In this post, you aren’t going to find tips for how to potty train your toddler in one day, or three days, or even without crying on both sides. It took us way longer than 3 days, and there were plenty of tears, and also plenty of pee all over the bathroom rug. I can’t even confidently say that we are completely “done” potty training my 3-year-old boy. We still have accidents and there’s still pee all over the bathroom rug. (I better throw that in the wash.)
We started potty training my then almost 3-year-old purely by accident while I was on maternity leave after having my daughter. He was showing signs of interest and he was about the right age, but since I had a newborn at home, how could I even begin the process of potty training? But he decided for me. We already had the essentials to get started, the big boy underwear, a kid-sized potty seat for the toilet, and one day he didn’t want to wear a diaper anymore. And so began the days of having to run to the bathroom with a nursing newborn attached to me to help a toddler onto the toilet.
We’re big fans of incentive charts over here. We use one for toddler chores, I used one for potty training, and I’m currently using one for nighttime potty training (is that always harder than daytime potty training?) My son can really take ownership over a task if he’s able to get something out of it. He got to place a sticker on the “Potty Party Chart” after using the potty and then get a special prize each time he filled up the chart. Since his baby sister showed up, he’s had to share a lot of our attention with her, so I made the special prizes extra special by including one-on-one time and experiences as prizes instead of just candy or toys. But, the candy and toys are also favorites. Bonus points if they candy and toys came from a one-on-one trip to Target together.
So, if you’re just starting the potty training journey, or if you’re somewhere (hopefully) near the end like me, I wish you patience, Clorox wipes, and extra chocolate. Oh, and a “Potty Party Chart” might help for you too, so I created a free printable that you can grab before you go. You can do it!