I decided to break down my potty training experience into 2 posts. So lets start with some of the research and prep I did before we started.
I did some reading via Baby Center and Pinterest on the topic. And I actually took a class from local Austin business Cheer Up Buttercups that cost me $15. But before you go making fun of me for taking a class on something people have been doing for hundreds of years, hear me out. I have limited time and wanted to learn from an expert, so I thought it would be helpful for me. The lady teaching it will come to your house and train your kid for a fee, so I figured she knew her stuff. And she did. I learned several helpful tips, some myths not to follow, and gained to confidence to tackle this new phase.
One thing we went over in the class were signs that they are ready:
-can follow directions
-is dry for 2+ hours at a time
-showing interest in watching you potty
-does not like a wet/dirty diaper, asks to change it
-can pull their pants on by themselves
They don't need to have all of these signs, but a few is helpful. It is also not essential that they can verbally communicate if your child is not that verbal yet. It is more about independence and them not wanting to have a dirty diaper.
After acknowledging that she was ready, I decided a 3 day approach was best for us. I didn't want to drag it out over months, so I planned on taking a day off work and staying home for 3 days until she had mastered it. One thing the teacher emphasized was that you want an all or nothing approach. Except for when they are sleeping, NO MORE DIAPERS. Switching them back and forth for your own convenience is confusing, so once you decide to make the switch, there are no diapers allowed.
So, back to H being ready. Five days after I took the class, little missy decided to start training herself at school. She started asking to use the potty and keeping her diaper dry (except for nap time). So after she did that for 2 days straight, I decided to take her cue and just finish the job over the following weekend. On Thursday night before we started training, I went to WalMart and stocked my cart full of training supplies.
You will need:
-Seat that goes on the potty (look for a curved, soft one where the foam is not exposed. We have this Prince Lionheart one)
-Small potty that goes on the floor/can travel with you (I wanted to mainly use the one that goes on the big potty, but just in case she preferred this type I got it. I also comes in handy for travel. We have this Bjorn one)
-Stool (so they can get up to the potty themselves, and wash their hands. Ours is too short and she can't quite do it herself so I have to help her)
-Underwear (I let her pick this out herself on Friday night after a family date of Chick fil a. We talked about it all week and she was very excited to go shopping for big girl panties)
-Poster board and stickers for reward chart (she helped me decorate it, but could care less about the stickers as a reward. She was all about the edible treats!)
-Clear treat jars and treats for rewards
**We talked about different rewards for different types of kids in the class. Depending on their personality, you may want to consider stickers, treats, prizes, special time with Mom/Dad, stories, games, etc. H doesn't get treats that often and likes to feel like she is getting to make a choice in things, so I devised a 3 treat jar system that would let her pick 1 treat when she successfully went potty.
-Clorox wipes & plenty of paper towels
-Variety of liquids to drink (Don't worry so much about letting them drink juice, etc during this time. You just need to keep them drinking so they can keep practicing going potty)
-Food! Don't forget that you won't be going out to eat and need to plan some meals!
Since you will be trapped in the house for the most part, you need to take the time to plan activities that will keep your child busy. H doesn't like movies and we limit iPad time to when we are on road trips or waiting somewhere, so we choose not to use electronics to entertain her. But if that's what works for your child and will keep them happy during the process, go for it!
-Big roll of paper with markers and stamps
-Pumpkin to paint
-big bag of beans to do sensory play in water table
So I know all this prep seems like overkill, but preparation really is the key to success! More about the actual training coming soon......