We are actually doing quite well in the House of K with potty learning. Even when we don’t stick to our every hour schedule, M will tell us if he does or does not need to use the potty and will frequently tell us independently when he does need to go. At this point we have maybe 1-2 accidents a day, and I’ve noticed,
if it’s 2 it’s usually because we haven’t been diligent enough about making sure he goes. Poop accidents are nearly non-existent (which now that I’ve said that, we’ll have a huge one today), it’s the pees that he struggles with making it in time.
Here’s what we have found to work:
- Keeping a schedule or asking frequently if he has to go pee pees.
- Using a highly motivating item as a reinforcer. For us, this has been small pieces of chocolate that he does not get outside of potty time.
- Providing reinforcement (chocolate) for dry pants (we have him feel his undies so he knows what dry is) and when he pees/poops on the potty. He really can earn up to 3 pieces of chocolate in one sitting.
- Pairing verbal praise and cheers with his chocolate reinforcer. This way we can taper off the candy and he’ll still be motivated and reinforced by our cheers (think Pavlov’s dog…after awhile the bell caused the salivation, not just the presentation of meat #psychnerd).
- Using a timer as a signal that it’s potty time. M likes to push the button to set and stop the timer so this has made it fun for him and he loves to say “beep beep” when it goes off.
- Using underwear or underwear-like training pants. We’ve used the Gerber Training Pants, which I’ve had to do some DIY work with to make them fit M since he’s so petite, but they’ve been working great.
- Diapers for naptime and overnight (and when out and about, we have not attempted undies outside the home yet…or public restrooms for that matter).
- Potty break before naptime and before bedtime. M is waking up with a dry diaper from his nap more and more often if we stick to the potty time before his nap. Bedtime is obviously a work in progress.
- Bedtime potty time. M has learned the art of delaying bedtime by asking to go pee pees. My rule of thumb has been, take him before we head to his room and then he can go one time once the storytime/rocking process has started. Stinker has learned to poop right before bed though so this makes it confusing to determine if he really is “done.”
- Using undies instead of diapers. I’ve found that when he’s in undies I’m more likely to keep a very consistent schedule because if there is an accident, it’s a lot more to clean up. But, we don’t have a lot of undies so diapers still get used, resulting in us being more lax about the schedule.
- Braving an outing in undies (including walks). We just aren’t brave enough yet!
- Finding training pants that fit M without spending $10+ on ONE pair of training pants. I’m willing to spend $15-25 on a cloth diaper that I’ll use for up to 3 years on multiple children, but not on a training pant that will get used for maybe 6 months. Hence my DIY projects to get the Gerber Training Pants to work for us.
What age did your little learn to use the potty?
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