June is Potty Training Awareness Month! And before you say, “hey! that’s not even a thing”, Let me assure you that it is in fact, a thing. In this house, every month from March to September 2015 was Potty Training Awareness Month. Because from March to June we were talking about potty training Finn and from July to September we were failing at potty training him. Recently I learned that it should only take about three days to a week for a toddler to be potty trained. Evidently we were doing it wrong.
We could have written the book on Potty Training Don’ts. The first thing we did wrong was to ignore the signs that he was ready to start potty training. That meant we left it too late to start and by the time we started, Finn was more than comfortable pooping in his diaper and having us change it.
After starting with Finn, we were inconsistent. We didn’t pick a method and stick to it. One day we’d go without pants and follow him around, the next day we’d have him sit on the potty at arbitrary times during the day as if poop would just happen at 2:46pm on a Sunday.
The process became dragged out and Finn was just confused as to what was expected of him. In the end, he would hold it for days, becoming constipated and then it would hurt when he did eventually get on the potty, making him not want to go the next time. This resulted in us having to use laxatives which, to be frank, traumatized us all for months.
We took a really good look at his diet and started a log of everything he was eating. We increased his water intake and pushed fruit and high fiber cereals and cut back on pasta and bread unless it was whole grain. He is regular and happy now, but we won’t be making the same mistakes with Bennett and Jules.
We are about to start potty training Bennett so I’ve been reading the potty training sections of my extensive library of parenting books. Which is not very French of me according to Bringing Up Bébé, which states that French women don’t pay much attention to books on parenting (is it strange for a parenting book to tell you not to read parenting books?)
This time we are prepared. We have everything we need and we have a plan. We are starting with the BabyBjörn Potty Chair and the BabyBjörn Step Stool for at the sink and washing hands. Later we’ll use the step stool for transitioning to the big potty too. I use BabyBjörn potty training products because, as you know, I secretly want to be Scandinavian, but I also trust BabyBjörn’s consistent quality. I’ve used BabyBjörn carriers with all three boys and I love them for their simplicity and safety.
I like that the potty chair has a high backrest and plenty of room for little legs, and perhaps the best thing about this potty is the splash-guard at the front to prevent spills on my bathroom’s wooden floor. It also has a removable insert so you don’t have to wash out the whole potty.
Watch for cues that tell us he’s ready to try potty training. Signs include wanting to hide behind the couch or away from people to poop in his diaper, showing an interest in the potty when Finn uses it or telling us he needs to pee or poop.
Choose a period of about three days to stay home while we potty train. A long weekend is perfect for a potty training party because I’ll have Robbie’s help.
Keep him naked for the entire three days – this will be easy in the middle of summer since Bennett loves nothing more than to run naked and free through the house any day of the year.
For a step-by-step for potty training, I like the guide from Save Our Sleep.
My potty training toolkit includes all the gear I need for the long weekend as well as the lead up. I will start reading potty training books to Bennett a week before potty training starts and I’ll have the bed sheets and car seat protectors ready to go for the weeks after potty training starts.
Surprise toys and treats
Mattress protector/ pad for bed
Absorbent potty training mat for the car-seat
A disco ball for the dance party that will happen after each successful poop on the potty (this is mostly for me)
* This post sponsored by BabyBjörn, a company we have used and trusted for years.