Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Potty Training Tips and Gear

Oh boy.  Today we're going to talk about something I am personally dreading.

Potty Training.

My daughter is 23 months and just about ready to graduate from her diapers.  I may not be quite as ready as she is.  Shh.  Don't tell.  I'm not looking forward to puddles on the floor and pulling pee-soaked pants off of her at the grocery store.  But, I am excited, because my little girl is becoming a big girl!  Let's explore this unknown land of potty training together, along with a few hints from my girlfriends who've been through it.

Let's start with some affirmations to get ourselves through this.  This won't last forever.  My child will potty train (eventually).  I won't have to clean up messes and wash dirty diapers forever.  I can do this!!

Ok.  Now onto the nitty gritty.  How do you know when your child is ready to start potty training?  There are plenty of ways your child might clue you in to their readiness.  If your little one starts to tell you before or after they go potty, if they become agitated in a wet diaper, they might be ready.  If they show an interest in what you are doing when you go to the bathroom (because let's be real here- you know they are always in that darn bathroom when you have to go!) they might be ready.  If they're able to go at least two hours in between going pee, they might be ready!

So if your child is showing one or more of these signs, how in the world do you go about potty training?  I've had friends that let their kids lead- slowly but surely their little ones use the potty more and more often.  They shower them with praise (and sometimes treats) each time they go, and that works for their children.  I have also had friends who do the three-day-naked-time method.  Pick a warm week, and spend three days watching your child like a hawk.  Keep the diaper-less and pant-less.   Offer to take them to the potty every half an hour or so, and just keep sitting them on their little potty.  If they have an accident, they will feel the consequences of it immediately.  Most kids, when they're really ready to potty train, will not like the feeling of their pee running down their little legs.  This method requires some hard-core dedication, and it can be messy.  I've had several friends swear by it, but just be careful not to push it before your little one is ready.

Another thing to think about is how your child is going to be most comfortable.  Some toddlers like the feeling of sitting on a big potty.  If that's your toddler, consider getting a little seat that sits inside of the full sized seat on your toilet such as the Kalencom Potette Plus which does double duty as a portable potty and a potty trainer seat.  For my little girl, the big potty is fun to climb on, but it freaks her out to sit on the open toilet seat.  So we went with a little mini-potty.

We've got some great, compact little potty options here at Thanks Mama, perfect for your little one when they start potty training.  The My Carry Potty looks like a potty when it's opened, but is also small and portable with a convenient handle so you can take it on the go when you need to.  It has a leak-proof seal that will keep in fluids, moisture, and smells so that you don't have to dump the potty when you're on the go (though I'm sure most of you probably wouldn't want to lug around a potty full of pee... but it's nice to know that you can if you absolutely have to)!  This is a great option if your little one needs familiarity in order to feel comfortable enough to use the potty.

If you like the idea of a portable little potty for time away from home, but think that something like the My Carry Potty is just a little to big to carry around, or if you plan on keeping a spare potty in your car, the On The Go Potty is perfect.  It's small.  Really small.  It folds up flat enough to fit into most diaper bags, and has its own little carry bag to keep your diaper bag clean.  When your child is ready to potty, just unfold the legs and pop one of the disposable liners on it.  The liner will catch everything, and give you super easy clean up.  When you are ready to get rid of it, you simply tie the liner closed and toss it in the nearest garbage can.  Then all you have to do is fold up the potty, put it back into it's carrying bag, and you're ready to go!  It's really a great option if you and your little one are out of the house often, or if you travel quite a bit.

Obviously potty training can come with a lot of headaches and trial and error, but picking a great potty for your child doesn't have to be stressful.  We have options for you, not matter what way your child is most comfortable going to the potty.  So good luck to you, and to me, because we are about to embark on one of the quintessential rites of passage for both parents and toddlers.  Don't worry if it doesn't go smoothly at first, and remember- this too shall pass.  Soon we will have potty trained toddlers and less diaper laundry!  Hooray!  Now that thought is enough to keep me going.

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