Potty Training

25 Jul

Potty Training had a way of involving the whole family in our home.  I said, “Had,” because we are done.  I speak from my experience of training 14 little toddlers.

According to our Grandma Lois (and others), on the average, two year old’s bladders are developed and the child mature enough to begin potty training.  Since I admired and respected Grandma Lois, I followed her rule of thumb.  When our children were around two years of age and/or stayed dry occasionally through the night, we began the process.

Here is the plan…

  • Set aside 3 days.  Drop every other responsibility and distraction as much as possible.  Be prepared to focus on your little one.
  • Stock up on a special drink that would be a treat.  (ex. fruit juice or herbal tea with honey – stay a way from sugary drinks)
  • Be prepared with a little basket of books, finger games, songs to sing, or stories to tell – while spending time in the bathroom.
  • On the first morning, as soon as you are ready, begin the cycle by giving your little one a full cup of juice to drink freely.
  • Set the timer for 15 minutes.  When it goes off, have the child sit on the toilet.  The first try might be a little scary for him, but by the end of the day, he will be used to it.  Take a few minutes (shoot for 3 – 5) to read a story.  Take the time to develop a routine that will last a life time. Help to wash the little hands with soap and dry with a towel.  Don’t expect results the first day. 
  • Continue the cycle all day long: drink juice, set timer, go potty, read story, wash hands.  Go ahead and diaper for nap time, but begin the process right away again, after the nap.
  • When the child has his first success (at this point it will likely be by accident) be sure to praise them.  This is an exciting time!  (In our home older siblings came running and dad received a phone call.)
  • Do not put diapers or pull ups on the child when awake!  If he is simply wearing underwear, the feel of wet cotton and moisture dripping down the legs is unpleasant!
  • One more hint:  Try to keep his playtime in an area that is not carpeted, preferably close to the bathroom, or outside.

That’s it!  The first day is the hardest.  By the second day the child should have had a few successes.  If you have been very consistent, by the third day, the pattern should be set.  You no longer need to push the liquids, simply help the little one to continue the routine.  Life should be able to return to normal, reserving the diapers bedtime, if needed.

You might also be interested in:

When Potty Training Doesn’t go as Planned

Potty Training: The Dirty Details


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