This summer, I've got two big dates circled on my calendar: Harper's second birthday and my due date. While preparing for the arrival of baby number four, I've been going over everything in my head that I can possibly think of to make the adjustment from three kids to four as easy as possible. Having a rambunctious two-year-old with a newborn sounds daunting enough! But what could make it a little easier? Well, not having two kids in diapers at the same time sure would be nice, and I don't know when I will have the time to begin potty training Harper once the new baby is already here. I realized that the time to start is now.
It's been a while since I've potty trained a toddler (about 6 years, to be exact) so I really had to think about how to go about it. It can be a stressful time for everyone, but it doesn't need to be. Here are a few helpful tips I've learned along the way!
First, gather your essentials. If you're going with just the basics, you'll need a good potty seat or chair, training pants, like Pull Ups®, and some flushable wipes, like Cottonelle® Freshcare® Cleansing Wipes. Some people like to also include some kid-friendly books on potty training and rewards or treats.
Start slow. Potty training can be a scary and frustrating thing for your little toddler, so start things off slow, especially if they are shy or timid. I knew if I just tried to sit Harper on the toilet she would freak out. So instead, I showed her the new potty chair and let her get accustomed to it. At first, she wanted nothing to do with it. But eventually, she warmed up to it by bringing some of her favorite things into the bathroom and decided to sit next to it, reading her favorite potty book.
Stay positive. Accidents are going to happen- there's just no way around it. Try not to punish your toddler for accidents, and instead, comfort him or her and encourage them to try again. Becoming angry or getting upset when the inevitable happens will only scare and discourage them.
Dress them casually. Make sure that potty training toddlers are dressed appropriately- pants with elastic waists are probably a better option than jeans with a button and zipper for functionality sake. They need to be able to sit on that potty as soon as they feel the urge! In my house, we often opted for no pants, especially if it was during the summer (like right now). I've been letting Harper roam around the house in nothing but a t-shirt or tank top and her Pull Up, that way, we can whip it off and sit her on her potty chair as soon as she thinks she needs to go.
Be consistent. Get used to the saying the phrase "Let's go try to potty" a lot. My daughter Lily would get so engrossed in her playtime that she wouldn't stop to go potty. I can't tell you how many times I found a little trail of pee going down the hallway because she waited too long, so I realized she needed constant reminding. This is especially important in the beginning! Set a timer on your phone if you need to- I usually start with about 15 minutes between each potty break. It sounds like a lot, but it's better to go more frequently than needed, rather than less (and end up waiting too long, resulting in an accident).
Stock up. Sometimes potty training can take a while- some kids pick it up in just a few weeks, while others might take months to get the hang of it. Make sure to stock up on Pull-Ups® Learning Designs® Training Pants and Cottonelle® FreshCare® Cleansing Wipes. I love Pull-Ups® Learning Designs® because they go on like real underwear and help teach toddlers to potty train while protecting them at the same time. They come with fun and engaging Disney designs like Doc McStuffins and Lightning McQueen with wetness indicators that fade when wet to help teach your little one to stay dry. Cottonelle® FreshCare® Cleansing Wipes are flushable, alcohol-free wipes the whole family can use that break up upon flushing- so no worrying about them clogging up the sewer or septic!
If you've got a potty training toddler, now is the time to take advantage of this special savings at Sam's Club. When you purchase any two Pull-Ups® Training Pants and/or Cottonelle® FreshCare® Flushable Cleansing Cloths you will receive a $10 Sam's Club e-Gift card.
You can also enter their sweepstakes to win a $500 Sam's Club gift card! Simply share a family photo and you're in.
Need more tips on potty training? Watch this video on the Pull Ups® Potty Partnership- a personalized, comprehensive program tailored to work with your child's unique personality, on their schedule and according to how they learn. It really takes the guesswork out of potty training and works with their personality, not against it.