Potty Training Tips from the Trenches is a guest post written by Nicole Yontz. Nicole Yontz is a stay at home mom in Arizona, a contributing parenting writer for WhatToExpect.com and a personal blogger at TheBetterHalfBlogs.com.

Now that potty training in my home is done and I can fondly look back on the last few weeks, I can safely say that having my daughter in big girl underwear is my greatest parenting achievement thus far. At this point, the only way I can see her topping this one would be for her to graduate from an Ivy League college with zero student debt and a double major in Curing Cancer and Being Awesome.

I knew making the big switch out of diapers would be a difficult and trying adjustment but I didn’t realize how completely difficult it would be. And while I was offered some great tips on how to make it easier for us both, we all know that no two children are alike and what works for one family may not for another. However, just in case your family is like mine, I will now give you some little pearls of knowledge that I picked up along the way.

1. Be bold and NAKED.

I don’t know about you, but when we first started this process, I was so excited about seeing her run around in tiny little undies with princesses on the tush that I didn’t think practically about it. As soon as she got those bad boys on, it was wet city every. Damn. Time. It finally struck me on day two while on my hands and knees scrubbing the carpet that maybe, just maybe, she was mistaking undies for the diaper. From that point on, my home became a nudist colony, population 1. It took one time of her peeing and not liking the sensation on her legs and we haven’t had another accident since. This is not saying we don’t have accidents, just none while nude. (PS, I don’t advocate the use of pull-ups inside the house during this time, it’s essentially a diaper and will be confused as such. They are awesome for trips out of the house, but once inside, either strip down or switch to undies.)

 2. Call it a reward because “bribery” sounds so seedy.

I heard about offering everything from M&M’s to money when it came to bribing my kid to potty, none of which worked. In fact, the candy worked too well. She would ask to go potty every 5 seconds for her “special treat”, and who doesn’t like getting a toddler all hopped up on chocolate just before bed? I ended up having to find something that my kid liked but wasn’t edible or expensive, and for us it was stickers. We don’t really have a lot of stickers around our house because they end up stuck to the dog or the TV and I hate that, so this was a treat. I went to the Dollar Store and bought a cheap chart and all the fancy stickers I could find. Puffy ones, glittery ones, ones that made squeaky noises when pushed, and plain basic ones. When the time came and she actually went potty it was a big show and she got a fancy sticker for her chart and a high five. If she at least tried, she would get a little basic one. Either way, she was getting positive reinforcement and everyone was happy every time.

3. Be patient.

When my daughter was about 2, there was a girl in her gymnastics class who was about 6 months younger than her who was potty trained already. What? Upon finding this out I beat myself up about it. How could it be? What am I doing wrong? Turns out, nothing. This child was a freak of nature (I mean that in the nicest way of course) and comparing my kid to her, or any child for that matter, wasn’t good for anyone. In the end, my Audrey was just 2 weeks shy of her 3rd birthday when we finally ditched the diaper. This is a stressful time for your child and they really need to be ready and have it happen in their own time. Be patient, supportive, and at all times, no matter what’s on your carpet, have a positive and happy attitude.

Good Luck!

Photo Credit: www.littlevillagekids.com

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