Mason wasn’t potty trained until he was 3 years old. One time when he was 18 months I put him on the potty and he peed. I was SO excited. I couldn’t believe my kid was going to potty train before two. But then I never really did it again and he never asked to be put on the potty so we waited and waited. Then Kyla was going to be born and I decided that ENOUGH WAS ENOUGH. He was going to be potty trained and sure enough he was ready! He regressed a little after Kyla was born but in no time at all he was back on track.
I remember when Mason was around 2 1/2 I ran into a friend who’s wife is from Germany. She told me that she was potty training her 2 year old because that’s just what they did in Germany and she couldn’t understand why we waited for so long here. For some reason that really stuck with me. When Kyla was about 10 weeks old a woman in my March group mentioned that she was doing EC aka Elimination Communication. I was intrigued but still not on board. Two weeks later she shared some of her success and I thought to myself HEY WHY NOT!!? So at 12 weeks old I started putting Kyla on the toilet to go to the bathroom and more often than not, SHE WENT. It was AMAZING.
We did this for months and even though we got lazy for a bit we always made sure she made at least one visit to the potty every day. Now at 18 months Kyla goes to the bathroom at least half of the time on the toilet. She signs to me when she has to go to the bathroom and I bring her and she goes. It’s truly amazing and I have no doubt in my mind that she will be fully potty trained by 2 years old. A whole year earlier than Mason.
So how did I make it happen? It’s a lot easier than you think but it does take some sort of dedication. It may seem a little time consuming at first but it’s well worth it when you’re not longer changing poopy diapers!
1. Use the toilet daily. When you’re trying to potty train your child before two the best thing to do is to familiarize them with the potty. When we first started what we call “Elimination Communication” with Kyla we started by taking her to the bathroom when she woke up in the morning, before bedtime and whenever we changed her diaper. This got her used to the potty and doing it at diaper changes also helped her to make a connection between what happened on the toilet and what happened in her diaper.
2. Use Sign Language. Every time I brought Kyla to the bathroom or changed her diaper I would make the sign for “potty”. It took her a while but one day it just clicked and that’s when we really hit the ground running. Whenever she has to use the bathroom she signs to me.
3. Diaper Free Time. Both of my kids seem to do better when they don’t have anything on their bottoms. So when we’re around the house I often let my potty training little one go without a diaper. This method doesn’t work for everyone but it does seem to work for us. It seems to make them more aware of their bathroom needs.
4. Have a Back Up Plan. Going diaper free is great and all but its certainly not only feasible. So it’s important to have a back up plan and that’s where Huggies Pull Ups come in. They’re more absorbent than underwear and function differently than diapers. For example they “pull up” just like underwear do. Not only that but they also have learning aspects. When they’re wet the color will change which can help indicate to children that they went which is great for visual learners! You can also find tips through their Big Kid Academy.
5. Get the right seat. When you’re potty training before two there are some things you may want to consider when it comes to finding the right potty for example, when they’re sitting on it do their feet touch the ground. It does seem like a big deal because you’ll be right there, but if they don’t feel secure they’re less likely to go. There are a ton of kid pottys out there but most of them are built for 2+. The Bjorn makes a great seat that is low to the ground making it perfect for kids 2 and under. Another great option is the seat that I use. It’s an actual toilet seat that has a built in child seat. The more comfortable they feel the more likely they are to enjoy potty time!
Words of Wisdom.
Every child is different and it’s most important to follow THEIR cues. If every time you put your child on the potty they scream their heads off then it’s probably not time. But if you start them early enough and show them that the potty is nothing to be afraid of you’ll be ahead of the game and it’ll be worth every trip to the bathroom! And keep in mind it doesn’t have to be full time. You can still start potty training early and work full time.
It’s also important to have support. To talk to other people who know what you’re going through. This is especially true if you’re potty training before two. If you enroll in the Big Kid Academy you’ll get a personalized “My Pull-Ups®” page that has potty training activities and advice that is customized to your point in the potty training journey! Some things you’ll find there are advice for experts, medical professionals and parents who have been there on “Potty Training on the Go”, “Best Clothing for Potty Training” and “Solutions for Nighttime”.
Disclosure: Thanks to Pull-Ups® for sponsoring today’s discussion