How I Potty Trained My 2 Year Old Son in 5 Days
Potty training. Oh, boy, what a topic! It’s like some magical feat that every parent sets out and hopes to accomplish, but rarely many do.. at least in a jiffy anyway. Potty training takes time.. sometimes weeks and even months to learn to master and each kid goes at their own God-given pace. You simply cannot force your child to go pee or poo in a potty-they have to WANT to do it.
Let’s face it: your kid will not be going to high school wearing diapers, ok? Please rest assured in knowing this since potty training can be very frustrating.
Ever since Greyson was around a year old, we had a potty for him. Obviously, he could not use it at that young of an age, but we wanted to have it just in case he was ever ready. Over the last year, I would bring the potty out and he would get excited over it (thinking it was a toy). He would use it to climb on, place his toys on, and throw things in, but everytime I would sit him down on the potty, he would scream and get immediately off. This was my first cue that he was not ready.
It wasn’t until he was 2 years and 2 months old that we began to potty train him. I do not know why-this just happened to be the magical time that it took for him to develope an interest in wanting to go and we viligantly watched for his readiness cues.
Last week, we began on a Monday since he was out of school for spring break and I told myself “Yes, we are going to freaking do this.” Because we all need a little pep talk as parents, right?
I stripped him naked and placed the potty out in the living room for him. I sat him down and explained to him that when he needed to pee or poo, to use the potty and he would get a treat. This immediately sparked his interest. He ended up going to pee twice in his potty the first day with only one accident on the floor. The next day, he seemed to want to regress by being a bit stubborn to sit on the potty, but I offered a treat each time he would just sit on it. By day #3, we were peeing in the potty with zero accidents… except for the large turd on my wooden floors. But that is okay! Because he realized what he had done and ran to his potty to finish pooping. By day #4, he pooped in his potty officially and was going to pee without me asking or telling him to. Lastly, by day #5, he was taking off his cloth diaper to go pee in his potty on his own. My husband and I looked at each other in amazement-all that hard work from the last 5 days had truly paid off. Now, there were times during these 5 days in which he did wear his cloth diapers such as for sleeping at night, for his naps, and when we went to the store or out for a few hours, but even with the little time he was naked, he learned immediately.
**Before I share my tips, please know that the potty you buy MATTERS GREATLY. We went through, bought, and returned COUNTLESS pottys until we found one that was perfect for him. We chose the Fisher Price Custom Comfort Potty because you can adjust the height and it has arm rests. I got it off Amazon for cheap and we never looked back. The other pottys were unsturdy and he felt so intimidated so it was nice to have this one.**
Here are my tips to potty training your child in 5 days:
1.Look for readiness cues. Your toddler will tell you everything you need to know when he or she is ready to potty train! The cues our son showed us were:
- Telling us when he peed or pooped in his cloth diaper.
- Following us to the bathroom and taking an interest in our bathroom habits.
- Sitting on his potty.
- Fewer wet diapers.
- Despises dirty diapers.
These cues not only let you know when your child is ready to train, but they are also a big sign of maturity and should be looked at as a major milestone! A quick tip to helping your child become more aware of using the potty is taking your kiddo with you each time you go pee or poo (though I am sure they already come with you) and teaching them the steps. Also, a kid’s show called Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood has an episode that every parent should download called “Prince Wednesday Goes to the Potty” that truly helps explain potty training. We watched his episode maybe 10 times in the entire week.
Oh and another thing-pick the right potty. There are ALL KINDS and do not be afraid to try them all. We seriously were THOSE customers who returned a couple because they did not work for our son. I personally love the sit down pottys that features a removable bowl.
2. Strip them naked. Your kid will not learn to potty train in a diaper, ok? I do not even like the idea of using big boy underwear on them because they can’t physically see the pee or poo as it falls-toddlers are super visual when it comes to learning (monkey see, monkey do). If its a bit chilly inside, put some leg warmers on them with a shirt and make sure to bump the heater a bit for them. You want them to see their parts-especially if you have a boy-so he can learn how his anatomy functions. From what I have heard, boys are harder to train, but to me, it was a breeze.
3. Bribe them with rewards. This might sound awful, but I am not bullshitting you here. Kids want what they want and all kids want candy, stickers, and toys-end of story. When my son started potty training, I first used M&Ms, but he wasn’t showing much of an interest when he would get rewarded for going to the potty so I decided to get him a Mickey Mouse Pez dispenser from Wal-Mart and holy crap did it excite him to go. He actually started going so much and so often that we had to run back to Wal-Mart by day #3 to buy more Pez!
4. PRAISE!!!!! Seriously, go ape shit. It IS a big deal to have your child use the potty. If you make it a big deal then it will also be a big deal to them and they will get even more excited. I wish I had a video to upload here, but my son shrieks in total excitement and yells “PEEPEE!!!!” after each use of his potty. I yell excitedly, tell him “GREAT JOB!!”, give him a hug & a kiss, and then say “You get a treat!” He even gets excited to help me remove the potty bowl and take it to our adult toilet to dump it out. Let them help every step of the way so they know how it works. We actually rewarded our son by buying him a new pet-a fish. He loves him to death and we explained to him that it was his reward for doing so well with potty training!
5. Have patience. Lastly and most importantly, have a little patience. I cannot tell you how boring and annoying it was following my nude son around the house everywhere he went for almost an entire week. I barely got ANY WORK done around the house and with my business. But just as you do a new puppy, you have got to watch your kids to make sure they do not accidentally pee or poop somewhere. If you miss their accidents, you miss a chance for a correction and a vital learning experience. If they do have an accident, do not punish them-this will possibly regress any progress they have made thus far and you do not want to scare them away from this new and exciting experience. I used this time to really spend quality time with my son. We read books together, played with toys, and watched movies. It was actually refreshing for once to not be so into my phone or computer.
These are the best tips I have for you to potty train your kiddo! Now, I realize not every parent stays home or works from home like I do, but my son was basically day-trained in 3 days honestly. As soon as you get home from work one Friday, use from that time on and the entire weekend to potty train your kiddo or see if you can take a couple of days off from work prior to the weekend! Every little bit helps.
Know this: once your kiddo learns to go potty, they cannot unlearn it. It’s like riding a bike! Once they’ve got it, they’ve got it. Night potty training will come later on its own timing, but for now, focus on day training and have fun!