Potty training is hard.  Well, not for everyone I suppose.  You could have a prodigy who goes from diaper to porcelain throne within two days.  (By the way, I am very jealous of whoever that is.) But for us common folk – it’s the source of a lot of stress.  In fact, I’d say I’m getting just as frustrated with potty training as I did with sleep training and that’s saying A LOT.  Not only do I read one thing on how to start the process, then I get told by someone else something completely different  and then I see a video about how one person did the exact opposite of the past two things I tried.  ::deep breaths:: 

Listen, there isn’t just one way to skin a cat, and there’s definitely more than 40 billion ways to potty train a kid.  For what it’s worth – I’ve tried to jot some ideas down that I think work for me and I hope they work for you too….

My two and a half year old is finally getting the concept of pooping, understanding how it feels, what it means, and the immeasurably adorable fact that he keeps calling it, “stinky, stinky stinky.”  So now that he is starting to step forward into the brave new world of going-to-the-potty, we thought it might a good chance to stock up on necessary items.

We went to Sam’s Club, and had our lad pick out his own pair of big boy undies!  He picked Spiderman.  (side note: I would have bet the mortgage that he was going to pick Thomas The Train, but hey, maybe he likes to spice up his under garments)

I also have heard from other parents that toddlers LOVE toilet paper rolls, so I stocked up on some Charmin Ultra Soft rolls while we were at Sam’s Club.  

The toilet paper aisle is a sea of blue and Charmin Ultra Soft has resurfaced at Sam’s Club for a limited time. 

Granted, toddlers don’t really do what they are SUPPOSED to do with the toilet paper – they just unfurl it and throw it around the bathroom til it looks like the infamous work of one pesky Greg Pikitis.  Listen, you win some and you lose some. That’s why I love Charmin Ultra Soft – because I’m the one doing the wiping right now! I need lots and lots of toilet paper, so my son can try and learn. 

I had heard from someone once that you need to set your child up for success on the potty – by giving him a TON of liquid to drink. This way, he will surely have to go at some point, and you are more likely to have a positive experience. You could do water, juice, or any other special drink.  We celebrated with our son’s first sips of hot (aka luke warm) cocoa.

It was watered down, but he thought it was the most delicious thing he had ever tasted.

Then we essentially turned our house into one giant potty.  I’m not kidding – I think I have a potty in what seems like every room of the house.  Running in the hallway and gotta go? No problem.  Jumping on the mini trampoline downstairs and the kids doing the pee pee dance? Not an issue.  Pottys galore.

But here’s the issue – my kid is still not potty trained.  We’re working hard at it I swear. We have success with Number 1, but not yet with Number 2, if you know what I mean.
Jeez, it even got Tall Dad so frustrated the other day that I had to tell him to play some Batman on his PS4 to calm down.  ( I wish I were kidding.)  
So I gathered a ton of great tips from parents who have ALREADY trained their kid, and you should certainly take most of these thoughts under advisement. I asked for some advice on my facebook page and these are the best of what I think is most useful:
  • Diana M “I let my child be naked for the first week and then added undies. Pull ups were for nap time, but he got the hang of it pretty fast. Make it fun!”
  • Joanna S “We did the three day bare booty camp. It worked well with pee, but pooping was done on his own terms. He needed it to be his idea and then he was ready!”
  • Jessica R “We kept a bag of M&Ms in the bathroom cabinet and said ‘if you go potty you get a yummy!'”
  • Stephanie C ” Consistency and routine! I do bathroom after every meal, before a transition like going outside or to the basement playroom. They need to ‘try’ on the potty, even if they don’t need to, just to get them used to it at the beginning.”
  • Vicki S “We told her when the diapers were gone, they were all gone. She would count them and say ‘2 more’ and she knew. When the last diaper came and went we put underwear on her  (get the thick Gerber ones) and she hasn’t looked back.”
  • Jessica C “We ‘threw away’ all the diapers and declared this is underwear day! An, this from a mom friend of four, when a potty attempt was successful, EVERYONE in the house gets candy.  Then we thank the kiddo for going potty so we could have a candy and act very excited!”

Here are some other useful ideas to help out the process:
  • Read kid books about the potty with them
  • Buy potties or kid seats – our favorite is this one
  • Stock up on toilet paper like Charmin Ultra Soft. Your kid will want to try to wipe, or honestly will just get excited to unroll the roll! To my toddler, playing with the Charmin is a reward in it of itself!
  • Know when your kid is ready – they’ll eventually start to show interest
  • Have them pick out undies
  • Be a role model – take them into the bathroom with you and encourage them
  • Tons of naked time while training
  • Have them drink a lot and often & and eat salty foods so they can pound more drink
  • Start a potty timer – every 30-45 minutes or so they must go on the potty
  • They must sit even if nothing is coming out
  • Bribery!  Heck yeah – marshmallows, chocolate, or whatever your kid wants.  Give it to them.
  • I hate this idea but, keep a potty in the car – you’re going to need it.
  • Celebrate in a big way – even call people when you have a successful trip
  • Prepare for setbacks like changes of clothes, or stains on the carpet.
  • Make things SUPER easy for the rest of your family. Since your toddler will pretty much be the focus of all of your attention,  have easy meals, movies for big kids,  and skip worrying about getting everyone dressed.  It’s pajama day for everyone. Ain’t nobody got time to be dressing other kids when potty training is happening!
So if you’re thinking about potty training your toddler any time soon, I highly recommend you head on over to Sam’s Club to get your gear at an affordable cost. Plus, right now they are doing an awesome giveaway!  To be entered to win, the person must share their potty training tip/trick and #CharminatSamsClub on Twitter or Instagram. Prizes are 53 $50 Sam’s Club giftcards!  

$50 Sam’s Club Gift Card Giveaway for Charmin

I would love to hear more tips tricks and advice about potty training little ones – so let me know what you think in the comments below!

Talk soon friends,

Did you find this helpful? Please also feel free to look at two of my other popular posts: 40 Questions to Ask on Your Maternity Tour of Hospitals and Birth Centers & What to Pack in Your Hospital Bag

Many thanks to Acorn Influence, Sam’s Club, and Charmin for sponsoring this post about potty training. I was given compensation for my opinions and tips on toilet training.