No More Diapers!
Not all 3 year olds put undies on and never need to wear a diaper again, like my Ben. All little ones do, however, usually show some pretty telling signs when they’re ready to shed the diaper for good. Little Johnny may already tell you when he is going or has gone potty in his diaper and beg you to change him. He’s most likely dressing himself, he knows how to obey simple commands, and he knows where the big boys go potty. I have seen these signs in all five of my kiddos who now wear “big kid undies.” I have had great success with training my babies as they neared 3 years of age, but I’m thinking of starting here soon with my littlest guy.
A few days before our first official potty-training day, my little tykes and I had a special “date” dedicated to finding a potty chair and picking out treats for when they were successful. Most chose little candies, but even stickers work well. While we were out, I explained to my date that he was becoming a big boy and that he was going to use the toilet and wear big boy undies, like daddy or his older brothers. They always got so excited, especially since I let them pick out a special cartoon-printed package of undies, as an extra incentive.
On potty-training day one, I would take off my little one’s diaper and let him run around for a bit without anything on. I would set an egg timer and every 10 minutes, or so, I would ask him if he needed to go potty, and remind him that he would get a treat if he went on the toilet. I had him try every 20 minutes, by letting him sit on the toilet. I was always very good to remember to encourage my trainee by thanking him for trying.
The key to successful potty-training is repetition, as you help him form the habit of listening to his body to feel the signs. That first day little Johnny may have several accidents, but don’t give up. Each time he soils his undies, explain to him that he needs to go potty in the toilet, walk him to his potty chair and have him sit down to try again. After a few minutes of trying, walk back to where he peed and clean it up together. Cleaning it up, coupled with NOT getting a treat is typically NOT okay with him.
When you have made the decision to potty train your little one and have made it through day one, I would urge you to only put cotton undies on him - Once you are determined not to give up, DO NOT put a diaper or pull-up on him, except for maybe at night-time. Diapers and pull-ups absorb too much to make going anywhere but in the toilet too easy and convenient. Stay home for a few days, if you need to. Potty training will be much easier and you will accomplish your goal much faster.
At night, to keep our potty-training kiddos dry, we would have him go potty just before bed. Daddy would get him up just before we went to bed, to try again, and then also when he woke up early in the morning. Johnny may have occasional wet sheets, but all in all, your little guy is bound to stay dry if you help him. Dedication and patience throughout the night is key, too.
It’s not easy to potty train any child, and I always procrastinated as long as I could, but if your little one is ready, go for it!