If you’ve ever wondered what potty training in style looks like, you’re looking at it.
I had ZERO intention of potty training Piper before she turned 2 , because I had way too much on my plate already, but she started being very aware of when she peed or pooped in her diaper. She also started taking the poop out of her diaper during naps/bedtime, and wiping it EVERYWHERE. It was horrific, and it would be all in her hair, her clothes, the walls, her sheets, the crib railings...seriously everywhere. I decided enough was enough, and I was going to take advantage of this terrible awareness she suddenly had, and start potty training her.
I asked for any advice on potty training on an Instagram story, and about 90% of people recommended "Oh Crap! Potty Training". I bought it on Amazon HERE (it's a really easy, entertaining read), and I can't recommend it enough! It answered every single question I had, and also questions I didn't know I would have as I went through it all. It's still a draining and frustrating process, but this book laid it all out, and I just followed the steps. I can honestly say it was 100x easier than I thought it was going to be. I've had tons of other mums message me on IG saying they bought the book after I recommended it, and also raved about how easy it was (considering it IS potty training after all) and how well it worked.
The book breaks each stage down into phases. Each kid goes through the phases at different paces. It's not a day one, day two, etc. type of layout. We all learn differently, and at different speeds, so you just go to the next stage when your child is ready.
The first day, Piper was completely naked the whole time. We didn't go anywhere, and I was supposed to keep my eyes on her THE WHOLE TIME. This was the hardest part for me, because I also had baby Jack who needed breastfeeding, diaper changes, etc. I swear whenever I would go put him down in his crib, or start changing his diaper, she'd start peeing. The whole point was to watch her EVERY move, look for her signs of needing to go to the bathroom, and rush her to the potty before then, or as soon as she started to go. I missed A LOT of her cues, and there were a lot of accidents. By the end of the first day, I thought it was a total failure, and I should maybe do it when Jack was a little older and not so dependent on me.
The book talked a lot about making sure YOU are ready, not them. The next day, I decided to man up and just keep at it. Instead of letting her roam and play like she normally would, I turned on Shrek (to keep her still and in one place), gave her a drink, and had her sit on the potty the whole time. If she really didn't want to sit on it the whole time, I wouldn't have forced her, but she rather enjoyed her nice little chair, and when she went all by herself (without me rushing her over to it), it all clicked. She still had occasional accidents, but she connected the feeling of needing to go to the bathroom, and going in the potty. I FREAKED out when she did it by herself. I'm talking jumping around, clapping, kissing, high-fiving. I was so proud of her, and I made a HUGE deal out of it every time she went. She loved it and always got so excited.
After the second day, I put on clothes (she was still commando though), and we did the same type of thing (Phase 2). She got better and better, and there were fewer accidents. By the 3-4th day, she was wearing panties and would tell me when she had to use the potty 90% of the time.
The book explains each stage in more detail, but those were the general steps I took to potty training her. I never got around to buying her a sticker chart honestly (oops), but whenever she went to the potty I acted like she won the lottery, and got SO excited with her, and let her have a little treat every time at first, and then every now and then, and then just a big hug and a "I'm so proud of you". Now she uses the potty by herself, proudly takes it to the toilet while whispering "I'm so proud of you" to herself, and walks herself to my mum's cookie cupboard before I stir her in the other direction ha. She did REALLY well and I'm so proud of her.
I don't think potty training is a one size fits all type of thing, because every kid is SO different. This was a pretty brief summary of the process, but to sum it up, go buy "Oh Crap! Potty training!" haha.