Updated: Mar 9
Months before starting the potty training process we introduced the concept to our little one in a variety of ways this may or may not be relevant depending on the age and stage of your child. I started by talking out the bathroom process from start to finish every-time I went to the bathroom. If we were playing together I would make it a point to stand up put my hand on my bladder and say "Oh I need to go pee! I need to go right away". Usually she would be curious and follow me to the bathroom and I would walk through the steps. I used simple language saying the same steps every time such as "pants down", "sit on toilet", "wait for pee", "wipe", "pants up", "flush", "wash hands", "time to play". At the same time I added in toilet training books into our book shelf and read them to her many times. Children are very visual learners, love to imitate adult behaviour and thrive off repetition. Next I stocked up on all the potty training gear I was going to use and read the Oh Crap potty training book to get myself in the right head space.
Heres the list of items I purchased and gathered from around the house to transform the space and increase chances of success:
Toilet seat reducer - I bought three since I have a multi level house but do what makes sense for your situation. I like the two in one adult and child seat reducer, Dream baby soft touch and the Munchkin brand toilet seat reducer for potty training. I ended up with three different ones after I quickly realized I needed one for every toilet to be more successful getting little one to the toilet on time.
Potty training books - a few we have are Potty by Leslie Patricelli and Potty Time by Caroline Church. You can also grab one that suits your specific child's interest such as Daniel Tiger, Paw Patrol or Elmo.
Mop - I had a spray mop ready to go at all times with extra mop pads on hand. I found this system a little easier than pulling out a mop and bucket. Makes potty training misses a quick no fuss clean up.
Baskets - I had multiple potty training supply baskets out in our main area, one for towels, one for spare clothes, one for bathroom fidgets and one for laundry.
Travel potty for car - The next step in potty training is taking short trips out of the house and I found having a travel potty in the car key to our success!
Stools for toilet and sink - you want to make the space as accessible as possible for your child during potty training.
underwear- This was for a few days into potty training for us and I grabbed a big pack to account for any misses that might happen and have lots to change into.
The Oh Crap potty training method goes through stages in different building blocks and each step can be done in the time needed for you and your child. First is to carve out as many days as you can to be home with your little one and give potty training your full focus. Now i should mention this doesn't involve bribing your child or pull-ups!
Block 1 : This stage is having your child naked from the waist down and taking them to use the toilet on a regular schedule, when they wake, after drinking water or eating a snack and after finishing an activity. These are good natural timings for when your child may need to go. Besides timing use your parent intuition look for pee pee dance, squatting or hiding.
Block 2: Once you and your child are feeling comfortable with the first stage of potty training the second is to wear loose pants with no underwear. In the early stages wearing underwear can feel like they have a diaper on so take your time in the commando stage.
Block 3: Leaving the house on short outings while still commando but wearing pants. In this stage I like to have a toilet seat reducer packed and of course my travel potty set up in the car.
Block 4: Wearing underwear / underwear and pants. This was the most challenging step for us as underwear gave her the filling she was wearing a diaper and was suddenly having misses again. This stage involved me reminding her she was wearing underwear constantly.
Block 5: Involves starting to give them the space to listen to their bodies and decide when they need to go and give them the independence. This is a good reason to have all bathrooms suited for your child to be successful being independent on this journey to being fully potty trained!
You can do it, remember to have patience and give your child and yourself grace during this time!