You’re searching for potty training tricks, which means you are perhaps feeling some anxiety about this stage of your child’s life. It can be a scary time for parents and kids alike. I have some good news. You can do this.
Did you hear about the college freshman who had to have a professor help him use the bathroom because the freshman was never potty-trained?
You know why?
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Eventually, kids learn how to pee and poo in the toilet. They do.
Parents have been potty training little humans since our ancestors discovered fire and used it to light the pathway to the hole in the cave we now call a bathroom.
Still, it’s not always easy.
A friend once told me her daughter was never going to be fully potty trained because something had traumatized the little girl so badly. I asked her what happened.
“I read somewhere you were supposed to have your child wave goodbye to their poop before they flush it. My daughter starting screaming as it circled the bowel. Through sobs, she finally explained she was sad because I made her flush the fish.”
So yeah. Even that little girl uses the bathroom now. (But she still can’t go near an aquarium.)
Let’s go ahead and say that maybe you shouldn’t tell your child to wave bye-bye to their poo-poo.
Here are a few questions the experts say to ask yourself before potty training
Do they have fairly regular bowel movements?
Can they (will they) follow your instructions?
Can they take off their own clothes?
Do they have a tell that they need to go? (Go and hide? Make a face?)
Are they staying dry for at least 2 hours a day?
Do they somehow communicate to you that they don’t like the feeling of a dirty diaper?
Are they asking to use the potty like you do?
If yes to most or all, it may finally be time.
7 Potty Training Tricks
Take a deep breath, cross your fingers, and buy lots of calming tea. For you. Not for your child. Here are seven of the best potty training tricks parents swear by.
Don’t do as I say, do as I doo-doo.
Let them watch you in the bathroom. Sounds weird, but works wonders. Most rockstar potty training parents know this is a must.
Use your potty mouth.
Talk to them about what’s happening when they are in the bathroom with you. In simple language talk about the toilet, what happens when you flush it, the toilet paper and handwashing.
Answer their questions, even if they are asking hard questions like why toilet paper is white and poop is brown. Wing it. They’re little. They are learning and will trust you.
Invent potty training bathroom games
Make using the bathroom fun and silly and relaxed. If you have a boy, draw a bullseye on a toilet paper square and have him aim.
What kinds of animals poop? Play a game where they have to name all the animals they can think of that poop. Don’t worry. Your small children probably only know the names of 10 to 87 kinds of animals.
Mommy doesn’t wear diapers
Ask them why they’ve never seen you or your partner in diapers. Talk about how itchy diapers feel, how wet they get and how they smell when they have poo in them.
Put some small treats in a bag and each time they come up with a reason why grown-ups don’t wear diapers, let them choose something.
The perfect throne for the perfect tooshie
Buy a child’s potty and put it in the bathroom for them to pretend to go when you’re using the bathroom. Let them sit with their diaper on to get used to it. As with all other potty training tricks, this can’t be rushed.
Don’t force them to do it, and don’t think that one day of pretending is enough.
If they want to have their toys use their potty, encourage it. Even teddy bears and stuffed giraffes have to go. (Especially after a hard night of drinking with the plastic army men.)
Shop For Big Kid Underwear
The two of you should go shopping for big kid underwear together. Let them pick out underwear they like. These are for kids who don’t wear diapers, and soon they will be all done with diapers, too.
Chill out. Stay Relaxed And Calm
As they say, be kinder than you need to be. These little ones are doing the best they can. Always find ways to tell them you are proud of how hard they are trying. You can use small rewards if you like. Some parents swear by stickers.
In closing, it takes time and it will take as long as it takes. Cliche, right? Still true.
Your child is going to have lots and lots of accidents. So many that you are going to want to come back here and comment on this post that your child is on track to be the first college freshman who wasn’t properly potty-trained.
At least two people are for sure going to tell you stories of potty-training their 6-month old in four hours using only baby meditation and violin music. Don’t stress about it.
You don’t need a bathroom violin. You just need to trust your instincts.