In my previous article, I listed the potty training options and gave you a quick guide how to potty train your toddler in one week. Now I’m going to walk you through the preparation and process of potty training in 1 week in more details before I get to the final section – potty training case study, telling you exactly how I potty trained my children (coming soon).
What you need for potty training
Prepare in advance to make sure it goes as smoothly as possible. I had everything ready weeks before I started potty training as I knew that it will come some day soon but I couldn’t get myself to decide when or to find courage to start.
Then one day, I just had this inner feeling telling me “it’s the right time” and I did it. I took the nappy off my child to let her/him realize that something is actually happening when she/he is doing wee-wee. I never put the nappy back on and we never looked back.
For potty training, you will need:
- Potty and/or toddler toilet seat and little stool to step on when using toilet
- Your child’s favourite little treats
- Many pieces of underpants and trousers (10-20 pieces)
- Many washable cloths to dry out the accidents before disinfecting the surface
- Disinfectant spray
- Baby wipes to make it easier to clean the mess
- Waterproof change mats – disposable or washable (for car seat, sofa etc.)
- Smaller potty or travel potty for going out & about the first few weeks
- Toilet training pants to use instead of nappies during nap time and at night
Let’s give it a go…
Once you have everything ready, you can start potty training anytime. Any day, in the morning or in the evening, simply when you feel that it’s the right time. Maybe your child will show you clear interest in potty training and you will take his nappy off “out of sudden” or you can plan to potty train over the long weekend. It’s up to you.
Potty training execution plan
- Take the nappy off
- Start explaining that wee-wees and poo-poos go inside the potty
- Reward every try (sitting on the potty) with a praise and every little success (every tiny little drop inside the potty) with a treat
- Reward the dry time with a sticker
- Keep explaining that wee-wee does NOT below on the floor. It’s not fun and NO, we’re not making puddles to splash in. Mummy is not having fun cleaning up the mess either.
- Track any accidents and successes so you can see the progress over the time. Or rather don’t, you might be more frustrated at the end of the day when counting the accidents marks… Or do, it WILL get better from one day to another.
- Hang in there. Most kids have that “click” moment by the day 4 of potty training.
The potty training book that we have says: When learning to use potty, you might sometimes have accidents. That’s ok, you just need to practice.
I think it applies as soon as your toddler understands where wee-wees and poo-poos should go and she shows some signs of cooperation. Until then, you need to keep explaining that wee-wee doesn’t belong on a floor, it’s not ok that her pants, socks and shoes are wet and you’re not happy about having to tidy up. Because if your toddler thinks that it is ok to still do everything into her pants and doesn’t mind being wet or dirty, everything will stay as it was when she had her nappy on, only you will have much more mess to clean up. But as soon as she gets the point and starts cooperating, you will see great progress every day. There will be less and less accidents, more and more dry days and you will soon be able to enjoy a nappy-free life 🙂
The most important thing is what happens when there’s a success
When your child makes a single drop of wee-wee INSIDE the potty, you need to make a huge deal about it. Be happy, praise, clap your hands, scream, sing a song, dance, do whatever your child would like you see doing, no matter how crazy it is and exaggerate. Throw her in the air, then sing and clap hands again. Talk about how great it is that there’s a wee-wee in the potty and let her help you bring it to the toilet and flush. Wash hands and give her the favourite treat.
How to tidy up after the potty training accident?
First, dry as much of a liquid as possible with a dry cloth. Then, apply the disinfectant spray, which is good for removing odours and at last, rub the area with clean, dry cloth again.
You can even make your own, home-made disinfectant spray by mixing white vinegar, water and alcohol and putting it into the spraying bottle. Alcohol and vinegar are good for disinfection and they’re also great for removing odours. Don’t worry about the smell of vinegar, it will fade off quite soon. The important thing is that the surface will be 100% germs free and safe for your little one. Even if it’s her toys that got “affected.”
When cleaning “bigger” accidents like for example when a poo-poo ends up on the rug, start cleaning with baby-wipes, then continue with disinfectant spray and so on. Learning how to do a poo-poo into the potty usually takes longer time. It requires a lot of patience. Also, remember that your child needs some privacy. Don’t stand next to him asking: “Are you done yet?”
Prepare for the toilet training some time in advance. When you have everything ready, you can take the nappy off whenever you feel that it’s the right time. Reward every try. Praise sitting on the potty, every little success deserves a treat and a dry time deserves a sticker.
Read also the case study – how I potty trained my own 3 children in less then a week.