How I potty trained my four children in ONE WEEK
I will be honest, with my first child, I put off potty training for as long as possible because being a first-time mum and having to deal with the potty was such a daunting feeling.
Even though I wanted my children to be potty trained as soon as possible, I knew it was something I had to tackle. So, when I did, I managed 4 of my children to be potty trained in just one week!
Not only did this goal only take me a week to reach, but I’d managed each one of my children being potty trained before the age of 2!
You’re probably wondering how I managed to reach that goal, well, that’s what this post is about.
I was giving my friend advice in regards to potty training, and then I had a lightbulb moment of realizing that actually, so many other moms could do with the same help.
Why you should start potty training
Many moms feel like they have to wait until their child is “ready” to start potty training. I was one of those moms with my first child.
I don’t necessarily believe this anymore, as I’ve come to realize that actually, the longer you wait, the harder it ends up being, and then you become more stressed, which rubs off on your child.
Toddlers can be stubborn, especially when they hit the 2-year mark. They start to feel as if they’ve already hit their teenage years and can do and say what they want without listening to any demands from mom.
Once I’d started potty training, my children adapted to the new style of life pretty quickly, and they were all around the age of 2.
Although, it doesn’t make a difference how old your child is at the time of reading this. The tips should all still work.
I’m also about to start my fifth child with potty training, so I’m writing these tips while they’re fresh in my mind and to remind myself of the steps. Even though I’ve trained all 4, I still have to remind myself of the stages.
Potty Training Regression
There will come the point when your child might regress in their potty training. Meaning, that even if you find they’ve been using the potty just fine, they might start to do their business in their pants again – as if you’ve taken ten giant steps backward instead of forwards.
I can’t tell you exactly why this happens as I’m no doctor, but I do know that it does happen, and I’ve had the experience of it with three out of four of my potty-trained children.
It more than likely happens if there is a change in the child’s life, whether it be a house move, new daycare, getting sick, starting school, etc. Small changes to an adult can be dramatic to a child.
My firstborn went through a regression not long after we had officially potty trained him. It just seemed that he’d forgotten that the potty even existed.
He never weed in his bed or pants, but just occasionally pooped in his underwear.
It was frustrating. You end up thinking, “Why are you doing this? You’re potty trained!”
The best thing you can do if this happens with your child is to remain consistent. In all honesty, it’s the only thing you can do. Otherwise, you will stress out, and that’s no good for anyone.
You need almost to start over again, as if you’ve only just begun potty training. This means taking your child to the potty more frequently. You’ll find that the problem will resolve itself and you need to remain patient.
Tips for Potty Training your child in ONE WEEK!
Here are some of the things I used when potty training my four children.
#1: Buy special underwear
Let your little one choose their special underwear at the store. This will motivate them and get them excited about starting to potty train.
I took my children to Wal-Mart and let them choose exactly which underwear they wanted. I then explained that this new underwear was for keeping clean and in turn, meant they’d have to start using the potty.
My Daughter chose some Elsa Panties, and I kept telling her, ‘we don’t want Elsa to get wet, do we?’
#2: Create an environment
I spoke to each one of my children before we started the process, just to let them know what was expected, and I ended up “setting the stage” for them.
As I spoke to them, I would sit with them and show them the potty. Then, I’d explain why they needed to use the potty. It was time to be a big girl or big boy.
A few days before you start potty training, you’ll need to:
- Buy a mattress protector for their bed.
- Talk to them about using the potty.
- Purchase a potty seat or a small potty chair (we recommend one for at home and a portable one that will fit in your bag, like this one)
- Tell them they are moving up from diapers.
- Buy their special underwear, as stated in tip #1.
#3: When you start, don’t stop!
You don’t want to confuse your child with it being a case of only sometimes it’s okay to use the potty. You need to remain consistent and stick to it!
Make sure that you are entirely free to keep up with the consistency, so nobody else can be lenient with it and just put a diaper back on your child.
A good time would be:
-During school holidays if you have school runs to do
-When you are 6 months pregnant if you are expecting
Try not to coincide the training with life changes such as moving from crib to bed, taking away a pacifier or comfort toy, having a new baby or moving house
What do you need to start?
- Mattress protector
- Underwear (that they choose)
- A potty seat or potty chair
The weekly breakdown
· Day #1: Make sure you keep all diapers out of sight. You can even throw them away if need be, to ensure that there is no going back.
Expect the occasional (or more) mess from your child, and remember to remain calm; otherwise, they’ll panic as well.
At this point, your child should only wear underwear in the house and keep the potty visible to your child. So, where you go, the potty goes.
· Day #2: There won’t be much different from this day as the day before, but keep it up and remember, be consistent!
Remember to watch the cues from your child when they need to use the potty, touching themselves, red face, and squatting.
Create a schedule as well throughout the day that you know you’ll be able to stick to.
I used the 20-minute rule where if they went, then we would extend it another 20minutes. If they didn’t go, we tried again after 10mins.
· Day #3: Consistency is vital. You need to remain consistent because it’s so easy to slip up and say, “forget it!”. Don’t. Stick to it.
· Day #4: You shouldn’t have diapers as an option. If you’re planning on leaving the house, you need to remember that it can’t be acceptable in one state rather than the other, so put your child in their selected underwear and take the potty seat with you.
Of course, you need to make sure that you’re still taking spare clothes with you wherever you go even though you should come to find that accidents are less than one now.
· Day #5: You might realize that you don’t need the potty to be in eyesight from this day on. Just move it to the bathroom.
· Day #6: Just the same as all of the other days mixed into one… but with fewer accidents.
· Day #7: The last day of the week’s potty training. Although, don’t slack off and still implement every single tip into daily life. Keep it up.
Night training is harder for children, which makes it harder for parents too, primarily if you work full time and have other children to attend to – like me.
I’ve decided to give some tips on night training to make it somewhat more manageable for you.
Nighttime Potty Training tips
- Limit all drinks an hour before bedtime.
- Lift your little one once during the night to use the potty. This was usually at 11 pm for us, don’t wake them but sit them on the potty surprisingly they go! You may have to set the alarm for this, but it’s entirely worth it.
- Take your child to the potty right before bed, including naptime.
Tips for Potty Training boys
I have three boys, and I’ve managed to potty train two of them successfully. Some would argue that Boys are harder to train. I don’t believe this as my third child, a girl, was the most difficult.
However, here are some tips I have to share with you if you have a little boy.
- Be patient.
- Let them learn to stand up at the potty.
- Be more consistent with the night training because boys may be harder to night train as well.
- Let them go outside. If there aren’t any toilets available, then just let them go outside – discreetly.
- Get a potty seat with a guard for your little boy (like this one)
If you end up feeling a bit disheartened because your son isn’t potty trained by the end of the week, relax.
Don’t worry too much; keep it up. They might need an extra couple of days.
Tips for Potty Training girls
I have also managed to potty train my two girls, and will be starting my third son as soon as he turns 2!
- Get flushable wipes.
- Get a travel potty for when there are no restrooms available to go.
- Don’t put any jumpsuits on, or anything that is one piece. It will be harder to get off, and you’ll find that it takes longer to get off, which could be wasting precious weeing time.
The last thing you need to know
Remember that every single child is different, and it doesn’t always happen in the same time frame for every kid.
If you do want to try these tips and they don’t work, keep it up and remain consistent. It’s completely okay if your child needs some extra time.
I have used these tips with all four (soon to be five) of my children, and they’ve worked every time. Although I am no medical professional, and none of these should be taken as medical advice.
Meet The Author:
I am Nina from mamaoffive.com. I am a mom to 5 energetic kids 3 boys and 2 girls. As you can imagine I have a wealth of experience when it comes to all things babies. Especially in dealing with the unique challenges being a parent throws at you.
I often get asked for advice from other mom’s as they automatically assume I must know the answers. Honestly, that’s been proven true time and time again. I guess being a mom of 5 has been a steep learning curve but I am still standing, albeit with it with a cup of coffee (or something stronger) to get me through the day.
I wish I had known someone to advise when I was struggling but I am really happy that I can be there for you. If one piece of advice I give you makes your day easier then all this effort has been worth it.
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