How to prepare beforehand:
- Get a potty seat attachment for the toilet and a stool. Once our son turned 1.5 years old, we started cleaning #2 on the toilet. This helped us introduce the toilet. This is a big step, it'll help the child feel more confident once they are ready to be trained. It will help them get over their fear of the toilet early on so you do not have to deal with this during training.
- We got him a few potty books. *I’ll link our favorite ones below
- A week before we started, we prepared Aydin by letting him know that he will stop wearing diapers and be a big boy! Aydin's Grandparents would tell him, I heard your going to stop wearing diapers. You are a big boy now!
- Potty seat and Stool
- Sticker chart and rewards; small rewards and big rewards
- Underwear; for boys we liked the boxer briefs. These helped keep accident cleanup to a minimum.
- Toilet seat covers and flushable wipes for public restrooms
- Lots of liquids and food high in fiber
Requires a lot of patience and a lot of positivity. DON’T GIVE UP. TBH, we had 1-2 successful moments and 20 accidents. We had it rough!
We rolled up all the rugs. We started the day by going into Aydin’s room and collecting all of his diapers. We then instructed him to throw them all away as he didn’t need them anymore! We put a clean bag in the trash can so we could collect all the unused diapers. He was so excited to go throw them all away and start his new chapter as a big boy! We showed him all of his new underwear with his favorite characters; Batman, Spiderman, Mickey Mouse etc. He loved his new underwear. He was to let us know each time he had to use the toilet. We put him in control. All day long, we would say, Aydin let us know when you have to use the toilet. This put him in control and made him feel like a big boy. However, this approach wasn’t working too well for us.. we quickly learned he couldn’t tell himself when he had to go. He would start leaking and then scream mama, baba I have to go potty! My husband would rush him to the toilet while I would clean up the mess. Aydin took about 15 baths that day. Towards the end of the day, we were still waiting for him to do a BM. I realized that he was either constipated or holding it in. We had been giving him lots of liquids throughout; milk, water, coconut water, juice and lots of fruit high in fiber including bananas and apples. I decided to make him energy bites (these are delicious, so nutritional and a great healthy substitute for cookies , they are our favorite! I can share the recipe on another post) The energy bites did the trick. We had about 20 false attempts of- I have to go Potty!- sat on the toilet and Aydin decided to give up. Finally the 20th time, I realized it was too much pressure and stressful for him. I sat him on the toilet and handed him a book, 10 minutes later… success!!! At the end of a tough day when we were exhausted and discouraged, it was the best feeling ever. Aydin also felt very excited and happy. He got a big reward that night and we Facetimed all the aunts and uncles, & grandparents to let them know what a good job he did! He was super excited to share with everyone that he did potty on the toilet!
Day 1 lessons:
- Some parents are able to pick up on signals for how the kids behave right before they have to go. Aydin’s signals were very difficult for us to pick up on and we had to rely on him to let us know. This didn’t work for us. We had to change our strategy. Every child is different.
- We realized everytime he sat on the toilet, he felt too much stress and pressure. He couldn’t use the restroom for that reason. Giving him a toy or book distracted him and therefore allowed him to go.
- We don’t give Aydin sweets voluntarily. He has them occasionally at birthday parties but never at home. These rewards did not motivate him. What motivated him on Day 2 and 3 was using mamas phone for 5 minutes. This is what he always really wants- and never gets. Every child is different, you have to tweak the rewards and rules based on your child.
- We had to have a lot of patience. It’s easy to give up. I had decided to wait till Day 4 to make any decisions of giving up.
I’m glad I started on a Sunday while my husband was home. That Monday, my husband stayed at work until 9:30PM– this never ever happens! Of course it had to happen on Day 2 of potty training. This day was SO hard. We had constant accidents and a few successes. Lots of rewards throughout for being dry or even doing slightly a bit in the toilet. But still lots of accidents. Aydin was still unable to let me know that he had to go, before he had already leaked. I couldn’t pick up on any signals that showed he had to go. We even had a poopy accident today! Zain brought home some pizza from work that night, all I needed was comfort food. Aydin slept really well these last 2 days, potty training was exhausting for the both of us!
I decided before I was going to give up, that I should alter my approach. I had learned tips from friends but that been successful using this method, but every child is different. I decided Aydin was going to wear nothing today- no diapers, no underwear, nothing. With boys its a little easier to tell when they have to use the restroom, by looking at their private parts. This is the approach I took on Day 3. Maybe he was too young and couldn’t understand when he had to go. I started taking him every 30 minutes, eventually every hour or when I could tell that he needed to pee. Day 3 started off great. In the morning, he did both #1 & #2 on the toilet. I was so encouraged, I was ready for the day! Aydin was also excited. We put on a few potty training episodes, specifically, Daniel the Tiger Potty Episode and Dora the Explorer Potty Episodes. We watched them together and tried to go every 30 mins to an hour. I distracted him on the toilet with my phone or we sang our ABC’s together. We had about 2 accidents this day and lots of successes. The more Aydin went on the toilet the more confident he became. Day 3 was a game changer. We stepped outside of the house and walked around outside. It was great to get some sunshine and get fresh air. Being stuck at home for 3 days was difficult for the both of us.
Day 3 lessons:
- We made up a song for toilet time- I can do it, I can do it, yay yay yayyyy yay. It would be so cute having him sit on the toilet and sing, I can do it, I can do it. He would scream.. Mama, its coming with so much excitement.
- Small and Big rewards really helped.
- Lots of positive encouragement, love and hugs. Each day we would say- we are SO proud of you! He would love the encouragement and get so excited.
- We added in a little game. A client told me that she had successfully trained her boys by using cheerios in the toilet. She would throw them in and ask her boy to aim for the cheerios. We tried it and it actually helped! It made him a little more excited to try to use the restroom. It helped him stop constantly wanting to flush the toilet because the cheerio would disappear. This strange game helped him get excited to try. We only did it for a day but it was an amazing tip!
- We used a timer on our phone to go every 30 minutes
Day 4: Today I sent Aydin to school. I sent him with 3 pairs of extra clothes and underwear. I sent him for 2 hours only. When I went to pick him up, I was told that he went pee twice and each time told the teacher he had to go. AND he had no accidents! I was so impressed and SO proud. We had a wonderful day at home as well. He had one accident. Other then that, he would tell me he had to go and he would go successfully!
Day 5 & 6: Still no accidents in school and we had a great day at home too! We had one accident on Day 6 but other then that, lots of success! We are SO excited and SO proud of him. He’s getting gifts from friends and grandparents. He is telling everyone that he is a big boy and goes potty on the toilet. It was the cutest thing ever the other night, we woke up in the middle of the night wanting to go. As he was going on the toilet he looked up at us and said “What’s going on here guys? What’s going on”. He must have been half asleep through all of this. Our little boy is actually growing up. If we got through it, so could you! You just need some motivation and a lot of patience. It may be the most difficult thing you go through with your toddler but the end will be the most rewarding. If we can get through it, so can you! Remember, You can do it, You can do it, yay yay yayyyyyyy!
If you have any helpful tips, please do share. Every child is different, what worked for our son, may not work for everyone. After talking to several parents, researching and then trying our own experience, we are confident that for the most part, these tips can help you succeed. Focus the first 3 days and you will see a difference!
*Books to buy to introduce the topic:
Kids say the cutest things ever.
Last week, Aydin saw that I was in the restroom. After I came out he shouted, mommy I'm so proud of you! You went potty on the toilet!
Aydin's new obsession is putting diapers on his toys, have your kids gone through this phase?