Top 10 tips to potty training like a pro (free printable)
The day has finally arrived! My fourth and last child is potty training (queue choirs of angels singing from heaven). Although potty training is my least-favorite parenting responsibility, I have learned a thing or two to make it easier for you.
Although, I wish there were some hard fast rules that will guarantee potty training success in one day, it really depends on the child. But, one thing is for sure, you child WILL learn how to go potty. Don’t give up.
#10 – Prepare your child before potty training
A few months before I start potty training, I tell my kids, “Did you know when you turn three, you get to go potty on the big boy chair?” You can almost immediately see the wheels turning in their heads.
I also like to show them a potty training movie like “Elmo’s Potty Time” or “Potty Time with Bear.” These movies introduce the topic in a non-threatening way. I also love reading them potty books like, “Get Ready for Big Boy Pants,” and “Potty“.
#9: – Make the toilet less-scary
For a three-year-old, those toilets are tall and kind of scary. Some kids are legitimately worried about falling in. And for good reason. These cool trainer seats with a step stool ladder make the toilet just their size. You can also go with the classic soft trainer seat. That is what we use. If you have a boy, you could hang one of these frog urinals on the wall. They love aiming at the built-in target.
#8 – Throw a potty party
This is a big day, so make it a big deal. When my son woke up on the day he was supposed to be potty trained, there was a big pile of fun stuff on the kitchen table to kick off potty training day. Display everything from the underpants to the potty chart to the treats.
#7 – Buy a potty bear
I found a second-hand teddy bear and slapped a diaper on him. Then, in front of my son, I pretended that teddy was whispering in my ear that he had to go to the bathroom. We rush to the bathroom and I secretly plop some brown chunks of protein bar into the toilet. My son totally thought teddy was pooping. Then we put some big boy underpants on teddy.
Sure, enough, that’s when my son wanted to put on his big boy pants and try going to the potty as well. I have done this for all four of my boys and it works every time.
#6 – Print a potty punch card or sticker chart
My kids love to celebrate each and every time they go to the bathroom. I made these super cute potty punch cards. Every time they go potty, they get to punch a number on the card and once they get 10 punches, they get a prize!! Download your FREE PRINTABLE punch card below:
#5 – Use positive reinforcement
You’ve totally got to own it when you are potty training. Jump up and down. Clap and cheer. Make your little toddler feel like they are the cat’s meow. Do your best to make the experience and fun and enjoyable one.
Also, I like to give my kids a small treat like an M&M, gummy bear or jelly bean each time they go pee pee. And when they go poo poo, give them a bigger prize like a small dollar toy.
#4 – Be patient
Without fail, your child will poo their pants right after you told them no to. So, when your kid sees you getting frustrated, they will get stressed out too. Accidents happen and that’s okay. Your child has been used to going whenever and wherever they want for the first three years of their life. It takes some time to get used to it. Don’t let your blood boil. It won’t help at all!
I designed this cute and FREE potty instruction chart that you can hang right by your toilet. This will help you child understand the entire potty process.
#3 – Figure out what motivates your child
Some kids are mortified to go pee pee in their pants in front of their friends. Other kids don’t like the feel of messy pants. And some kids just want a treat or a reward. Whatever it is, do your best to figure it out and capitalize on it. For my son, LOVED his new Batman underpants, so I told him that if he pooped in his underpants I would throw them away. Done!
#2 – Wait until your child is ready
Age three is the magic number for me. I tried potty training before that and I would have to start over about six months later. There’s nothing wrong with waiting until they are three or even four! When they are ready it is like a million times easier.
#1 – NEVER put diapers or pull ups back on
Sounds crazy, right? Well, it’s not. You wouldn’t allow your child to ride in the car without buckling their seat belt, right? Otherwise, they’d think they didn’t have to do it every time. The same thing applies to potty training. If you only make them wear underpants just some of the time, they’re going to think they can still go in their pants some of the time. It works. Trust me.
I hope these tips help. Good luck with all of your potty training adventures! What other tips do you have when potty training? Leave your comments below.
Related link: Tips to successfully move your kids to the basement
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