thinking about going pee-pee.

    After being so dependent on diapers, I find that they sometimes aren't even aware of when they have to go... they just go. To make my little guy more aware, I would just let him run around the house without any diaper or pants on throughout the day.  I found that this is really what made him realize on his own, when it was time to run to the potty. For some reason, if the pants or diaper was on at this phase of potty training, he either didn't realize it was time to tinkle or he was just a bit more lazy and figured the diaper or pants would take care of it for him.

    So with all that said, I hope this is helpful in some way, during your potty training journey. I had my son fully potty trained and wearing underwear by the time he was 2 1/2 years old. Although sleeping through the night with a dry butt is a whole other challenge. He is now 3 1/2 and we are working really hard to get rid of the night time pull-ups. he loves to have his cup of milk before bed, but the nights that we have skipped the milk and I make him go pee pee before climbing into bed, he stays dry. It's just a matter of getting daddy to stick to his guns and not cave with the bedtime cup of milk to get him to sleep on the nights that I am coaching late. So I will keep you informed on his (or shall I say our) progress.

    Do you have any great advice or tricks for potty training? If so, please don't hesitate to share with us.  Because what works for one kid, may not always work for another.