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September 17, 2021 6 min read

DIAPERS, OUT OF THE WINDOW! 

The moment has come. It’s time for your baby to learn how to become a big girl and learn how to handle some business by herself. It’s time for your little one to develop some sense of independence and confidence. But how?
First, you’ve got to understand that potty training is a process and there are going to be some smelly accidents, of course, but don’t give up! Stick to the method presented here and trust the process.

WHEN TO START POTTY TRAINING YOUR BABY

Parents never really know when it’s the right time to start potty training their child. Truth is, not all kids are ready at the same age, so it’s essential for you to be alert for signs of readiness, such as stopping an activity for a few seconds or clutching to his diaper. Age doesn’t matter here, signs do. Look for them, because your baby at a certain point should be able to:
  • Follow your instructions
  • Understand the meaning of the word “potty”
  • Connect the urge to pee or poop to using the potty
  • Keep the diaper dry for more than 2 hours
  • Sit on the potty in time before missing it
  • Pull down the diaper or training pants or underpants
  • Show some sort of interest in the whole process
Most babies being to show these signs around the age of 18 to 24 months old, although some might take a little longer. Usually boys start a little later than girls.
You might also want to put off starting toilet training in situations such as traveling, changing from crib to bed, moving to a new house or when your baby is sick.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE?

Unfortunately, this is not an overnight process. It may take between 3 to 6 months, more or less. The Three-Days Method here presented is a great tool that you can use to shorten that time. You may succeed or you may miserably fail, but don’t worry! Keep you spirit high and keep trying until you and your baby succeed.

POTTY TYPES

Without getting overly creative, there are mainly two potty options:
  1. A stand-alone, toddler-size potty chair with a bowl that can be emptied into the toilet
  2. A toddler-size seat that can be placed on top of a toilet seat that will let your child feel not scared of falling in. Buying a stepping stool to help your baby reaching the seat might be a good investment.

For your baby boy, teach him how to handle business from sitting down before peeing standing up. You may also want to get a training potty or seat for every bathroom in your house and a spare one to keep in your car for emergencies.

THE THREE-DAY METHOD

Now that you know how to recognize if your baby is ready to go through this challenge and come out a winner and you’ve got your beautiful sets of potty chair all around the house, it’s game time!
Pick a weekend (or three days in a row) where you know you can fully dedicate yourself to your baby. Be ready because you’ll be spending 72 hours straight with your child. Have fun with him! Stock up on games to do! Really make it an exciting weekend. Build anticipation by taking him to the store to buy some big boy underwear together and get him pumped about it!
The week before, let him know that it is time to say a full goodbye to diapers, since during the three-day training he’ll be using underwear all the times unless he’s sleeping. Show him the remaining diapers that you have and tell him that those are going to be the last ones. After that, no more.
Share the method with your partner and other caregivers, so you won’t be alone in this. They all need to know what is going on that weekend. This way you can even take shifts and everyone is on the same page. By sharing the responsibility, your child learns that they must use the toilet with everyone, not just in certain situations or with specific adults.
You are ready now… take a deep breath and enjoy the process!


DAY 1

As soon as your baby wakes up, change her diaper and leave her bare-bottomed for the whole day. With nothing to hold her “poo poo”, she would feel the need to use the toilet.
Now it’s time to fill her up! Give your baby a big glass of water, juice, or milk so she has to pee frequently. Have a sippy cup near your child's reach and watch intently for signs that she’s about let it all out.
As soon as you notice the sign, it’s go time. Take her to the bathroom immediately to use the toilet. Ask her if she has to go every 20 minutes. Try setting an audible 20-minute timer so she knows that when the timer goes off it is time to try to use the toilet. Make sure to have your child wash hands after each attempt to instill healthy habits.
If your child doesn’t want to collaborate, you could say “let’s try after you are done playing with your toys" or anything that could get them excited. Have her attempt to use the toilet at every transition, after cleaning up a toy, before snack or lunch, and before and after nap and bedtime. This will become part of her daily routine.
Use emotionally neutral, behavioral observations regarding your child’s progress. “You peed in the toilet, that’s where pee belongs!” or “you peed on the floor, help me clean it up.”
You know your child best. Some children respond well to an exciting celebration of success while others become uncomfortable with the attention. Some children respond well to rewards so if your child is motivated by stickers or small treats, you may decide to do a reward chart to encourage potty training.


DAY 2 & DAY 3

You may expect and want to do something different, but essentially on day 2 and 3 you are going to do exactly what you did on day 1. The method helps installing a behavioral routine so you need to stick to it and observe the progress.
If you feel like going outside, to the playground or in proximity of the house, always remember to bring with you a small portable potty. And just in case, a change of underwear, because accidents can always happen.


NAPS AND NIGHTTIME

It is your personal decision whether or not to put a diaper on during nap and nighttime during three-day potty training. Your baby can often be helpful in decision making, too.
The life without a diaper is a totally new sensation and it may feel uncomfortable or scary for some children. Remain positive and reassuring as you support your child during this process. Never punish him or make him feel guilty if a mistake happens. That can create a negative association with using the potty and ruin the training.
Believe in the process. It is very easy to get discouraged on day 2 when your child is having accidents, but once you make it to day 3 and beyond, your child will show you that he understands what it means to be potty trained.

TIPS FOR TOILET TRAINING

There are some very helpful things that you can do in order to get your baby ready to try the potty:
  • Get your baby excited about bathroom etiquette. Show her how the toilet flushing works and how to wash her hands
  • Get her familiar with the bathroom. Take her with you and show her what big girls do
  • Always use the same words to express the need to use the toilet (“potty”, “pee” and “poop”)
  • Remind your baby to let you know when her diaper is wet
  • When your baby shows the urge to pee or poop, ask her “Are you going to poop?”
  • Get your child used to sitting on the potty chair with her clothes on first, then bare-bottomed
  • Never force your baby to sit on the toilet against her will
  • Be of great example. Show her how you would sit on the potty chair and explain what you are doing
  • Establish a routine. Maybe have your child sit on the potty within 15 to 30 minutes after meals or 45 to 60 minutes after drinking lots of liquids
  • Avoid clothes that are hard to take off
  • Offer your child small rewards, such as stickers or time reading, every time your child goes in the potty


Potty training doesn't usually come easily or without bumps, so don't underestimate the process. It's all about waiting for signs of readiness in your toddler, setting the stage and going for it.
While the prospect of ditching the diapers is exciting, getting there can try your parenting patience. But don’t lose hope. Potty training your toddler might seem endless, but sooner or later your little one will get the hang of it and outgrow diapers. Good luck!

Like always, feel free to leave a comment below or share your experience!

 


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