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Now that I have had two children be potty trained at young ages (Kye was 19 months and Britt 16 months) I feel like I can offer a bit of advice on the topic! At first when Kye started so young I doubted myself and kinda bought into what everyone else told me: it was luck. Now though, since Britt also potty trained so young, I know that it was not “just luck.” I know that a lot of the things I did leading up to training prepared both of my children for this process. Before I post alllll about Britt’s potty training adventure I thought I’d share some of the things I do prior to potty training!
Here are some of the things I like to go ahead and purchase well before potty training actually starts. I DO NOT recommend buying panties/underwear or treats before starting to train. I think it’s important to let the child be part of the process of picking out the big kid undergarments as well as the treats to use in training!
1. Potty Wise: I’m a fan of ALL of the wise books as everyone knows! This book offers many tips from when to know your child is ready to train, to different methods of training, to giving you a focus and a goal in training. For me, the BIGGEST asset of Potty Wise is the concept of “staying dry and clean” and how that is the GOAL. We so often think the goal in potty training is to get them to use the potty but really the goal (the “why” we potty train) is to have them stay dry and clean and not use diapers. The way to achieve that goal (the “how”) is by getting them to use the potty. Focusing on those concepts really makes a difference when going through the potty training process!
2. Once Upon a Potty: I had this book as a little girl and I bought both of my kids one for various holidays well before they started even walking! I do change some of the words they use in the book when reading it to them (like they call the girl privates her “wee wee” and we just say “privates”) but overall it’s a super great book. I like how it explains their bodies and the whole potty process in an easy to understand way. I keep the book in the bathroom when we actually start training but before then we just read it casually
3. Potty Seat/Chair/etc: Everyone has their opinion on what seat to use for training. We bought several different things when we started the training process with Kye and I do think it’s so good to have them all on hand prior to starting to train and to use them casually with your kids. Kye used this Baby Bjorn potty chair while training and we set it out a couple months before Britt showed any interest and just introduced her to it and had her sit on it often. Once she actually started training though she didn’t really like to use it. I think because she watches all of us (Kye especially) using the toilet that she just prefers to go there.
We also bought this Baby Bjorn toilet seat to use for Kye when traveling and such. Britt preferred this over the chair and over the regular toilet seat in her early days of training. I think it was more comfortable for her. Kye rarely used it since he did like the potty chair so well!
We actually bought a special toilet seat to put on our toilet in the kid’s bathroom. It has a little seat that comes down and is perfect for them to use. Kye still uses this little seat when going poop and Britt now only uses the seat when she goes potty. It super convenient and has a magnet so it stays up for adults to use the regular seat without issues.
Other than just purchasing these items in advance I also do several things with my children from early ages that I believe has helped them be successful in becoming diaper free at such young ages:
- We use the bathroom in front of our kids. With Britt we even have her watch Kye go. We make a production about it and discuss what is happening. For example “Look Britt! Mommy is staying dry and clean (show her my dry panties) and she’s going tee tee in the potty! Yay Mommy!!!”
- Once they start having solid poopy diapers I will take them to the potty with the dirty diaper and dump the poop into the toilet then say “poop goes in the potty! Yay!”
- Before bath each night Zach (he typically does baths) would have each of them sit on the potty, even just for a second. I think a BIG reason potty training is so difficult for children is the fear of the process and the fear of letting go without the “safety” of the diaper against them. By having them sit on the potty at young ages it helps them not have that fear.
- I get to know their schedule of when the go. Having my kids on such strict schedules allows me to see their patterns and kinda learn when they go to the bathroom. I monitor that so I can know what to expect when the training begins.
- Once they go, we start. There is a window of opportunity to train kids at young ages. Once you miss it you end up struggling to train or have to wait until they are older. Personally, I LOVE the freedom of not dealing with diapers. So it’s important to me to get them going with the potty as soon as I can! Both of our kids first used the potty prior to bath time. Kye was about to get in the tub and I could tell he was looking at the potty so we set him on it and he went. Britt had been struggling with pooping in the tub a few times and during bath time she was fussy and looking at the potty so I took her out of the tub and she went. Once they both used the potty that one time, we started training.
- Let them be the guide. While I wanted both of my kids to train young, I didn’t push it on them or make it an issue. I simply let the potty be part of their daily routine and watched them for signs of readiness. Once they showed those signs (for my kids it was a desire to go to the potty as well as go IN it) we got hardcore about it!
More about Britt’s potty training story is coming up, but I thought it’d be smart to share what I did leading up to her actually training! What things do you use to help prepare your kids for life beyond diapers???