I successfully potty trained my two-year-old in less than a week.
But boy do I wish I knew then what I know now. If I would have been a little better prepared, than perhaps I wouldn’t have had to peel myself up off the floor at the end of the first grueling day–hungry, a bit teary-eyed, and in need of a shower.
Perhaps if I would’ve read a post like this one then I wouldn’t have attempted to start potty training on a Monday when my husband was gone all day, when we had no food in the fridge, and when I was nursing a newborn around the clock.
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Learn from my missteps. Otherwise you might be tempted to quit before you’ve barely begun, but you mustn’t! Why? Because there’s so much freedom, rejoicing, and glory waiting on the other side! Potty training my son in less than a week is one of my proudest accomplishments to date. Seriously! I told someone the other day: “I think I’m more proud of potty training my toddler than I am of my college degree”.
For months, people have asked with surprise: “wait, is he potty trained?”. I smile, modestly, and reply: “why, yes, yes he is”. If you, too, want to join in the ranks of mothers pretending to be modest–but inwardly dancing on the rooftop–take these tips to heart, pour yourself a cup of expresso, and circle a date on the calendar.
Follow these tips to prepare for success. You got this, mama.
5 Things To Do Before You Start Potty Training Your Child
My sis-in-law sent me this book. I didn’t even know I needed a book about potty training, but this quickly became one of my most favorite books that I’ve read in my lifetime. Yes, I’d put it on the shelf next to Jane Eyre, Sense and Sensibility, and The Count of Monte Cristo. It’s that good.
I read it once. Then I read it a second time. Then toted it around with me from room to room as a resource.
I’ve even become that obnoxious person in mommy Facebook groups that recommends this book anytime someone so much as thinks of typing the term “potty training”.
Get it. Read it. It answers every question you may have about potty training, and it dives into the psychology of your toddler as well. So not only will it give you a practical guide for successfully potty training your toddler within a week, but also it will show you what he/she may be feeling throughout the process as well. So good.
Buy a Potty Chair (and throw some liners in your cart as well)
Buy a potty chair that fits with your aesthetic. Why? Because that thing is going to be sitting out in your living room for a few months, and if you purchase a garish green owl potty chair–it is just going to make you cringe every time you see it (not that I’m speaking from experience or anything.
Buy a potty chair in a neutral color–if that’s your thing–and one with a removable insert so that you can easily dispose of its contents.
Also–grab some liners to make it a bit easier on yourself. Because that potty chair gets awfully grungy fast.
Put Together a Caddy of Cleaning Supplies
Oh how I wish I would have done this.
Real talk: you’re going to be cleaning up poop and pee. It’s going to happen.
You don’t want to be that woman desperately trying to find a clean rag, while you are bouncing a wailing newborn on one hip, and holding a wailing toddler with poop streaked down his legs on the other. Again, not that I have experience in this arena (shudder). Who am I kidding, this was me. Don’t be like me.
Make it fun so that when accidents happen, you have everything you need in one place.
Stock Up Your Freezer with Frozen Pizzas and Chicken Pot Pies
Trust me when I say that you will not feel like cooking those first few days. You are going to be spending all your time watching your toddler for cues, racing him/her to the bathroom, and cleaning up messes. If you want to continue to eat (and feed your fam) then grab some frozen food to get you through.
While you’re at it, grab some finger foods like cheese sticks for easy snacks, and–heck–some paper plates.
For this week, make life as easy for yourself as you possibly can. Potty training is a BIG deal: for you, and for your toddler.
Buy a Few Treats for Yourself
It’s going to be a really busy few days. Helping a toddler learn how to use the toilet is tough! Worth it, but definitely exhausting.
So what’s my best advice? Treat yourself to keep your spirits up. Buy a new candle to light throughout the day. Grab a jug of Starbucks coffee. Open a new bottle of wine in the evening. Do whatever you can to keep your spirits up.
Follow these tips, and be prepared to win at this thing! Within a week or two, diapers will be gone for good! Huzzah!