I like to say that while I don’t have all the answers to parenting, one thing I am good at is potty training. Bunny was potty trained at 17 months old and Nagini was potty trained at 22 months old.
I’m pretty much a Tiger Mom about this, but, if your kid can talk, they can use the toilet! (barring any health issues, of course.)
Yes, there are a lot of benefits to early potty training from saving money on diapers to possibly preventing future health issues, but I must admit I was motivated simply because I cannot stand changing diapers and cleaning up poop!
Today I’m sharing my “secrets” to early potty training. (Disclosure: I’m not a potty training expert, just a motivated mom!)
Start as early as possible.
We started “potty training” our kids pretty much as soon as we came home from the hospital. If you pay attention (I know, it’s hard when you’re sleep deprived!), when infants poop, you can hear it. It’s wet and squishy sounding.
Well, as soon as we heard them going #2, we started making a grunting sound (“Mmm-hmm”). This helps build a sound association since babies can’t talk.
Between 11-13 weeks old, our kids started making a “Mmmmhuh” sound when they started going #2! We could put them on the toilet (if we were fast enough) and they would do their business there instead of the diaper!
They weren’t 100% potty trained then, but it helped us and them become more aware of when they needed to use the bathroom.
As our kids grew a little older, they could tell us when they went potty in their diaper. It helped them retain the feeling of disliking a dirty diaper. When babies are first born, as soon as they have a dirty diaper, they cry and cry, but over time, they just get used to it.
By starting earlier, it helps both of you!
Listen to your child.
Once you start, or even if you haven’t started potty training, pay attention to your child, especially if he gives signals. Maybe he is ready sooner than you think. Does he cry or tell you he has a dirty diaper? Does she come to you to have you change her? Yes? You’re ready!
Take your child potty before you go to bed.
I recommend doing this if your kid drinks milk or water before bed, or wakes up in the middle of the night crying with a wet diaper, or has a really, really wet diaper in the morning. It’s easy enough to take him/her to the bathroom. You want him to have slept for a few hours, and still have him groggy enough to go back to bed. I’d recommend doing this around age 2.
Predict the schedule.
After your child is around 13 months you can kind of see a predictable schedule of when s/he goes potty. It’s usually about 1 to 1.5 hours for pee and then a certain time of day for poop (after lunch, after dinner). As they get older (around 17-18 months), you can estimate around 2 hours for pee.
This is when you should start taking them to the bathroom. If you find a wet diaper, start the timer for an hour later to try again.
For #2, take him to the bathroom a little bit before her usual bathroom time. So, if she goes after lunch, wait 5 minutes after eating and then try.
Be consistent and give motivation.
Even if you’re not a stay-at-home parent, you can work with your child on your days off. There is no greater motivation than the promise of candy to get your child to go! Or, you know, applause and cheers work pretty good too!
The key is that you don’t backtrack once you make progress.
Don’t be discouraged. But don’t quit either!
Do you have any potty training tips and tricks that have worked in your house? I think cloth diapers helped in our house, but also giving motivation. 😉