Potty training is my least favorite part of being parent. I have long said that if I could pay someone to do one element of parenting for me. It would be potty training. When I first started thinking about potty training my oldest, I felt overwhelmed. So many people said they could do it in three days or one day. How was I supposed to teach her that in 1 day? Then I talked to my sister. My sister has five little boys and she is something of a super mom. She promised me that potty training in one day was absolutely doable. I followed her advice and it worked fantastic for our first child, now I am getting ready to do it with out second! The secret? A potty party.
When you say the words potty party, people look at you kind of funny, but it isn’t like a typical party at all. The point of a potty party is to make potty training fun and exciting for your kid. Take away the stress and make it a party. You don’t have to invite guests, you just have to let your little one know that this is a special day! Here are all my tips for making 1 day potty training a success.
You will need:
- a lot of treats and juice. Their favorites.
- Small prizes. Since you are giving them so many treats, sometimes a different kind of prize is better for successes. We are using plastic bracelets.
- Small decorations
- toilet paper rolls
- A baby doll
- training underwear
- things to clean up accidents (wet wipes and a big roll of Bounty!)
The very first thing I do is set up the party before they wake up. It doesn’t have to be anything over the top, just enough for them to know that this is a special day that is about them. The MOST important thing about this day is to have it be just you and them. Your husband might need to take a day off to be with the other kids or take them to grandmas, but you need to be focused 100% of your little one.
At the beginning of the day, after breakfast, show your little one how to go potty with the baby doll. I like to use a medicine dropper full of water to give my kids the illusion that the baby went to the potty. The reason? Because then you can show them that the doll gets a reward! For the first part of the day, I like to keep them on the little potty the entire time. We sit and color and play games. This helps them have some successes right away. After that we set a timer for 15 minutes and every 15 minutes we go back to the potty for a couple of minutes.
Keep the TV off and do small activities such as play-doh and coloring. You don’t want them to go so absorbed in a show that they have an accident. When they have an accident we race to the potty and say together that we go potty in the potty not on the floor. We actually do this multiple times to help them know to race to the potty.
- Make sure they ready to potty train about 2 or 2 and a half.
- Make sure you buy them their favorite drink. You need them to be drinking all day long to have successes.
- Don’t get frustrated. You don’t want them to associate potty training with your frustration.
- When you have a success call someone who will make a big deal about it. For us this is an aunt or grandma.
- Let them know when they have an accident that cleaning up an accident isn’t fun, but make sure to make it about the accident and not about them!
- Be consistent, don’t go back to diapers!
- Let them know they are a big kid. One of my daughter’s favorite things is to see me put chapstick on in front of a mirror. So we gave her a tube and let her put it on over and over because she is a big kid now!
- Play some fun games. One of the things my kids love that is that they have my undivided attention all day. I don’t answer the phone. It is just me and them. We play some silly games and make up silly potty training songs to keep them excited. My kids LOVE to play bowling with rolls of toilet paper. It is silly and something we don’t normally do, so they love it. I didn’t want to have to run out to the store on potty training day.
- We also love playing a toss game with toilet paper.
In my experience, you train for a full day and then you have to reinforce it for several more days. The second day is hard for me because you are trying to go back to your regular routine, but stick with it and it will get easier. My older daughter had very few accidents using this method. I think the biggest trick is to help them have successes early on, by keeping them on the potty. This way they get to have a reward to start the day.
My little ones have both love playing with the doll and putting underwear on them and as you can see apparently clean underwear is a hat too. Who knew?
Even though potty training can be a daunting part of being a parent, it doesn’t have to be a bad part. This method has really worked for all five of my sisters kids and for me. It is a way to make it fun instead of upsetting. Good luck!