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We’re embarking on the potty train for the third time, and so far this time has been unlike any of the others. Simon will be three in a couple of months, and he’s showing an awareness and an interest in potty training…well, mostly he’s just interested in taking off his training pants and running around naked. He definitely needs some motivation to actually sit on the potty to use the bathroom, so I created these pirate potty training charts to help us on our journey.
The short version is perfect for a new trainee like Simon who doesn’t have much patience for filling in a larger chart and who may even take a couple of days to make it to the potty five times. Each time he uses the potty he gets a “gold doubloon” (in the form of a sticker) to put on his chart. When he fills in all five circles he gets a reward. Of course, you could also offer M&M’s or Skittles as an extra incentive every time your child uses the potty, but since my kid is only interested in lollipops we’re sticking with a one lollipop per five potty uses ratio.
Once we’ve been training for awhile and pottying becomes more frequent, we will move up to the chart with the longer path.
I asked a few of my friends for their best potty training tips and advice, and here’s what they had to say:
Vivienne from The V Spot said, “Each kid is different, and you can’t necessarily employ the same techniques on each kid. What worked for one of my older guys (bribery with M&Ms and Skittles) didn’t work on another (and I ended up eating the lion’s share of the candy rewards out of sheer frustration: 1 for you, 15 for mommy…) Then my youngest trained in a day and a half because I told him he couldn’t play a video game with his big brudders until he was out of diapers. boom. done. Even during the night.
Don’t let it stress you out, and if you think you’ve had it and they are way over-due, put them in regular underwear, and don’t backslide by putting them in back into pull-ups. Just be ready for a lot of clean up. Chances are that they will hate it as much as you do and it will be the incentive they need to use the potty.”
Carolina from Always Expect Moore & 30-Minute Crafts said, “Over-praise them each time they do a good job. Seriously, act like they just won a Nobel prize while winning the Indy 500 and curing cancer. My son loved that!
Don’t make a contest out of it. There will be mommies at the park who brag about how their child came out of the womb potty trained. Good for them. Until “At what age were you potty trained?” is on the application to get into Harvard, Princeton, or Yale… I’m not going to worry about it. ;)”
Sarah of Craft Quickies said, “COMPLETE nakedness is all that worked with [my son]. Anything on his butt, and he’d absentmindedly pee. Above all, PRAISE PRAISE PRAISE, don’t push, wait until they seem truly ready (aka don’t be ashamed to give up and try a few months later), and be patient and flexible.”
Kelley of Miss Information said, “Don’t think there is a certain time or age you have to do it. You need to wait until they are ready, not when you are ready . If you don’t you will just cause confusion and frustration for you both. Try to remember kids are not having accidents to torture you even though it might feel like it some days. Once you start do not put them in training pants during the day. Use underwear, they need to be uncomfortable when they have an accident.”
Connie of Measured by the Heart said, “I’ve found if it seems like it’s too hard and you are forcing it, they might not be ready. Once my kids were ready it was a fairly straight forward thing. Before they were ready it was torture. So don’t be afraid to wait. Don’t compare yourself to what everyone else is doing.”
As for us, we may be at the beginning of our potty training journey, but we have already picked up an invaluable tip! Simon is a SUPER soaker, and he wears heavy duty nighttime training pants all day long. We used to be forced to change his bedsheets twice a day, in the morning and after nap time, when he’d constantly wake up soaking wet. Our regular laundry was starting to get backlogged from all the sheet washing I had to do!
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I know that we’re in for quite an adventure with our independent and spirited little guy, but armed with all of this great potty training advice, I’m sure we’ll do just fine!