There are so many potty training methods popular today. I both love and hate all the information so readily at my fingertips. I love it, because when I was faced with my own first kid to potty train and feeling overwhelmed I had literally thousands of other moms willing to offer me advice on how to do it. I hate it because…who wants to read thousands of articles on the same topic. Many of which are recycling the same pieces of advice just with a cooler headline or snazzier photo. It’s hard to wade through all the sameness to find the unique ideas out there.
So I did the wading for you. I’ve found eight different potty training methods. I did this because I know that every kid is different. The method that worked wonders of little Timmy down the street will likely not work on your child.
Potty training is a huge transition, and finding a method that best suits your child’s personality can help eliminate a lot of the stress that normally surrounds this stage in a child’s life. I’m also going to include a lot of children’s books that can be a helpful gateway to potty training, regardless of which method you choose. Giving the kiddo a little “heads up” that this will be happening soon can help it not be such a surprise when the great potty training day arrives.
Trashing Diapers – I don’t know if this one has an official name, but the main idea is to have a diaper-trashing ceremony with your child. Let them know that they are a big boy/big girl now and will be expected to wear underwear and use the toilet. It all happens at one time, the child will learn to be toilet trained during the day and throughout the night in one go. This way the child doesn’t get confused about when they can wear diapers or just wait until the end of the day when a diaper goes on for bedtime to use the restroom.
Potty train in a weekend – There is lots of structure and this method is much more involved, but you will get it done in a weekend. There’s a helpful book that goes with this method, a quick read but it will get you started on the right track and even troubleshoot some common problems. She also helps you know when your child is ready to train, which is a huge hurdle, regardless of the method that you choose. However, if you have more that one child you will definitely need the help of your significant other to help you with this one as you will be spending one on one time with the little one who is in training!
Grab the potty train in a weekend ebook here:
The potty party – For the kids who work well with long-term goals start planning a potty party. These are every bit a elaborate and fun a a birthday party. Streamers, cake, balloons maybe even a present. The catch is, kiddo doesn’t get their potty party until they are fully trained. Especially for older kids this larger incentive can work a lot better than a sticker reward chart. Alternatively, you could start with the potty party as a way to celebrate the first day of potty training. The child’s ‘gift’ could be a potty training kit and fun new underwear.
Anti-potty training – This is the method we used with my son. He’s quit hard headed and I knew trying to do any sort of structured program would just result in tears and fighting. Instead of structuring it and making rules I bought him a pack of underwear, showed it to him and told him to let me know when he was ready… Read the details of how to do the unstructured potty training method here.
Potty Drills – This method allows the child to practise using the potty so they get used to it. Set timers for every few minutes and take the child, more than they could ever need to go. This can help them become more aware of their bodies and what it feels like when they need to use the restroom.
Wait on night training – So many people think that you have to train during the day and at night at the same time. For many kids this works really well, but don’t feel bound to that if it’s not working for your child. It’s hard to get them up at night to use the restroom and it’s much more difficult for them to self-regulate while sleeping. I decided to not officially potty train through the night. Instead, I waited until my kids were waking up with dry diapers after bed and then allowed them to sleep in underwear. It eventually happens on its own if you give it time, either because the child will learn to wake up because they don’t want to be wet or because they will stay dry all night.
The Olaf Potty Training Method – This is what I did with my daughter and it worked brilliantly. I had tried all of the methods listed here thus far and nothing was working (Every kid is different, right?). Finally I bought her some underwear with her favorite character on them (for her, this was Olaf) and told her if she peed on Olaf he’d be VERY sad. She needed to keep Olaf dry so she didn’t hurt his feelings. She went from having accidents every five minutes to having two accidents in 5 months. Insane.
Reward Charts – These can be such a great incentive to a child who just needs a bit of extra nudging to be convinced that potty training is the right choice for their lives. Each time a successful trip to the potty is made, the child earns a sticker for their potty chart. When a chart is filled they get a special prize!
These are the main potty training methods being talked about these days! Have you heard of any other ones? How are you choosing what to do with your child? Remember, you aren’t bound by any of these, there’s not a specific right way to do it, so you can pick and choose pieces of each method to find what’s best for you and your family!
Let me know your best tips in the comments or if you haven’t done it yet, what potty training method you are planning to try!
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