I’m going to start with this…Do. Not. Rush. It.
Also, what works for one child may not work for others.
Many children are not developmentally ready to begin potty training until the age of 2. Their brains have a hard time identifying when they need to go potty until they are actually going. This is why many times children recognize that their diaper is full. This doesn’t mean they’re all of a sudden ready to train…this is the first step. So let them take this time to recognize and discover what’s going on.
Basically, my strategy is to let the child initiate and potty train themselves in a way. When Bailey was 20 months old, I thought, “Her brother will be here in 4 months! I need to get her potty trained before the baby comes!” Obviously this was my first time, so I didn’t really know what to do. Well after a few days of attempts, I realized all I was doing was rushing my daughter into something she wasn’t ready for, for my own benefit of not having to change two kids’ diapers.
Here’s what I did instead: At around 20 months, I kept a baby potty out that she could play with. She attempted when she wanted, but it wasn’t forced. Honestly, when the baby arrives, the toddler WILL most likely regress. This isn’t the case for all children, but for the majority, it is. So, I had the little potty out just so she could see it, play with it, sit if she wants, but I kept diapers on her. When she turned 2 1/2, I went cold turkey. I took the diaper off and didn’t look back. I knew she was ready at this point. I kept her in underwear, and I even left the house. We went to the store and came home. No accidents. I continued this but kept pull-ups on at night (which she still wears at 3 1/2 years old). It doesn’t bother me and I’m not in a rush to change that either. When she’s ready she’ll wake up to go potty at night.
Potty training this way was sooo easy. We did give her a treat when she went potty but waiting until 2 1/2 years old really was the key for us. She understood the reward for the action. She could communicate with us and was much more aware of the urge to go potty.
I hope this gives mothers some peace and relieve some stress. Potty training doesn’t have to be stressful. It doesn’t have to be rushed or done by a specific time. Our kids won’t be wearing diapers in kindergarten 🙂
How did your potty training journey go? I’d love to hear other experiences!