Wait, there is a magic trick to potty training?
I bet you are waiting for me to throw some method at you, or tell you about a book to read, but I am not.
I tried all those things and none of them worked. Honestly, I tried everything. Truly, don’t read my post and tell me there is a method I missed, because we tried it all and then some, then one day, it just clicked.
So, what was the magic trick? The one that all of a sudden just made a potty trained toddler materialize out of thin air? We waited until she was ready. Yes, that’s it folks! The secret to potty training is not forcing it on your kid until they are emotionally ready to participate.
Let me back pedal a little bit and tell you our story.
We started attempting to potty train around 20 months. Our daughter expressed occasional interest, and we thought it was time to go for it with this grand idea of celebrating her 2nd birthday with a FULLY POTTY TRAINED toddler.
By occasionally interested, I mean she would sometimes be willing to sit on the potty, and sometimes would refuse. When the unsolicited potty training advice started rolling in, people would tell me that I needed to get her on the potty every 15 minutes, to which I would reply that she simply refuses to sit down. People would tell me to bribe or force her… bribery did not work, and in what kind of ridiculous world do people think that forcing a toddler to sit on a potty will result in anything good?
We were determined and continued to force the issue. She has always been extremely verbal, and has been speaking in relatively full sentences for a long time. I thought that just because she could understand what I was telling her, she should be able to do it, but that was not the case. We took things a step further and started instituting naked time, thinking that no diaper meant no option other than to sit and pee on the potty. Instead of this working, it backfired and she started holding her potty in. In case you aren’t aware, this is not only extremely unhealthy in general, but can lead to constipation, urinary tract infections, and can have lasting effects on your child. I consulted our family pediatrician, who said that if she is going as far as to hold it in, it was time to take a potty training break, and we agreed.
We kept offering the potty, naked time, rewards, and so on, but only just to keep the idea out there, not to force it. Then, one day it just happened.
Around 28 months, she just started asking to use the potty. She was excited! She would tell my husband and I that she knew we were proud of her. She even began waking me up in the middle of the night because she had to pee. She stopped fighting me to wear underpants. The day that this started, we were hitting the potty almost EVERY TIME.
What I would leave you with, is that you know your kid best. Ours is very head-strong, and there is no forcing her into an idea… it has to be hers. All the time we spent stressing on why all our efforts were not working was for nothing! All we needed was for her to be ready. Potty training went from being an enormous headache, to easy as pie, and all it took was some patience on our part.
Do what works best for you, but remember that there is no parenting award for having the youngest potty trained child on the playground. Let’s be honest… wiping butts sucks, so I wish you the best in your potty training journey!
OKAY, OKAY, yes, despite the fact that the main secret to our success was just waiting for our toddler to mentally get on board, there are a few items we used to encourage her along the way that have made our lives easier. Here are the items that get the assist credit in our journey (affiliate).
#1 Potty Training Books. Potty Fairy Princess is our daughter’s favorite. Really anything about wearing underpants being cool seems to work.
#2 A Cool Potty. This is the one we have, it has a sensor that can tell when the child goes and plays music to celebrate. It also doubles as a stepping stool we use to wash hands and brush our teeth. It comes in pink or blue. We actually pack it up in our trunk when we go on trips, versus struggling to find a potty in an emergency
Fisher-Price Stepstool Potty, Pink Princess, Pink/White
#3 Potty Training Underpants. We initially tried pull-ups for when we ran errands, but my kid apparently thought they felt just like a diaper and would poop or pee in them regardless. So real talk – these don’t hold things in like a diaper (hence them feeling more real and being a deterrent to potty their pants). They do however hold in little accidents so they are good early stage training underpants, or undies for trips and such where there is a chance of an accident. Our daughter thinks they are super cute and looks forward to wearing them!
Disclaimer: I am a member of the Amazon Affiliates program… I am not sponsored by any of these products, I just really like them! I do however get a little kick-back if you purchase anything through the links provided. Prices are no different than if you were just shopping on your own 🙂