We had a pretty big motivation to start potty training Baby Pencil at 27 months. Money! His school happily helps you potty train, but you have to pay an extra $125 per month. After I stopped working, I realized that income could really help us. So onto the Dollar Tree store I went! I picked up a bunch of random toys that could fit in a big bucket. I didn’t really follow any specific method, but I just picked up on other people’s ideas and catered to Baby Pencil’s personality. I knew he got easily excited whenever I hyped things up, and I knew he loved anything new. What kid doesn’t? So here’s the way we successfully started our potty training:
Checklist for Potty Training:
- Cheap underwear (about 10)
- Padded underwear (about 5)
- Waterproof bedding
- Bucket of toys or treats
- Whichever type of potty your child likes
- Bucket for soaking soiled underwear/clothes
- Long sweatpants that will soak up accidents
1 Week Before Potty Training
- Talk about how he’s such a big boy now
- Say that big boys wear underwear and not diapers
- Each time I changed a diaper, I told him “soon, there will be no more diapers!” and made it sound really exciting and amazing.
- Talk about how many toys he will be getting
- Show him the big bucket of toys with excitement
The Day Before Potty Training
- Waved goodbye to his last diaper
- Repeated over and over about how there will be no more diapers
- Told him how proud I am of him being a big boy
First Day of Potty Training
- Made a big deal of his new underwear by spreading them out and had him choose whichever one he wants
- Expected lots of accidents
- Took him to the potty once every hour (give or take)
- Had him wear long sweats to soak up the urine
- With his first accident, he was so surprised but I reassured him it was OK and that’s why we needed to sit on the potty
- Pretty soon he understood he was NOT supposed to pee in his pants so he would whimper a little when a little bit of pee came out. I observed his face all day, and his facial expressions said it all!
Luckily for us, Baby Pencil caught on quickly. He really did not like the feeling of pee in his pants, so he would stop whatever he was doing and either say “uh oh!” or call out for us. This is why I prepared for 2 types of underwear. I wasn’t sure if he was going to be the type to just pee it all out (which is why I would use the padded underwear) or if he was going to pee just a little bit and hold it in (which is what I was hoping for and why I purchased the thin, regular underwear). We had a couple of potties at different places around the house so that we could quickly get him to a potty. The very first pee in the potty resulted in a pretty crazy celebration. With 4 adults in the house who ran downstairs to give high-fives and hugs, Baby Pencil was astonished at the victory of a pee in the potty. Then we made an ordeal for him to pick his first toy in the bucket.
After about 3-4 times, he would pee in the potty and immediately said “toy?” He knew that in order to get more toys, he would have to pee correctly in the potty.
Going to School
This was tricky because we had a couple potties in the house and he made it very clear he did not want to use the Big Potty with the potette. I had no idea what to expect with how his school was going to handle it. Luckily, like most schools and daycares, they totally had it under control in their own way. They told me they would take him to the potty very often to follow the way I had been doing it. I brought tons of underwear and clothes just in case he had accidents. I told them that since he hadn’t pooped in his potty yet, that if he pooped in his underwear to just throw it away. (Another reason I purchased cheap underwear.)
When I came to pick him up, they said he did an amazing job with only 1 accident during nap time. That was expected because he would often just go pee in his sleep. After a few weeks, he consistently went pee in the potty and had about 1 accident every two or three weeks.
Where we are now
The hardest part for us are the poops because Baby Pencil always poops in the morning, which means he’s either pooping in his sleep or is so tired he can’t make it over to the potty. We have him sleep in his pull up night diapers because he still has a full diaper, often full of poop. The hard part is, there is usually pee in his potty and also pee and poop in his diaper when I come in the morning. This might mean that he peed once in his potty during the night, but since it’s already full he doesn’t want to pee and poo in it again so he just goes in his diaper.
Pretty soon, we will have to completely let go of the pull up and let him poop in his sleep/underwear. I’m holding off until I’m 100% sure he knows how to poop in his potty. I’ve seen him do it only a couple times, and once was when he couldn’t hold it in any longer. It is really rare for him to be fully awake and needing to poop, so our issue is mostly a schedule conflict with his sleep.
Well, as usual, that was a whole lot of talk about peeing and pooping! What are some ways you guys have transitioned your kids to be completely potty trained?