Aah potty training! It’s one of the most highly anticipated milestones of early childhood, and one that parents often fear most. You can find article after article about how to know when kids are “ready” for potty training and even more articles about potty training theories and methods. But there are a few potty training tips I didn’t find in any of my reading about potty training, and if I did I must have overlooked their significance.
These little bits of wisdom would have helped me have realistic expectations about potty training, so today I’m partnering with Pampers Easy Ups to share these tips with you in hopes that you don’t have to say “I wish someone would have told me that.”
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Potty training takes work. Yes, we all “know” that, but really it takes work. So the day is here. Your child is consistently demonstrating those key potty training readiness behaviors, and you’ve decided it’s time to go for it. Many new parents are surprised at how much time and dedication it takes on their part to regularly help kids get to the potty throughout the day to try going. Setting a timer can help keep you on track and wearing an Easy Up instead of undies can help avoid those accidents that happen only seconds after your child gets off the potty. Don’t be discouraged. Your child will get it, but most likely in his or her own time.
Potty training takes time. Okay now we’re ready to put in the work. Great, so we’ll be done tomorrow? Umm, not quite. I’ll admit that for some kids potty training is very quick and can almost happen overnight, but for the majority of kids the transition to wearing undies full time is a more gradual process as kids learn to sense that it is time to go to the bathroom and begin to act quickly enough to get to the bathroom on time. Knowing this can help us have realistic expectations.
And once daytime potty training is complete, your child may also take extra time before becoming nighttime potty trained. When you get to this point these nighttime potty training tips may be helpful.
For a while you will spend more time in the bathroom than any other room in the house. Get comfy. As you set that timer and have kids sit on the potty regularly you’ll notice the timer seems to be beeping all the time, but for many kids this consistency is what helps them be successful in the beginning before they can feel the need to go. Some days I felt like most of our time was spent in the bathroom, so get comfy. We like to read and sing songs to pass the time and get kids to sit a little longer on the potty.
Gather a few favorite books and some picture books about using the bathroom and keep them nearby. Here are some great picks:
There is no shame in letting kids wear a Pampers Easy Up for long trips and outings even after they are potty trained. You’ve made it! Your child is potty trained, but you’re heading out for a long road trip or flight. Go ahead and put your child in an Easy Up. Do encourage him or her to use the potty instead of going in the Easy Up, but for many kids and parents this extra layer of security helps avoid unnecessary anxiety. And since Pampers Easy Ups have fewer leaks than Huggies Pull-Ups* you won’t have to worry about a discouraged child or a messy clean up if an accident does happen.
You’ll still need to have extra clothes with you long after your child is fully potty-trained. What!? Slowly after you finish potty training you realize that diaper bag doesn’t have to be packed to the brim with materials to survive for three days while you are only going out for three hours, and you’ll begin to leave stuff home. You might even stop carrying a diaper bag altogether and just toss a couple of things in your normal size purse (imagine!). But if you do, keep an extra change of clothes, a Pampers Easy Up and undies in your car.
Why? It’s possible that your child may have an unexpected accident, say at a public playground, and if you don’t have extra clothes it’s possible that your child may have to ride home fully naked. It’s possible, I know this from experience.
It’s also possible that you may only be planning a short car trip when unexpected standstill traffic delays have you in the car much longer than expected. And it’s possible that an extra Pampers Easy Ups training pant will save the day when your little one has to potty now in the car that will not be moving out of traffic for a very long time. It’s possible I also know this from experience.
And as a word to the wise, once you’re ready to go out and about in undies it can definitely help to have a travel potty in your car. You never know when you’ll have an “I have to go NOW” moment, and it’s always nice to have a clean spot to go potty when you need it.
I hope these tips are helpful! If you are a veteran potty trainer, what tips or tricks did you learn the hard way? What advice would you give to parents just starting the potty training process.
*based on size 4 Learning Designs