Urgh we're potty training. You should know that I try not to rely on Dr. Google when I need answers and when we decided to start potty training the last thing I wanted to do was read a book. It's not easy, but at the same time it doesn't have to be hard. I'm not in the camp of "Let's go on lock down for a whole week straight" because really who has time for that? However, I am on the camp of letting it happen naturally. So we came up with our own method...Pay someone else to do it for you. HA! Just kidding, I wish. No but really we came up with our own set of rules on potty training and for us, so far it's working great. So if you feel yourself lost in the sea of know it all potty training guides and want a break - here are my recommendations.
- Find what motivates your child. Chocolate, lollipops, gummy vitamins, stickers, stamps. I've heard it all and not all of them work for your kid so play around with the rewards that stick. If your child is like ours, it'll change daily so make sure you have a plethora of goodies to reward him/her for their great work.
- Have books readily available next to the potty. We have a pile, literally, of books to read when Liam is sitting on the potty. It makes the time go by faster and gets his mind off of the task. At first it took us 5 books and now there are times we don't even need to read a book at all.
- Celebrate with big cheers. Liam's daycare teacher said that he shouts "HOORAY I PEE PEED" really loud whenever he goes and that's no surprise because we do that at home. Yes, every single time he goes we give him a big cheer, rub his back and say how proud we are of his accomplishment. Sounds silly to say how proud you are, but the first time we did it he beamed with joy and stuck with that feeling. He felt so good about his accomplishment that he continues to do it just to have that gratification.
- Document it. I made Liam a "Potty Chart" that he fills with stickers every time he goes to the bathroom. I put it eye level to him so that he can document his progress and when he completes the chart with stickers he gets a new book. He loves seeing how far he's come and he knows the end goal - motivating him to go to the bathroom more often for that new book.
- Don't rush it. Even after 5 days of successful potty trips, sometimes Liam gets derailed and decides to go in his diaper. That's ok. While I would LOVE to not pay $80/month on diapers anymore, I would rather have him successfully potty trained than have a ton of accidents. There's no timeline to potty training and there's no guarantees that accidents won't happen. Your child may not want to go on the potty one day, just brush it off and try again later. I mean really, if I was wearing a diaper in the middle of a Friday Night Lights marathon I would maybe opt to not move either. While there may be some regression, it's only temporary and you'll come out going 2 steps forward for every one step back.
So either way, if you decide to read the books and follow their guides, or go rogue with your own method - eventually you'll find a method that works best for you. Good luck!