Charlie, who is almost three, is finally potty trained!! We waited until the last minute to start, because I honestly just felt like he was not ready. He surprised me, and I am going to share our experience with you all! If you are scared to start (like I was), hopefully our story will help ease your mind. I did not follow one specific method, I just read a bunch of different methods and combined them into what worked for us.
We started training the day after Christmas. I did some research beforehand, and everything said NOT to leave the house for the first few days. Since we were exhausted after Christmas, I knew we would be at home for the next few days. The night before we started, we prepped the playroom. We rolled up the rug, and laid out a small palette on the floor for him to sit on. I also put a small portable potty in the kitchen (right outside the playroom), put a toddler potty seat on our regular toilet, and put a bunch of his new Christmas toys into a big gift bag. I will link all of the specific potty items we used at the end of this post.
On day one, after Charlie woke up, we put a shirt on him and left his bottom half completely naked. He was so confused about this at first, and not happy about it. We gated him in the playroom and showed him the potty right outside the gate. He was instructed to let me know when he has to “tee tee” and I will take him to the potty. I literally sat in the playroom with him ALL DAY LONG. The first time, he peed a little on the floor, and I quickly grabbed him and took him to the potty. I reminded him that we do not “tee tee” on the floor, only in the potty. After a few small accidents, he quickly grasped the concept. After every successful potty trip, I let him get a toy out of the gift bag to play with. I spent the first day asking him if he had to potty literally every 15-20 minutes. I also gave him water, juice, and milk, ALL day long to keep him hydrated and having to go to the potty. Practice makes perfect! There were no poops on the potty the first day, Charlie has constipation issues, and that’s a whole other story, haha. After dinner, we put him in a pull up for bed.
Day 2, we still left Charlie’s bottom half completely naked. We followed the same pattern as the day before, I gave him tons of fluids, and asked him every 20 or so minutes if he had to potty. At the end of the day, Charlie began telling me when he needed to go, rather than me asking him constantly. He did not have any accidents on day 2!! I was SO impressed. But, we did stay confined to the playroom all day, and I watched him the whole time. He went “poo poo” in the potty on the second day all by himself! He got lots of praise for this!
Day 3 we decided to try wearing underwear. He was confused by this and thought it was like wearing a diaper, He immediately peed into the underwear. So I kept him naked again the rest of the day. No accidents after that! On the night of day 3, we had to run a quick errand, so I put on underwear and put Charlie in his carseat. I literally asked him 1000 times during our drive if he needed to potty, and thank goodness, his underwear were dry when we got home! Even though the underwear made it confusing for him, I figured it was time to keep them on.
Day 4 is currently were we are! He has been in underwear all day, and has not had any accidents. He now calls his underwear his “big boy pants” and knows to go potty in the potty, not in the underwear. I am still giving him lots of fluids to drink, and asking him every so often if he needs to go potty. But, for the most part, Charlie goes to the potty on his own. I am so impressed at how fast he learned!! Starting tomorrow, I am going to try to do a few small outings with him and see how he does.
My Best Advice:
So even though we still have a ways to go, Charlie is potty trained in the house! He did so well, and was essentially potty trained in only a few days. A few tips I learned: positive reinforcement is key. I cheered every time he went in the potty. He would jump, high-five, and show buzz (his buzz action figure) his “tee tee” in the potty! Also, for rewards, you don’t have to go by a ton of toys or a million different candies. Just take toys they already have, put them in a bag, and let them pick out a “special” toy every time they go! Another huge tip, give them fluids all day long. Like I said earlier, practice makes perfect. How will they learn if they aren’t repeating the action all day long?! Just make it fun for them! If you stress, they will stress, and it will be a terrible experience. It is boring and exhausting being confined in one room watching a naked toddler all day, but this method definitely worked for us! I hope this helps someone else who is scared to start….and if you have any questions please ask!!