Potty training*. UGH. If you are a parent, you've been there. My kids were fairly easy to potty train, and still, all I can say is UGH. It's a rite of passage for parents and toddlers alike. Potty training success adds a badge to motherhood and promotes the toddler to 'big-kid' status. It's an exciting accomplishment, but one that requires tools and tricks of the trade to be a smooth success. I'm sharing with you my 5 potty training essentials for quick success!
1. Mini potty chair. With the right potty seat and stool, your child will be able to use the big toilet in your bathroom, but you will want something portable in the beginning stages of potty training! For quick success, you are going to want to catch your child in the act and place them on the potty. Having to run a peeing child to the bathroom midstream can be quite messy...trust me. Keeping a mini potty chair on a towel in whatever room you are in during the beginning stages of potty training will be a LIFE SAVER. You will have your fair share of messes to clean up at this stage, I'm all for minimizing them as MUCH as possible.
2. Reinforcement system. This can be whatever you think your child will respond to best, however, for my kids that was a sticker chart. I either created my own in a word document, or hand-drew an 11 column chart on piece of printer paper that enticed them to earn 10 stickers and reap the rewards. The sticker chart kept them going and gave them a taste of success, often in the form of an ice cream cone. In addition to the sticker chart, a mini M&M for success on the potty was QUITE helpful. During the initial stage, if I could plop my kids down on the mini potty (mentioned above) midstream and they had ANY success ON the potty, that warranted a mini M&M. It worked wonders.
3. IllumiBowl. If you haven't heard of this amazing little device yet, you need to go find it NOW. It is a brilliant motion-detected light for the toilet bowl! In a dark bathroom, the toilet glows with beautiful colors. When have moved on past the mini potty stage and want to entice your kids to use the big toilet in the bathroom, this light will do all the work for you. It will become your best friend during night training. My favorite tip for night training is to wake your child before you go to bed and take them to the bathroom. There is a very tricky balance here between waking them enough to use the bathroom, but keeping them asleep enough so that they will go right back to bed. While attempting to maintain this balance, lights will become your enemy. The IllumiBowl Toilet Night Light offers the perfect solution, not even a night light will be necessary. AND, it works for older kids and husbands (just sayin').
4. Special underwear. Your child will feel so much pride and control in getting to pick out the perfect pair of big-kid underwear. By giving them the choice here of design and character, they will be thrilled to sport their new undies and will be all about this new adventure you are about to embark on.
5. Books! Read EVERY BOOK you can get your hands on that have to do potty training. Your child will want to be just like the kids in the book, and for those that have a hard time transitioning to something new, the books will help them understand just what to expect. It is SUCH a great way to help alleviate any anxieties, as well as teach your child what to do.
*This Tuesday's blog post is from Katie of http://viewsfromastepstool.com/. Check out her blog by clicking here!
As seen on ABC's Shark Tank, IllumiBowl is a motion-activated toilet night light.