My Top 5 Potty Training Tips for Boys + An UpdateMonday, September 08, 2014
Many thanks to Pull-Ups for sponsoring today’s story
and creating the Big Kid Academy for us Potty Trainers.
and creating the Big Kid Academy for us Potty Trainers.
A little less than a month ago, I wrote a post sharing my honest experience, struggles, and where we were with potty training. It hasn't been an easy road for us. Don't get me wrong, it definitely could be A LOT worse, but I found myself frustrated and wishing for an easier way. I saw my husband and other caregivers frustrated and it left my son without the confidence I think he had in the beginning.
Truth is, I don't think anyone really knows what they are doing the first go-round and from the moms I've talked to with multiple children, they seem have a different story for each child. A story for their boy and a totally different experience for their girl. I've even had some tell me each of their children were completely different no matter their gender. So, to all of you moms out there waiting, hoping for the right time and doing all the research - you are doing a great job! To all of you moms in the midst of it, hang in there and since this post is about my Top 5 Potty Training Tips read on because I feel like others can learn from my experience with my son and maybe I'll just come back here and read this in two and half years or so when it's time to train my second son.
So, let's start with my supply list. When starting something new, I feel like I'm more confortable if I'm maaaybe a little over prepared, but honestly I used every single thing pictured at some point since we threw the diapers away in May. Supplies from left to right - Flushable wipes, awesome big boy underwear (lined and unlined), smartphone (equipped with the Time to Potty App), Once Upon a Potty "boy", Incentives (food, small toys - things that are special treats for your child) and Pull-Ups Training Pants (with Jake the Pirate as Jonah calls him on the front). If you haven't enrolled in The Big Kid Academy yet and are even thinking about potty training, I'd go ahead and do it now. There is so much great advice that, even now after months of going through this, I wish I'd read before I started. You can feel like you are chatting with experts in child development as well as those experts we just call other moms who are going through the same thing you are! There are also great games and puzzles they can play as rewards for going potty!
My Top 5 Potty Training Tips
- Do your research. Don't blindly jump in thinking "how hard can this be?" Trust me. Take your time. Visit websites like Pull-Ups.com and visit their Tips and Advice Sections to get info straight from experts and other moms. Even if you think a certain method isn't for you, read about it, ask other moms what worked for them, and make an initial plan based on the research/methods you are most comfortable with. Don't use a certain method because it's popular. Do what feels right for your child and family.
- Don't force it! Many children show signs that they are ready and some never do, but if you decide to jump in and introduce the potty to them, just be prepared to back off if you need to. Just like walking, crawling, talking, and teething - potty training is a development milestone that you can't make happen. Jonah started using the potty around 19 months old. He just decided one day that he wanted to use the potty like his older cousins and every time we'd put him on the potty he'd go- about two weeks later the interest completely disappeared and I let it go. We'd still encourage him to sit on the potty but if didn't act interested we didn't push it. So, we wound up waiting until 30 months to really give it a try and at that point - he wasn't ever going back to diapers.
- Follow your child's learning style. The best piece of advice I've come across over the past few months is that no two kids train alike. Like I said earlier - it even varies within families. At this point in your child's development you may be getting a sense of how your child learns. Do they respond best to visual ques, verbal ques, etc. Use that to your advantage because they are in-fact learning a new skill.
- It's okay to have set backs. In this learning process, your child will most likely have set backs. For us, it didn't happen until about a month and a half after Jonah started training. It's not like he was perfect, but it seemed all of a sudden he just gave up. When you do have a set back, you may need to just take a step back, talk with his other caregivers and start from nearly step one.
- Reward them like crazy and love them through it all! It doesn't matter if you use incentives like stickers, candy, toys, or praise and special activities - make sure you are giving them positive reinforcement for the behavior you want - which is putting that pee and poop in that potty! I think this has been my biggest initiation into boy-mom-hood yet! The things you talk about when potty training a boy are pretty hilarious. I mean I think I've said the words poop and potty more over the last couple of months than ever before in my life. My point is though, you have to be specific about the behavior that you want and then be proud of it! Your son peepeeing standing up and aiming right at the water is worthy of a new matchbox car and you telling daddy and grandma how proud you are of him ten times that day! When the accidents, setbacks, and disappointments happen it's easy to moan and groan and ask them why, but I had to start reminding my self to really just love him through it. What better time to show them that they can really count on you then when you are up to your elbows in poop and bleach. He is your baby after all and he is learning!
What's the best advice you've gotten when potty training?