This summer has been a rollercoaster ride for me. First off I have a newborn and second my toddler is growing up so fast that I can barely keep up! This includes, her having lots of interest in diaper free time. It started with her taking her diaper off randomly while we were home and soon enough I caught her at times taking it off while we were out. I realized she just didn’t like the feeling of being wet and wearing a diaper. So I told myself I would potty train her soon. However that soon didn’t come soon enough for her. Then again she started taking her diaper off and pooping or peeing. It became messy! But caring for a newborn, it was very hard for me to find time to ensure I had the energy to potty train her. That being said, last week I took 5 days to focus on potty training my toddler. (I really had to encourage myself, that we can do this – let’s make diaper free, clean free happen!)
Therefore, I stocked up on food, snacks, new toys, new games and started potty training my daughter in 5 days. Thankfully the weather was amazing and most of her training was done outside. I organized our backyard, so she could have two drinking water stations and lots of bowls of snacks that would help encourage the potty training. So every 15 minutes I get her to drink water or often juice. This way the more times she went on the potty that quicker she would learn.
The first two days were tough, we have many misses but I knew she would caught on soon. By the third day we only had one miss and when the fourth day came around she was telling me “potty, poop and pee mommy”! I knew that she got the hang of it. Each time I was so excited for her, we would jump and do high fives! Nonetheless, I did have a few tricks up my sleeve to encourage potty time. This is how I potty trained my toddler in 5 days.
- Rewards – My daughter doesn’t have a sweet tooth, so bribing her with sweets just didn’t work. I even tried stickers, but she had no interest. Therefore, I tried crackers, chips and popcorn. She was in love! Her favourite salting things. Each time she peed or pooped she would get one of the three. It worked wonderfully, she would even just try to go pee even if she didn’t have too, just to get a reward. Once she nailed down going pee, I would give her more treats if she told me before she went on the potty. Just to help get her to understand that she needs to tell me before going.
- Naked time – With a hot summer, I took advantage of lots of naked time. It was so easy to just have her enjoy the outdoors and run around naked all day, than bothering with changing her clothes often. Plus this way I could see when she going pee or poo.
- Patience – I didn’t realize how much patience is required when it came to potty training until I was on day two. Potty training is exhausting. It’s definitely not an easy task to do and it made it even harder with caring for a new baby too. By the end of each day, I was so tired that I often went to bed really early! Plus not leaving the house, was really hard on me. I wasn’t use to it and finding new activities to do with a toddler every 30 minute is challenging. I felt that in 5 days, I became super mom – just trying to juggle two kids at home all day.
- Timing – Timing was everything. If I knew my daughter was drinking water lots, I knew she had to go pee in about 20 minutes. Therefore every 20 minutes I would ask, “Potty time” or “do you have to go pee”. And if she wasn’t sure, I would put her on the potty every 20 minutes. Now as the third day came, she was running to the potty and telling me. So i truly believe that since I asked and placed her on the potty so often she got the hang of it pretty quickly.
- Praise – Lots and lots of praise! Positive reinforcement, love, affection, high fives and hugs is what I did each time she went on the potty. She would give me this big smile and say “mommy, pee, big poo”. Making it a big deal really helped with encouraging her to go!
- Location – I found that my daughter was scared of the toilet at first, so we only used the potty for the first few days. But once she saw me use the toilet everyday, she quickly became excited to use it and flush/say bye bye to the pee and poo. She became more flexible with what she wanted to do – use the potty or the toilet. I still give her the option and often she uses the toilet.
- Final reward – I told her from the very beginning that she would get a new toy of her choice once she learned how to pee on the potty. That being said, on the 5 day we went to Toys R Us to get a new toy. She was so excited, she was running around looking at all the toys and after 20 minutes she said to me, “Mommy, potty pee poo”. I took her to the public toilet and she went – I was so happy and proud of her!!
It was a hard week but we did it and she is so good at going to the potty! I couldn’t be anymore happy and proud of her – now she is no longer my baby. Such a big girl!
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