“Honey, I think it’s time!” – These five words meant something completely different 2-3 years ago when my water broke and Jansen was ready to make his debut into this wonderful world. Once again these five words make my husband want to run for the hills. He knows what is about to happen in our home, on our floor, all day – not a square inch of our home will be safe. Nakedness – and lots of it. By “nakedness” I am NOT referring to my own personal free spirited liberation from clothes, but rather the impending little naked boy booty running to and fro. Jansen is once again the topic of our conversation. He has proven that he is ready… now it is up to me to prepare our home for the execution of his next big milestone: POTTY TRAINING!
I am drawing on my experience with his two older brothers, as I compile a list of ten things to load up on before potty training. You don’t want to miss it, because if you are reading this article, chances are that you too will shout “Honey, I think it is time” in the very near future. (This post contains affiliate links.)
With that said – there is definitely more than one way to potty train a child. You will have to gauge your child’s readiness, the amount of time you have available to dedicate to the process and if it is something you feel needs to be done sooner rather than later. Personally, I have never been in a rush to potty train any of the boys. I feel that we started a little too soon with our oldest and it just dragged on forever.10 Things to load up on BEFORE #PottyTraining! Best tips and tricks from a #mother of four boys!… Click To Tweet
Perhaps we were not firing on all cylinders because we chose not to use all the advice thrown at us at the time – or maybe it was just that Jacob wasn’t ready. Since then, we have just waited for the boys to show full interest and readiness, and after that the process has been simple and relatively quick.
Ten things to load up on before potty training:
- Potty seat for toilet
- Step stool to reach toilet
- Reward: sticker chart and stickers work for our kids. The “experts” recommend non-food rewards, but m&ms worked with one of our boys. Hopefully we haven’t messed him up too badly by rewarding him with food – if we did, rest assured that I will blog about it in the future.
- Underwear: this is something your toddler can pick out at the store. Make a big deal about buying big girl/ boy pants.
- Cloth training pants: I recommend cloth because they are more economical and your child still feels wet if (s)he has an accident. Pull-ups are really just diapers that pull on and off – they serve little to no purpose in the potty training process. The cloth training pants are great for when you need to leave the house too. Leaving the house with a potty training toddler is MUCH more stressful that going out for the first time with a newborn – consider yourself warned!
- Patience (a lot of it)
- Toilet paper (a LOT of this too)
- Hand soap (go to Costco now to stock up)
- Potty training books – for your child to read while in the bathroom, and potty training guides for you to read. You will have a lot of time to read while you sit in the bathroom waiting for “results”.
I recently read a fantastic Potty Training guide written by Becky Mansfield. She uses a little different timing strategy than we do, but essentially the rest of the process is much the same. It is well worth your time to read her book, as she has great advice and her method has been a success for everyone who has used it.
She is also a mother of four, which automatically qualifies her as an authority on potty training. Her book teaches you how to potty train your child early and quickly. As I mentioned previously – we wait a little bit longer than she does, and our method takes a few weeks vs. her weekend.
“Potty Train in a Weekend” $9.99
Regardless of which method suits your family best, always keep in mind that potty training is NOT a linear process. And I repeat – it does NOT only move in one direction – forward. Potty training is more like a dance – one step forward, two steps back, one to the side, hopefully two forward then one to the side – be prepared for set backs and side tracks.
If you start seeing more steps backwards than forwards, then put the whole thing on the shelf for a few weeks – WITH A SMILE – and then pick it back up again once life has settled, your child has gotten over an illness, or he/ she has simply just matured a little more.
Keep in mind – they will N O T be going off to college still wearing diapers. And another great point to remember, no one EVER asks you at what age you were potty trained – so who cares if it was later than your neighbor’s daughter or your brother’s kids. Potty training success is not an indicator of future education or employment success – I promise! Don’t stress over this – it WILL happen – eventually.
Interested in potty training? Read all of the related articles:
Potty Training Readiness : “Ten Signs Your Toddler is Potty Ready”
Preparing to Potty Train: “Ten Things to Load Up on Before Potty Training”
Potty Training Steps: 20 Potty Training Reminders for Hopeful Parents
Nighttime Training: 20 Potty Training Reminders for Hopeful Parents
Potty Training Reminders & Encouragement: 20 Potty Training Reminders for Hopeful Parents