Before you jump into the fun and excitement of potty training, there are a few things you should do.
Buy a potty - there are lots to choose from - everything from simple and 100% functional to funky and fancy with lights and music - you don't need fancy, but if you think it will appeal to your child AND it fits your budget, go for it! If you would rather have your child learn to use the toilet from the beginning, there are lots of options in toilet seats so that your little one doesn't fall into the big toilet! Again, what every works for you and your child. Remember, that your child may be a little scared to sit on the toilet at first because it is big and full of water! If you are going the toilet route, you will need a good sturdy stool to assist your child getting onto the toilet.
Get LOTS of underwear and extra pants and laundry detergent. There will probably be lots of extra laundry in your near future! Children's underwear come in a wide array of styles. Thicker fabric is good for starting out as it will absorb some of the mess but Dora, Diego etc. underwear might be more of an incentive for your child to stay dry. Again, go with whatever appeals to your child and fits your budget. Boxer style underwear is not a good idea of boy as it doesn't keep all messes contained! (Believe me, it will roll right out and get tracked all over the carpet before you even know that it's happened! And yes, I know this from experience!) Pull-ups are also an option, stay tuned for a future post about my views on pull-ups!
Ditch the onesies! I know they are great for keeping the munchkins warm but you do not want to be fumbling with those snaps while your little darling is doing the peepee dance - unless of course you like to get peed on!
Take a break from overalls - again, fumbling with buttons and straps while your child is peeing on your shoes is not cool! And even if you do get them down in time, overall straps always seem to have a knack for ending up in the potty! Check out your local Value Village or thrift shop for lots of elastic waist pants for potty training!
Be prepared for anything! You could be one of the lucky ones and your child could be potty trained in a matter of days. But it could take a month or more. And you may have to admit that your child just isn't ready and take a break for a little while.
Every child is different. What works for one may not work for the next. You need to be ready to follow your child's lead and do what it takes to help him or her succeed!
Stay tuned for more tips, tricks and advice every Tuesday! And please do share your own experiences! I am always looking for ways to make potty training easier for myself, not only at work, but also at home as I will soon be jumping in head first to potty train Liam!