Whoa, June has flown by. We just took a mini road trip to visit friends in Houston and we had a great time participating in my friend’s summer reading program, HYPE. My older girls participated while I volunteered and observed their awesome curriculum in practice. Prior to motherhood I was an Executive Director for an after school literacy and fitness program. So I’m all about programs that expose kids to quality books while fostering a love for reading and their community at large. If you happen to live in Houston check out their site to see how you can get involved.
By the way, I’m actually working on my first children’s book this summer with my daughters. The topic is under wraps for a bit, but I will be sharing some of my practice character illustrations on Instagram this month if you’re interested.
So another project of mine involves potty training my two year old. She is doing a great job at keeping herself dry when asked in a timely fashion, but when I forget to ask it’s a different story. So I guess I’m the one holding this potty train party up. I’m hoping we can make more progress this summer while we have less distractions in our home.
So what do you need to potty train?
I used to make lots of purchases in preparation for potty training. But with toddler number three I’ve kept it more simple. Here’s what I’m finding most useful during this season of toilet training.
- A Toilet Seat with a built in child seat. (like this). We actually bought this as a replacement for a worn seat prior to toilet training, but it sure has come in handy. Sasha can sit on the seat and wait for her pee or poop without fear of falling in. By the way I have tossed both potty seats that were purchased for my first two daughters. We never used them consistently and my girls just responded to being on the grown up seat more readily. Plus floor space is precious in my house; especially the bathroom. So if you haven’t gone down that road yet, you may want to opt for either a portable seat cover (to be used at home or on outings) or a seat like the one I mentioned above.
- A chemical free brand of training pants. I find that those first few pairs of underwear makes them smile like no other. It is a signal to them that they are a big girl or big boy and can handle the challenges of getting to the seat in a timely fashion. Two of my favorite brands of organic apparel, Hannah Andersson and Under The Nile make these in organic cotton. Don’t have the budget for organic? Minimize chemicals by choosing 100% cotton undies (like these) in lighter colors such as white or pastel. Deeper colors, particularly in the lining of the unders will likely mean your toddler gets more exposure to chemical dyes.
- Likewise a chemical free brand of pull ups. If you are away from home a lot or need some extra security while your baby is sleeping, pull ups are a great option because they can quickly be pulled down when you do need to get them to the potty. We use Seventh Generation’s Pullups. They are unscented, free of chlorine processing and made without petroleum or latex.
- Focus and attention. Are you prepping for a big move? Pregnant with your next baby? These may seem like good motivators to wrapping up toilet training, but pressuring yourself or your child to meet a milestone when you have tons of other major things to focus on doesn’t sound like a winning combination to me. You are probably dealing with more stress, responsibilities and perhaps even exhaustion. Give yourself and your toddler a break on meeting the timeline and you’ll likely find that things fall into place at just the right time with much less effort down the road. Most toilet training tactics I’ve read or tried emphasize consistency on the parent’s part. Whether it’s a 3 day process or a 3 month process you want to be able to make your baby your primary focus while toilet training. If you have other life changing things happening at the same time it will be harder to demonstrate the love and patience that is required for success. On the other hand if life is pretty steady and no major transitions are happening this may be the perfect time to focus on this big milestone in your baby’s life.
What about you? Tell me your favorite tools and tips for successful potty training. I’d love to know more.