Potty Training 101 – Part 1

We are potty training. If you’re a parent, what do those words evoke in you?  For me, they summon up huge fears and insecurities.

I mean, can I really train my toddler to stop doing what she’s been doing (without much notice!) for almost 3 years now?  This same toddler who can be quite defiant and independent?  Seriously, I have to do this?

It’s a really big deal!!  And a lot of time, commitment and consistency.  Ah, consistency.  That’s always the tough part of parenting, huh?

We’ve somewhat mastered the transition to a toddler bed, so I’d thought I’d share whats working for us on our next transition.  From diapers to underwear. :)

Use a Timer

This is probably one of the best ways I’ve heard to buckle down and begin potty training.  Set a timer to go off every 15 minutes.  When the timer goes off, your child has to sit and try to go potty.  Even if your child doesn’t feel like going, sitting on the potty this often helps to get your little one in the habit of using the toilet.  Also, Brylee will tell me she doesn’t have to go but often when I make her sit down, she will go!

This may seem tedious and a lot of work, but we brought the little potty into the main area of the house and just worked it into our normal day.  Also, teaching your child to pull down and pull up his or her own underwear frees you from having to go with your child to the potty every time.

Portable Potty

Like I just mentioned, having a small portable potty that can be taken around the house to where you spend most of the day really helps with the 15 Minute Method.  We placed ours in the main area of the house on the tile floor and in plain sight.  When it was time to go, I sent Brylee to her potty a few feet away and watched while I continued to do what I was doing.  Simple and easy!

Lots of Liquids

Not sure where I got this idea, but it is a good one!  Fill your child up with yummy tasting liquids!  The more your child drinks, the more he or she will have to go potty.  This is a good thing when potty training at home!  Our girls normally get milk in the mornings and evenings and plain water during the day.  So, anything sweet-tasting is a treat!  We had some Crystal Light Fruit Punch in the pantry, so I just whipped up some of that and boy, did Brylee ever gulp it down!  ;)

Underwear or Run Free

Putting your child in underwear or letting your child be pantless while potty training at home works well with the 15 Minute Method.  We chose to put Brylee in underwear, since she will go a tiny bit in her underwear and then realize she needs to go potty.  We tried the pantless but she just lets it run down her legs.  LOL.  I think the wetness of the underwear bothers her, so she stops and then runs to the potty.  But definitely pick either, not Pull Ups since they are too much like a diaper, keeping them feeling dry when they are wet.

The four of these tips together is how we started potty training.  I woke up one day and decided this was the day!  We did the 15 Minute Method for not even a week and our 2.5 year old caught on quickly.  I think she was definitely ready, she just needed some structure and a push!

Tomorrow I will share some more tips on potty training and some items to have on hand!  Stay tuned!  :)

Read Potty Training 101 – Part 2.

Linking to Women Living Well Wednesdays and Works For Me Wednesdays.

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9 Responses to Potty Training 101 – Part 1

  1. Courtney says:

    Have you figured out how to take her out in public yet?

    • Carolyn says:

      Yes. I am sharing this tomorrow but I’ll tell you now. :) We put a Pull Up over her underwear. So she has the underwear against her skin. The Pull Up is just there in case she does go a little. We did take her out and she did tell me she had to go in the middle of the store. So we ran to the bathroom and she just went a tiny bit in her underwear. Then she went in the potty! I just switched out her underwear and put the Pull Up back on. We even braved Cracker Barrel with no Pull Up and she didn’t go at all! We also keep the little potty in the van, which she also went in. I will make her go if we are out for awhile even if she says she doesn’t have to because I worry that she is holding it and I don’t want her to get a bladder infection. I want to know how it is going with you! Calling you now so we can chat! :)

  2. Tessa says:

    congratulations on the potty training. Those words make me want to run and hide! My son is probably ready….but I don’t waaaaaaannnnnnaaaa. I need to stop whining and just do it already. Thanks for these tips. Maybe we’ll do it this weekend??

    • Carolyn says:

      Hehe. Tessa, you sound just like I did!! :) but you can do it! Your son just might surprise you! Let me know how it goes!

    • Courtney says:

      Tessa, that’s exactly how i felt!!! i just didn’t want to!!! my daughter is doing well now…at least with the peeing part. we’re finishing up week 2 now.

  3. Vanessa says:

    Thanks for the tips, they are sipmle yet (hopefully) effective. We will start potty training next week. I look forward to seeing what you have to say tomorrow.

  4. Laura says:

    Hey! This is a great idea!! Lol, I have 9 children and potty training is really really my nemesis. They all end up getting through it, of course, but I dread the process each time. :-)


    • Carolyn says:

      Laura, I am going to have to go checkout your blog! I am sure you have some great parenting and kid friendly tips! We have two other little ones and plan on having more. While potty training hasn’t been as super difficult as I imagined, it’s still tough at times. So, I am kind of dreading going through it many more times. lol! :)

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