How do you teach a creature that has no comprehensible communication skills or cannot process words to use the potty? How do you know when it’s the right moment to start? Will your child cope and will you survive without your whole house smelling of urine?
You don’t need a PhD in child development to master this basic human need. There are plenty of guidelines online and even video tutorials to help you get started, and I put together some of those most practical notes to save you the search.
Before you start
First things first: to become the grand master of potty training, you need to make sure both you and the baby are ready. Luckily, there are few signs that can tell you when your little one is ready:
- coordinated walking
- urinates a fair amount at one time
- regular bowel movements and regular intervals
- dry periods lasting around two hours or during naps
- happy to sit down quietly for two to five minutes
- pulls pants up and down
- dislikes the wet or dirty diaper
- shows interest in other bathroom habits
- gives signs when he or she is having bowel movement
- shows signs of independence
- takes pride in accomplishments
- doesn’t resist learning to use toilet
- is cooperative
- knows the physicals signals when he has to go and even hold it till he gets to potty
- follows simple instructions
- understands the value of putting things where they belong
- uses a word for urine and stool
What about the mom? All you need is to be armed with patience.
Your toddler doesn’t have to tick all 17 boxes before you begin, this is just an indication that your potty training will be a smoother ride. By all means you can start earlier and the other things will most likely improve as you continue. If not, take a break and start again when it looks like your little one is ready.
The 3 Day Potty Training Method
The three day potty training is no myth, in fact it works like a miracle. There are slight variations to the method, but if you stick to the basic rules, success is pretty much guaranteed.
What you will need:
- over-sized tshrits or underwear for baby
- stock of toys and books
- potty or toilet seat for kids
- lots of drinks and bottles
- prizes – stickers, candy (if you prefer), small toys or anything else you little one likes
- mats with rubber bottoms
Best Potty Training Books:
- use long t-shirts to cover your little one’s private parts, or let him run around comando if he wants. If you prefer, you can put on his or her undies, but the main point is that the toddler needs to see and feel when that there is nothing to catch the poo or wee and in theory they should know to go to the potty
- accidents will happen and you should never punish them during the training period or make a big deal out of it. Simply clean up and encourage them to go on the potty next time round.
- encourage them to drink more than regularly, have few bottles of drinks stationed around the house. By drinking more than usually they will also pee more and you will get chance to practice potty more often.
- ask them if they need to use potty, especially after meal, waking up or even in the middle of the day, let them sit on the potty and try
- reward is important – every time they make it to the toilet on time, give them a reward
- use mats with rubber bottom if you’re worried about ruining your carpets or sofa
- don’t stop for the night, the training has to go on for 3 days, including nights
How to Potty Train in 3 Days
The process is the same for all three days, some methods you will find online prescribe different approach to each day, but the method described below worked for most parents:
- After the child wakes up in the morning, take off the dirty diaper and make him throw it in the bin and say bye-bye. Explain that you will not use diapers anymore and if you want, you can get him to collect all unused diapers from the house and put them away in a bag or box.
- Change the child into undies or just a long t-shirt and explain that there is nothing to catch the wee or poo, and that he needs to use the potty
- Get breakfast ready with extra dose of drinks. After that lead the child to the potty, for hopefully the first successful wee on the potty. Reward afterwards.
- Do not leave the house for 3 days, play, colour, read, watch tv if you want, but you need to stay indoors without any interruptions from outside world
- Set a timer for 15-20 minutes and lead your child to the potty each time to try. With all the extra liquids it shouldn’t be a problem. You will have to carry on all day, for three days, so arm yourself with patience.
- No more snacks or liquids after dinner.
- One more time to use the potty before you put your child to bed. Wake the child halfway through the night to pee. (some variation of this method recommends putting a clean diaper on the top of undies for night, choose what works for you) Repeat for next 2 days.
Learning to use the toilet is not an innate habit but is also something every human being learns. The pace and the method may differ but we all head to the exact same finish. Keeping a relaxed disposition and showing immense amount of patience will not only help but motivate your child to learn. Go with your child’s pace and teach with love.
Got any potty training secrets you want to share? Hit us up with a comment below!