Photo by Lucy Rae
You’re the new parent of a beautiful baby girl and during one of many sleepless nights, as you stare at her perfect face, you start to think of all that’s to come in her future. You imagine her first solid foods, first trip to the beach, visiting grandma, play dates, potty training… gasp, potty training. You shutter at the thought, as most parents do. Not only does its arrival mean your sweet baby is growing up but you’ve heard horror stories from friends who are neck-deep in soiled undies and potty seats. Have no fear; it’s really not that bad. But before you dive in here are a few early potty training tips for new moms.
1. Decide if you’re ready
Whether it’s an upcoming move, a stressful time at work, a new baby, or maybe you’re just not mentally prepared; be sure you and your husband are ready to tackle the toilet.
2. Decide if your child is ready
There are a number of signs that could lead you to believe your child is ready for potty training including wanting to know what goes on in the bathroom, telling you that his/her diaper is wet/dirty, being on a regular schedule, getting uncomfortable ‘after the fact’, etc. Keep an eye out for these signs and if you begin potty training only to decide it’s too soon, take a break and try again in a few months.
3. Pick your potty
Some parents prefer freestanding potties that can be placed in any room while others like the seats that go on the toilet. Decide what each entails and which will work best for you and your family.
SmartMom approved potties:
Freestanding Potty: Baby Bjorn Potty Chair
Potty Seat: Munchkin Sturdy Potty Seat
Fold-Up Potty for On-The-Go: OXO 2-in-1 Go Potty
4. Praise! Praise! Praise!
Before taking on potty training parents should become the worlds most peppy cheerleaders. Every success should be celebrated like your child just won a gold medal. If you’re excited, your child will be excited!
[To reward or not to reward]
Praise is a must for any method you choose but some parents may want to add a little more incentive. Pee in the potty, get an M&M. Poop in the potty, and get three! Choose whatever potty prize you’d like.
5. Lose the clothes
Be prepared to spend a few days pants-free while potty training. The best way to stop or correct an accident is to catch it as it happens. Becky Mansfield has a great eBook called Potty Training In A Weekend that features a great naked method. I can say from personal experience it works!
6. Get the cleaning supplies ready
Time to face facts. There will be accidents and you will have to clean them up. Prepare for puddles on the floor and soiled sheets.
7. Pump up the patience
During the potty training process, patience will sometimes seem like an impossible virtue to grasp, but it’s important you find it and hold on. And when things really get frustrating just remember, they won’t be in diapers forever. It will happen.
8. Dare NOT to compare
Children will catch on to this skill at varying rates. It’s important that you avoid comparing your child to the kid next door.
9. Prepare for potty talk
You will be asking your child if they have to go to the potty what seems like 100 times a day while potty training. In turn, don’t be surprised if the next time you are out to dinner you have to excuse your self to “use the potty”. It will happen. You will laugh. It will probably not be the last time.
Best of luck with your potty training adventure! For those mommies who have tackled the toilet already, what are some helpful hints you can share? Log in to the SmartMom app for tips, tricks, and advice from real life SmartMoms.