Potty training seems to go so easily for some toddlers but not so smoothly for others. Some toddlers will potty train for months before they are successful. If you are one of those parents who managed to get your toddler potty trained using the 3-day potty training method, you are not in the majority. Fast toddler potty training is not quite that easy to achieve. Keep the following in mind to make the journey smoother.
What you must keep in mind about potty training your toddler quickly
I would like to start by saying that while you may think you have seen signs of readiness in your child, your toddler may not be ready to be potty trained. Look out for signs of readiness but prepare yourself.
They can very easily change their minds about wanting to use a potty if something about the process does not feel comfortable to them. In this situation, fast potty training will simply not be an option. You may need to take a break and try again in weeks or months.
Please also note that you should not allow other people’s opinions of how and when your toddler should be potty trained to influence you too deeply. You know and understand your child. Let your toddler indicate their readiness to you. Really, this is to avoid both yourself and your toddler becoming frustrated. Don’t allow this to become a traumatic experience for either of you.
How early can a toddler be potty trained?
Potty training age varies in every home. As I mentioned above, it is more about readiness than anything else. If they’re 4 years old, for example, but very clearly still not ready, you have to wait a little longer to try again.
Can you force a toddler to potty train?
Absolutely not. It will backfire on you. Worse, it might delay the process even further if you traumatise them in the process.
Go with a weekend
Choose a weekend or a bunch of days when you are not obligated to go anywhere. You need to give yourselves the freedom to go through the process without any external interruptions. Try to make sure that all grocery shopping is done for those few days if you can. Prepare mentally for a few days in the house.
Clue everyone in
Be sure that every person in your home who you would consider your toddler’s caretaker knows what is going on. They need to understand what time it is and they should ideally be as watchful as you. Your entire household should be watchful of signs of your toddler needing to pee and poop and be as ready as you to whisk them off if necessary. They should also be aware for the sake of providing you with emotional support. You might need it.
What you must do from Day 1
- Totally discard diapers. Don’t throw any leftovers away, of course. Just forget that they exist.
- Pick a space in your home where you think your toddler will spend the most time each day and make that space “accident-friendly”. For the sake of your own sanity. For example, line sofa seats with protective covers and roll up and away any easily removable rugs.
- Do not worry too much about your toddler being fully dressed. Some parents decide to let their toddlers start wearing underwear from day 1 of potty training. If you think being naked on the bottom half, at least, might remind them to be more conscious of when they need to pee and poop, then try that.
- Your focus is your toddler. You cannot be distracted by anything else. Keeping your eye and your mind off them even a little bit too long could lead to an unnecessary accident and lengthening the training process. This is why it’s called potty training. It requires some discipline first from you, and eventually, from your toddler too.
- Keep your toddler well-hydrated. For their general health, of course. Also because, if there’s nothing going in, there’ll be nothing coming out and they won’t have the opportunity to practice this new skill that they’re supposed to have down in a matter of days.
- Praise your toddler when they are successful.
- Never show any anger or frustration when they make a mistake.
Get your materials and tools together
Preparation is key. Make sure you do not need to leave the house for anything that you need for the process. You do not want to work hard to allocate one weekend for potty training and then discover each day of that weekend that you need to pop out to get one item or the other to aid the process. From wipes to additional potties, be sure you have got all your potty training tools and supplies in place.
A Potty Chart
You can use this as motivation for your child. Give your toddler a star or tick every time they make a successful potty trip. Get Vanessa’s free potty training chart for this. At the end of each row, give them a gift as a prize. Your toddler can also decorate their chart to make it more interesting.
Have a potty everywhere
Samantha suggests that you should have a potty in different locations of the house. For example, she had a potty on every floor of the house. This makes it easy for your toddler to get to one quickly and easily. Also, if they’re distributed around the house, they are often within your toddler’s sight and so they are more conscious of the need to use the potty when it comes up.
Create a potty training cartoons playlist
Some parents are happy to give in and let their toddlers have some screen time if it will make them sit still long enough to try to use the potty.
If you do find that a little screen time helps your toddler to sit still on the potty for a bit, I recommend making it targeted screen time. Create a potty training playlist for your child. Watching other another toddler using the potty or potty training like a big kid might encourage your toddler to want to copy them while they themselves sit on the potty. I recommend the following videos:
How do you get your toddler to tell you they have to go potty?
Ideally, you will be doing this when your toddler can communicate clearly enough. Even if only with two or three-word sentences. Teach them what to say to let you know that they need to pee and poop. It can be as simple as “Go potty”. Nothing too long or complicated because you do not want them to struggle to get the words out when they need to go badly.
If they are not able to speak yet and you still think you’ve seen signs of readiness, you can also teach your toddler to pat their diaper when they need to go.
Either way, in the beginning of potty training your toddler, you must either frequently ask them if they need to pee and poop or remind them to frequently let you know if they need to pee and poop. Do not nag at them about it or else it will become an annoying activity for both of you. Ask them every 20 minutes or so.
Your toddler is an individual. You cannot force them to do what you want them to do. No matter how fast you would like to get this done, you should bear their individuality in mind and do not compare them to anyone else’s child. Neither should you think that they should be ready by 2 years old simply because you read somewhere that the age of 2 is when children are ready to be potty trained. Potty training is a big deal.
Be patient. It will happen. Your child will not be in diapers when they get to college. Allow them to enjoy the potty training process too. I know “fast potty training” does not appear to be synonymous with patience but if you’re patient with them, they might get to it faster than you expect.
Believe in your toddler
Remain positive about it and try not to show any anger or disappointment when there are accidents or if you discover that they are just not ready.
Trust your toddler’s instincts and the message that they give you. Don’t force things.
It will happen eventually.
What was the potty training process like for you?
Are you about to embark on an attempt at fast toddler potty training? Do you feel prepared?