I have 3 boys. They say potty training boys is harder than girls. To that I say, “phooey!” Five years ago when I was potty training my first son, one of my best friends in all the land shared a potty training strategy that worked for her kids. I trust her, so I tried it.
Potty Training the Nudey Way.
Sounds scary. And messy. You mean I just let my kid pee on the floor?!? Yup. I’m telling you, it works. I’ve done it with three kids. Three kids who are all very different. The last two had absolutely no interest in going on the potty. None. At. All. But it was time. They were old enough to tell me they had pooped and they didn’t like sitting in it for long.
Here’s what you do:
1. Pick a weekend/time when you know you will be home for 3 days straight. Commit to it. The first day/day and a half will be hard. You can do it. It will get better and it will SOOOO be worth it. You will question whether this is the right time for your child, after day 1. It is. They will get it. Hang in there.
2. Let your child be naked from the waist down. We do this for 3 days, then move on to underwear.
3. Show your child where the potty is, have them sit on it. Give potty treats (make this something small – you’ll be giving a lot of them over the next week) for tries, and potty victories. If you only give for victories, they will not want to sit on the potty and try.
4. Wait. Wait for the first accident. Your child will pee on the floor, or the couch, or the chair. It’s going to happen. When it does, pick them up and bring them to the potty and tell them “we go potty in the potty, not on the floor. Do you want to try to go more and get a potty treat?”
5. Clean up the potty accident.
6. Watch for cues that your child may have to go potty. Ask your child to try to sit on the potty every 15 minutes, or so. The first morning of training we spend A LOT of time in the bathroom. Get comfy in there. Play in there, read books, and do a lot of sitting on the potty chair.
7. Get super duper, over the top excited when your child pees in the potty!!! Give extra treats or a different/better treat for a victory.
8. Be prepared for a few more accidents while they are learning. Be smart about where they sit and what they’re sitting on. Put a towel or waterproof mat under them on the highchair. Do the same while they sit on the couch. Don’t get angry with them for having an accident. Simply clean it up and explain again that pee pee goes in the potty.
9. If you start on Friday and stay home all weekend, your child will be trained by Monday. Then you can move to phase 2: wearing underwear on Monday or Tuesday. This adds in another day or 2 of teaching them to pull down their pants before they sit down, but you’ll be surprised how fast this goes!
10. Naptime, bedtime, and going out in public (shopping, the park, etc) are when they wear pull ups until you’ve got a history of no accidents. This is out of pure laziness as a mother of 3 boys (I don’t want to change wet clothes when we’re at Target, or get pee all over the cart). At home and at daycare we wear underwear and allow the occasional accident to happen. They will happen. It’s ok. If your kids are anything like any of mine, it will happen when they’re deep in play and they just forget. Maybe a handful of times.
That’s it!! I’ve cleaned up 5 accidents since Friday. It’s Wednesday. He’s gone without accidents since Sunday afternoon. Totally worth it to be done in less than a week’s time and out of diapers with pull ups used as a back up only, not a glorified (more expensive) diaper!