The “when” and “must-haves"
Before I potty trained both my girls, I remember feeling anxious and overwhelmed. That might sound silly coming from me since I teach potty training for a living ;) Why did I feel this way? Because it is overwhelming, and the unknown can feel scary. I am a firm believer in having a plan and prepping children the best we can for new things and transitions. It is also helpful to prep ourselves too.
Remember, you have to be just as ready for this next step as your child is. Both are equally as important for the success of the training. I truly do not believe that you will miss a window, and your child will not be able to be potty trained. I don’t see a lot of kids in diapers in college, so make sure that everyone is ready to commit and fully jump in. Have faith that the ideal time to potty train is when they are ready, and you are ready. Some kids show every sign under the sun of being ready (my second), and some show very little (my first). Both were successfully potty trained.
With that being said, there are signs we want to watch and pay attention to. There is a trend of potty training earlier, and that is fine. However, it is important to meet the child where they are at, and not every kiddo will be ready on the early side. That is also okay. Pushing a child too early with potty training is not a good idea. Toileting skills are very independent skills, and we do not want to push a child too early and have them not be ready and, in turn, not be successful.
Here are some signs to look out for:
*Remember they do not need all of these to be ready.
- Age Range: 18 months- 3 years
- Can walk and sit independently
- Can follow simple directions and commands
- Shows interest in the toilet and going to the bathroom
- Can communicate when they need to go or have gone
- Tells you before or after they have gone
- Wants to be changed immediately after going to the bathroom in a diaper
- Less diaper changes throughout the day (can hold pee for 1-2 hours)
- Dry at nap or night time sleep
- Interest in the toilet/ when others use the bathroom
I often get asked, “What do I need for potty training?” I love this question because, again, the prep is key to success! Set everyone up for success. Below are my tried and true potty training key items. These are items I have used, recommended, and believe in. Every child and family is different, and this list is not the end all be all, but it is a nice start ;)
Building Blocks Family Go To Potty Training Items:
- Create a Reward Chart for stickers
- Create Reward Bins
- Get a Potty Seat and/or Squatty Potty
- Purchase new underwear
- Purchase Potty Watch
- Get rid of diapers (may keep pull-ups for nap/night)
- Discuss a new plan with the kiddo
Overall, make sure you prep and everyone in the house is ready to commit to the transition of potty training. Get all items set up before day one, and remember to communicate what is happening with your child as well. Deep breath & good luck!
Chelsea has her Bachelors of Art in Psychology from The University of Arizona (Go Wildcats!) and her Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy from The University of San Diego. She has worked extensively with children, families and couples specifically helping them with parenting skills and/or training. She has worked as a behavior interventionist, parent trainer, therapist providing individual, couple, family and group services and a sleep consultant. Chelsea owns her own company called Building Blocks Family where she provides consultation services on sleep, discipline, and potty training to families with children ages 0-6 years old. BBF was created to provide loving family solutions to families. She helps families to create a safe and predictable world for their children while maintaining healthy and safe practices. Most importantly, she helps them to create a happy environment for both parents and kids to thrive and enjoy! Chelsea enjoys in her free time taking a pilates or spin class, watching bad reality tv, hanging with her girlfriends and spending time with her family. Chelsea is married and has two daughters Harper (8) and Reese (4).
Follow on Instagram and Facebook: @buildingblocksfamily
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