Potty training- the one thing you would think comes naturally, like the reflexes babies are born with, but it’s actually work. For some, it’s a lot more work than others. Some kids even learn earlier than others. So, I’ve surveyed 50 parents to get the low down on potty training for those of you like me, who struggled to get their kids to go on the potty. Since potty training is a parental learning curve for first-time parents, I’m also going to share my struggles and triumphs with the twins, with potty training tips. Here is potty training: advice and experience from real parents.
Now, I’ll start off by saying that what works for one family, or one child, may not work for another. And, that’s ok! Do what works for you!
ADVICE FROM THE PARENTS
When do you start potty training?
First thing, majority of the parents who were asked what tips they have for potty training, all said wait until your child is ready. There’s no right time or age, it all depends on your child and the time you have. Although, as you can see below, majority of parents potty trained at or after two years old. But, don’t feel rushed if your child or children are honing in on two.
What should I use to help potty train my child?
All parents unanimously said a potty [trainer] was their number one tool used to potty train their children. Each family has their own budget, and things that work for them. The one thing that was suggested is a potty trainer that transitions from their size to an adult potty.
What other tips do parents have?
Another unanimous tip was using treats or rewards. There was no particular reward that all parents used, since each child has their own favorites. Some parents suggested M&M’s, Smarties, or stickers, to give ideas of small rewards to help their kids go.
OUR TIPS, TRIALS AND TRIUMPHS
From the beginning (where we went wrong):
We started potty training when the twins were a year old. We put potty training toilets in the living room, and if they indicated they had to go to the bathroom, we’d have them sit on their potty. While at a year old they were very verbal about their needs and wants (telling us they had to poop), they were also still babies. They wanted to take apart their toilets, and they would steal each other’s toilets. It was more of a toy for them, rather than a tool. Since I was the only one home most of the day, it became too much work for me to focus on. Not to mention, their pediatrician made me feel like a quack for trying so early. So, if they went on the potty-great. It wasn’t being forced, though.
Fast forward almost two years later- I’m pregnant with our third, and the twins are almost three. Potty training was ultimately put on the back burner, but now it’s go-time! I mean, could you imagine having three under three in diapers?!
We immediately jumped to the kids climbing on the regular toilet, but it wasn’t working. My son wasn’t having it and wanted absolutely nothing to do with being on the toilet, claiming to be ‘scared’. My daughter, on the other hand, would put everything and anything in the toilet. This included a MASS amount of toilet paper, which she would then flush and clog the toilet. See what I mean by learning curve? So, we started from square one-getting rid of what didn’t work, keeping what did and trying to work out everything in between.
What worked? What tips do you have?
Get The Right Potty: Before, we used a potty training toilet that was too distracting. After failure with the regular toilet for round two of potty training, we’ve been using the Summer Infant My Size Potty Train & Transition to get them comfortable. With it being a small, yet realistic version of a real toilet, it’s perfect to get kids accustomed with something at their level. Not to mention, with a toilet trainer, it can be moved anywhere. We even took ours on a trip to visit grandma and grandpa! It also has a realistic flush sound, so introducing that noise can help, if it’s the sound of the real toilet that scares the little one. The great thing about these toilets are that they don’t have water in them, less mess, they are easy to clean, don’t clog, and the ring can be removed, so you can put it on the big toilet.
Use Rewards: As the other parents have said, use rewards. Rewards for kids are great, because kids that young may not understand why we would expect them to completely change a behavior they’ve been doing all their life. So, yes, you are basically bribing them, and bribes work! Make sure the rewards are small, so that it keeps them interested in getting more rewards later on. It also helps to allow them to chose their reward!
Consistency: Most children have a pattern of when they have a bowel movement or urinate. For example, I know my kids have a bowel movement right around their nap time. Put your kids on the toilet specifically at these times, and then make it a habit to encourage them to go on a schedule (For example, every hour on the hour).
Have realistic expectations: In the survey, the range of potty training time ranged from days to months. Most kids had accidents, and many kids weren’t potty trained overnight. Some children even regressed years later. Just because your neighbors child was potty trained in three days, doesn’t mean your child will follow suit. Don’t feel discouraged or like your child is behind, and always praise for good behavior!
I hope this information and these tips help you potty train your kiddos! If there is something I didn’t mention that worked for you, share it in the comments below!
This is a sponsored collaboration with Summer Infant. All opinions regarding products are my own.