This time last summer, I was potty training my son. At the time he was 2 ½. We had introduced the potty chair to him and he had used it correctly a few times so we knew he was ready to learn to use it all the time. I think that is a big part of potty training, your child MUST be ready. This is only my account of potty training, but a year later, accidents are rare and we are pull-up free at bedtime. (KNOCK ON WOOD). I had him fully trained in 2 weeks and the perfect time to do this is over the summer. I’ve talked to many other parents and they’ve used different variations of this method. Here’s what I did:
1) I had 2 weeks off work and no plans of going anywhere. This is very hard to come by, but if you have it it’s the perfect time to train.
2) You’ll need a training potty, a piece of poster board, markers, stickers and m&ms (or a small treat that your son or daughter can eat several of a day). Also, popsicles, juice and water are helpful.
3) I let my son pick out different pack of stickers so he was excited about getting a sticker.
4) We drew up a chart with his name on the top and the dates along the side with plenty of room for stickers.
5) Now that the prep is done, it’s time for training. It’s best to do this in summer for the next part of training. You let your son or daughter go without shorts and without a diaper. This may result in a few accidents in the beginning, but don’t get discouraged.
6) If you put the potty in the same room you are playing in, and explain that if he or she feels the need to go to sit on the potty. I also asked him periodically if he wanted to sit on the potty to try to go, especially after he had something to drink.
7) Every time the child correctly uses the potty and you both help wash hands. They get to put a sticker on today’s date and they get an m&m.
My son really liked to count how many stickers he got at the end of the day. I’m a firm believer that it takes 2 weeks to form a habit and it’s no different with children. I also had my son eat popsicles and drink more water than normal so he would need to go to the bathroom more. The more stickers he got the more he liked using the potty. After the two weeks I still asked him after he had something to drink if he needed to use the potty, but after a while he can just tell me if he needs to go.