The 7 Potty Training Essentials You Absolutely Need
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When my wife and I first started potty training our twins, I remember dreading it. Throwing on a diaper was just so easy! But I knew it was time to start potty training when my 3 year old brought me a diaper and asked me to change it for them. Join me as I lay out the seven potty training essentials that you absolutely need.
Before our twins were even ready to potty train, we had two potties sitting in the bathroom, ready to go. This allowed them to ask questions about the potties and get curious and excited when the big day finally arrived. We found that our children asked to use the potty before they were even ready to be potty trained. You will want a potty that is comfortable and easy to use. I recommend the 3-in-1 potty. We use ours as a step stool to wash hands immediately afterwards!
2. Potty Training Underwear
One of the potty training essentials that you will want to have on hand is potty training underwear. When you are serious about potty training, do your best not to go back to having them wear diapers. If you keep throwing on a diaper, your child may fall back to the same routine.
Encourage the use of potty training underwear and that it is okay if they have an accident. It happens. My only exception here is on a long car ride or if you’re going to be gone and out of the house for most of the day. There are some pretty cool potty training underwear options online that will make your child feel like a big boy or girl.
3. Potty Training Rewards
I will preface this by saying, do what works for you and your child! For us, we did a little dance and made a big deal every time our children would go on the potty. We awarded them with one M&M when they went #1 and two M&Ms when they went #2. If you don’t want to go the candy route, you can certainly award them with something else! When potty training, it is essential to praise your child and reward them for their accomplishments. Encourage them that they can do it! And by the way: If they can’t do it, that’s okay too. Let them try again in 15 minutes (Or whatever time you choose).
4. Potty Training Chart
Having a chart that marks their daily and weekly progress will help motivate you and your child. We found sticker charts online of Spiderman for my son and princesses for my daughter that we printed out and used. Some sticker charts will reward the child for going potty, flushing and washing their hands.
Personally, we used the sticker chart to keep progress of each night they would sleep and not have an accident. This motivated our son especially, since boys typically struggle more with accidents in bed. He would wake up in the morning absolutely pumped that he didn’t have an accident AND he got to add a sticker to his chart. You can find some neat sticker charts on Amazon or Pinterest.
Providing your child with educational books about going potty will pay dividends. In my opinion, it is truly a game changer. This works two-fold:
- You can read the books to your child about going potty so they understand.
- Your child will then take the book and look at it while they sit on the potty.
We found that books helped them understand the “why” and not be afraid of the potty, but rather enjoy the process. My son would occasionally bring his action figures in the bathroom with him too. That worked for him and amazingly, only Batman ever ended up inside the potty. Oops.
These are a few of the books we enjoyed:
6. Potty Timer
Okay, this one may seem silly, but when you’re in potty training mode, every minute matters! When your child finally agrees to sit on the potty, there is a good chance that they won’t be successful yet. That’s okay. But do not give up and call it a day. Tell your child you will start a timer for 10 minutes and you will try again. This step is so important! Keep them in underwear. Do not put a diaper back on. Let them feel like a big boy or big girl and get them comfortable in cool underwear. Do not set the timer too long to avoid accidents. A timer is essential when you are in the trenches of potty training.
7. Teamwork and Patience
Have you read my recent series on teamwork and parenting? Potty training is going to take every bit of teamwork with your spouse and patience with your child. One of the most important potty training essentials is that you show your child patience as it may take weeks for them to get comfortable with using the potty consistently. That’s okay. Remember, every child is different, so your methods may vary for each child. But it is important to remain patient. If you show frustration, that may overwhelm your toddler and regression may begin.
Remember, potty training does not have to be completed and successful in one weekend. It may take time. But by utilizing these seven potty training essentials, I have no doubt that you will be successful and I cannot wait to hear about it!