I’m a Pull-Ups Potty Training Ambassador. Big thank you to them for trusting me to offer potty training tips and advice as part of a compensated relationship.
“The trouble with being a parent is that by the time you are experienced, you are unemployed.” – I became a mother very unexpectedly. I was 30 years old, thought that I was on a set career path, and was set in my routines. Then BAM! Life throws you a curve ball. And those two little pink lines were just the start of the curve balls I’d start to face on a regular basis… Every time you think you’re getting the hang of the whole mom thing, your kiddo changes again. They say babies are hard. But you know what? Babies stay in one spot. It’s once they learn to move that things really start to get tricky. Do you remember the first time you laid your baby on a blanket for tummy time, and came to find that they had moved? All by themselves?? Sometimes I feel like motherhood is just a big race to stay ahead of the game, lol.
Potty training feels kind of the same way – you think you’ve got it down, things are going great, then one day they have an accident. Followed by a couple more. Why the heck aren’t they using the potty like usual? What’s going on? Or, all of your friends with kids the same age have successfully potty trained already, and you feel like a failure. Well listen up moms – you’re doing just fine :) Every kid is different – which is why we all grow into a big bunch of extremely different adults, right? I always compare it to learning any new skill…. If you and your girlfriends all went to learn to play tennis for the first time, one might be a pro right from the start, a couple others will do well, and a couple might struggle badly. Same goes with potty training, so don’t let the set backs get to you!
One BIG set back that can happen at this time of year is spring break or summer travel, and all of the extra activities that come around as the weather warms up – like sports, clubs, parties, etc. Getting out of your usual routines, going for long drives, visiting new places – those are all things that can get little ones confused, overwhelmed, or over-tired. So, I’ve put together a list of some great tips to help keep the potty training going smoothly this time of year. But most importantly of all is keeping a sense of humor – so be sure to watch the video above. I’ve watched it about 10 times and STILL laugh so hard when I see it again. #MotherhoodIsToughButItRocks.
- Keep it fun. Try not to get too upset over accidents or refusal to use the potty. Once your child senses your frustration, they’ll start to think of potty time in a negative way – making it no fun for anyone. Use incentives like stickers as a reward, and offer lots of positive reinforcement.
- Travel potty chair. If you’ll be driving long distances for vacations, be sure to invest in a portable potty chair. Finding a rest stop can be challenging when you have a toddler who has to go RIGHT NOW. This solves the problem.
- Be consistent. Try to stick as close to your usual routines as possible, to lessen any confusion for your kiddo. If you usually go every hour at home, try your best to keep to that same schedule when you travel. If you use a chart with check-marks like I do, bring it along. Setting an alarm on your phone is a great way to keep track of potty time when you’re on the go!
- Challenge them. One trick that works great with Abby any time is when I give her a challenge. “Do you think you can go to the potty, wash your hands, and be back before the commercial is over?” Or, “I’m going potty – do you think you can beat me?” She loves anything that’s a bit of a race, and again – it makes it more of a fun event, instead of a chore.
- Give them info. Your kiddo might know where to find the potty at home – but they might not realize that other places like a zoo, theme park, or other attraction have a bathroom too. Be sure to discuss this with them beforehand, and point out bathrooms you see during the day, so they now when to ask.
- Pull-Ups: When you’re at the in-between point, where your little one doesn’t want to wear diapers anymore, but isn’t potty trained enough to fully where undies all day – Pull-Ups are a lifesaver. They slide on and off like big-kid underwear, but have sides that come apart, if you need to get them on and off quickly without removing pants and shoes. They are also an BIG help on long road trips with early potty trainers.
- Be prepared. Accidents WILL happen. So be sure to bring extra clothes to change into, and plastic bags or reusable wet bags to hold messy clothes. This lessens the stress on you, which helps kids feel less embarrassed about an accident too.
- Pack a potty bag. This could include things like wipes and hand sanitizer, the extra clothes and wet bags I mentioned, a portable potty that can be used as a travel potty, but folds up to be a trainer-style seat in public restrooms, and any supplies you usually use. Same idea as a a diaper bag, but you use it for big kid potty time :)
I’d love for you to share some of your own tips and advice in the comments – you guys always have such great advice! We’re doing really well with potty training – but will have a LOT of summer travel to deal with, and I’d love all the tips I can get. Then be sure to share this post with your potty training friends too – or pin it for your own future reference.
And for more helpful tips, tricks, advice, and ideas on how to make potty training fun – make sure to follow Pull-Ups on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube – and get tons of resources on their website too, Big Kid Academy. You can also follow my Potty Training Tips board on Pinterest!