6 Moms on Their Best Potty-Training Advice

6 Moms on Their Best Potty-Training Advice

Potty training. It’s that one huge, but necessary hurdle for you and your little one to jump over. You’ve likely heard so many different opinions on when the right time to start potty training is, what method you should use, and how you should do it. Spending more time at home (and not having to deal with accidents on the go) certainly makes the process a lot easier, which is why so many people are potty training their toddlers right now. However, the whole process can be a bit overwhelming.  So today we are sharing advice from six seasoned moms… 

Use Positive Reinforcement

Lauren Conrad, LaurenConrad.com Editor-in-Chief

Liam is potty trained. He still sleeps in a pull up because he’s a deep sleeper and still has accidents at night. We put a small potty in Liam’s room when he turned one, and would talk about it sometimes. He eventually asked to use it. Liam responds very well to positive reinforcement, so whenever he used the potty we rewarded him with lots of praise and a treat {we had dried fruit and let him pick a piece}. It was a slow process. He would go weeks without an accident and then have a few off days. I think it’s important to know that every kid is different. Don’t be afraid to try different methods and know that some kids will take a little more time than others.

Bring Spares and Have Multiple Potties

Amy Nadine, Makeup Artist and Co-Founder of The Practically Perfect Baby

Having two boys that are ten months apart, I was terrified of potty training. It was the number one question I asked moms of boys {because I’d heard girls were quick to figure it out but boys could take years}. The preschool that we chose would only take potty-trained children, so the pressure was on. The owner of the preschool told me if I started it two weeks before his second birthday, which was also the first day of school, she would help finish it for me. We then spent a weekend with no bottoms on so he could see when he was going and make the connection. After day four, he spent a few days wearing underwear only so he could feel wet clothes against his skin, which he hated. After that, we put him in underwear and pants and brought spares with us anywhere. It wasn’t the most fun two weeks, but it wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be.

I bought mini potties for different rooms of the house so he could quickly drop his pants and go when he needed to. I also put kid’s seats on our toilets. We dropped him off at school with lots of spare clothes so they could change him when he had accidents. It went from a couple accidents a day to once a day to every other day to once a week… then, finally, none! We did the same process two weeks before our younger son turned two and it was way less intimidating. Because he worships his big brother, he was already asking to go potty anyway. We still do ‘nighttime underwear’ at night just in case, but they’ll call for us in the middle of the night often to take them to the bathroom, which I love for them but hate for us! I assume that when they wake up dry consistently is when they are ‘done’ with potty training. They are three and four now and that’s not the case yet!

Start With a Potty Training Book

Priscilla Vega, Founder of PR Vega

“I firmly believe our littles send us cues when they’re ready to take huge developmental leaps. For our Ozzy, he couldn’t wait to use the big potty like his older sister so the desire was obvious and the transition was fairly smooth. The first thing we did was pull out the Potty Book, which was a favorite of his sister’s and quickly became a favorite of his as well. We’ve had a few setbacks along the way, but we’ve been really patient. Whenever he has an accident he knows where to drop the dirty undies and where to go to pick up new ones. I think eventually he got tired of the process so we’re seeing less and less accidents, but mostly we let him go at his own pace.”

Plan Ahead

Julia Sir Wester, Artist, Content Creator & Prop Stylist

I always joke that it was way easier to potty train my dog than my daughter when she was two-and-a-half, because it is true! Potty training is definitely up there with sleep training as one of the hardest things to do. You have to plan potty training like you’re going on a trip. We had it planned months ahead to prepare for it. My husband and I were both off of work and home with our daughter, who was completely naked and distraction-free for 4 straight days. I do suggest a weekend or a block of days off because consistency is key!

Pay Attention to Your Language

Ilana Saul, LaurenConrad.com Editor

I was ready to be done with diapers as soon as possible, so I was the parent who read the potty-training book cover to cover before my kids turned two. With both my children, we used a method where they spent a few days completely naked at home with training potties in every room, during which time they gain so much awareness about their bodies. So if you’re ready to take the plunge, safer-at-home orders are the best excuse to potty train! One takeaway from the books I read was to really pay attention to the language you’re using—never underestimate a two-year-old’s ability to comprehend what you’re telling them. Tell them that you will be saying goodbye to diapers and teaching them a fun new skill, using clear and direct language. Be prepared for poop to take longer to master than pee, and for night time to be a separate skill from daytime potty use. And don’t let anyone scare you by saying that boys are more difficult to potty train than girls—maybe it was because he was excited to be like his big sister, but my son was actually way easier to potty train and had less accidents than my daughter!

Give Them Time

Leslie Bruce, Author

Like most hot button parenting topics, potty training comes with a lot of opinions on when and how to get your little one out of diapers. The best advice I ever received on the topic was actually from Lauren herself…before she had Liam! I remember venting to her about how hard it was and how stubborn my little two-and-a-half-year-old was being about the process. She said, ‘Well, I get it. Imagine being told to do one thing your entire life, and then one day being told to do it a completely different way. It’s probably pretty confusing for her.’ And that’s when it clicked. Instead of being frustrated about my daughter pushing back so hard, I tried to be a bit more sympathetic to how strange it must be. My husband chimed in with his own thoughts, albeit not quite as elegantly. He said, ‘Give it time. She’s going to figure it out. I mean, I’ve never met a grown adult who is still in diapers because they don’t know how to use a toilet.’ At three years and two months, my daughter decided it was time. I realized I needed to guide her through the process, but ultimately give her control over her own body.

How have you tackled potty training with your little one?

Let us know how potty training went for you and your kiddo in the comments below.

XO Team LC

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