Last week, we talked about what, in my opinion, is the most important factor when potty training your child, his age. Today, I’m going to give you some potty training tips that are super important as well, and they involve your mindset.
Like I said in my first post about potty training, it can be easy and breezy. It doesn’t have to be a long, drawn out process that makes you want to turn in your mom card at the end of the day.
Let’s discuss the three major mindset hacks that will bring you and your child to the other side of potty training quickly and easily.
Potty Training Tips #1- No Turning Back
As I laid out in my first post, it will be easy to see whether or not your child is ready within the first four hours of training. If he doesn’t show you the signs of readiness within that first four hours, he isn’t ready (don’t worry, I’ll get to my signs of readiness in another post).
With each of my children, I waited until the 3.5 age mark to start potty training. About half of them were ready during this first try, and so we proceeded forward with no turning back.
The other half, I could tell they needed a little more time because it wasn’t clicking for them.
Now, here’s the important part. I didn’t put the children who needed a bit more time into a weird potty training limbo routine. Potty training limbo involves a few different things:
B. Asking the child (whether in pull-ups or a diaper) if he needs to potty throughout the day.
C. Putting the child on the potty at different times throughout the day (like when he first gets up, before a bath, or before bed).
Being in potty training limbo does nothing to actually move the child forward into potty independence, and in fact, may just be confusing him.
So if he isn’t ready, just go back to a diaper for 3 months. When it’s time to try again, the important thing to remember is that you both need to be all in.
You have to make a commitment to the fact that he will never put on a diaper or pull-up during the daytime again, for any reason, and then stick to it!
Potty Training Tips #2- No Pull-Ups
Once you get through that first day of potty training, your child will know and understand very well what he needs to do. He will know exactly how it feels when he needs to go to the potty. And he will know exactly how to “hold it” to get to the potty in time.
He doesn’t need pull-ups. Even when he leaves the house, he doesn’t need them.
Using pull-ups is like using a safety net while walking across a balance beam that is two feet off the ground. Doing that would be silly, and will keep you from trusting and fully using your own balance.
I know that it’s super tempting to use pull-ups when leaving the house, and even during naptime. But with just a bit of preparation, you’ll be able to easily get through it.
Before naptime, have the child go to the potty. Lay a bath towel that has been folded in half underneath him. He *may* have an accident during the first one or two naps, but after that, he’ll stay dry. The majority of mine have not had any accidents during naptime from the very beginning.
Before leaving the house, have the child go to the bathroom. Don’t give him anything to drink while out, unless it is meal time, or unless you are planning to be out for a long time. After about 1.5 hours have passed, you can ask the child if he needs to go. If he says no, watch for signs. You’ll be able to recognize if it’s time for a potty break.
You will know from your day of intensive potty training about how long your child can hold it before having an accident. So once you start getting within 30 minutes of that time, go ahead and take him to the potty.
The first outing is always a little bit nerve-wracking, but practice makes perfect!
Potty Training Tips #3- Keep it Light and Fun
The last of my potty training tips for mindset is to keep it fun and easy. This should be a fun day full of tasty treats and drinks for your child. He’s growing up a little bit, gaining some indepence, make it fun!
This isn’t a time for sternness, judgement, or discipline. Potty training is about teaching your child a life skill.
Make sure you are smiling, even if there is an accident on the floor! If your child does have an accident on the floor during that first day of training (it’s bound to happen and it IS part of the training process), he’s going to be upset about it.
He’s going to need for you to be calm and re-assuring. He’s going to need for you to show him that accidents happen, and that’s okay.
If you follow these three potty training tips for your mindset, you will be well on your way towards easy potty training. Your attitude will make all of the difference in the world, both in how the experience pans out, and in how your child views you.
Make his potty training experience a positive one!
Kirstyn Langley says
I read this and the prior article on potty-training, but I’m still missing the picture of– what DO I do? The articles cover what not to do, and some guidelines for how to handle things, but on the morning you wake up planning to tackle this, what do you say to the kid? What are the directions you give them for the day on trying this new thing?
Ashley Buffa says
You’re right! I still need to write that post about the actual HOW of my potty training method. I will add that to my list, thanks for the reminder!