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Potty training is one of THE MOST dreaded parts of parenthood. It can mean lots of tears, messes, and epic power struggles. But it really doesn’t have to be bad! Two of my three children are potty trained and there are a few things I’ve found that really help to have on-hand when you’re potty training.
My must-have potty training supplies:
These are a lifesaver for potty training! Switching from diapers to Pull-Ups is a big deal for kids without all the mess of switching straight to underwear. You can get them for up to 20% off when you order through Amazon with Subscribe & Save, plus you save an extra $3 on Pull-Ups products. AND they ship Prime! I love that they don’t leak, that they look like big-kid underwear, and kids can pull them up and down without help.
A child toilet seat
I’m a firm believer in NOT getting a child potty for potty training. Mainly because the thought of cleaning it out is totally gross to me and it just adds an extra step to the already challenging process of potty training. We actually have built-in child-sized seats on our toilets where there’s a regular seat then another “layer” of seat that’s child-sized. See?
For reaching said child toilet seat without you having to lift your child up and put him on the potty every time. We love this one.
A Waterproof Pad
We used a fabric waterproof pad on our sofa when we were potty training. It wasn’t fancy but it sure beat cleaning urine from the couch! They’re inexpensive and SO useful to keep around the house.
Tons of Undies
You do NOT want to be washing underwear nonstop, so invest in a bunch. I go cheap with “first undies” because I don’t want fancy undies being ruined by poop accidents, but I don’t feel bad about trashing a $1 pair of underwear with a huge mess in it.
True story: once one of my kids peed and it went allllll the way down their legs into their shoes. Puddles of pee in the shoes. And they were NOT washable shoes. I never could get the smell of urine out so had to trash them. If it’s warm enough, I recommend these shoes at all times because you can just throw them in the sink and rinse them off.
This is a given, right?! A little incentive goes a long way – you have to find what motivates your child – I’ve heard of stickers, M&Ms, pennies, jelly beans, basically anything novel!
Our Potty TRaining STories
Honestly, we didn’t potty train Quinn. My mother-in-law was watching her for the weekend while my husband and I went on a quick trip to Chicago and by the time we got back, she was trained. This is my recommended method for any parent ;). She was totally ready at 2.5, though, and it wasn’t a struggle to get her transitioned. We didn’t night train her until much later because she was still in a crib until she was almost three. For nighttime and naps, we used Pull-Ups.
I wasn’t fortunate enough to schedule a vacation at the same time Cooper needed to be potty trained… darn! 🙂 But it really wasn’t bad to train him, either. For months we read books about potty training and we waited until he was totally ready and he nearly trained himself. We ended up potty training him very close to his third birthday and waited so long because his baby sister was born about 6 months prior and he had a TON of changes in that 6 months – new room, new sibling, big boy bed, etc – I didn’t want to push it! At almost 4, he’s still not night trained so he also rocks Pull-Ups to bed so we aren’t up in the middle of the night changing sheets, because #nope.
There are a million ways to potty train and honestly, you have to find what motivates YOUR child. Does he hate being wet/dirty? Does he LOVE a sweet treat after a successful trip to the potty? A sticker chart? In my experience, I’ve never forced it and it’s always been pretty painless because my kids were ready and potty training was on their own terms.