Are you dreading the day you need to start potty training worn-out mama? You’ve heard horror stories from friends and it’s got you feeling exhausted and you haven’t even started?
Check out some ways you can start to prep for potty training with your little nugget to ease your anxiety. They’ll start learning what to do ahead of the game and you’ll lessen the struggle when you really start trying to nix the diaper game.
Prep for Potty Training: Talk About Going Potty
Alright, you don’t have to describe every moment of going potty for your LO. You do need to start talking about it as part of the daily routine.
- “Mommy is going to go sit on the potty now.”
- “Mommy is going to go pee in the potty. You go pee in a diaper. Someday you’ll go pee in the potty like mommy.”
- “Do you see daddy is going to go pee in the potty?”
- “Big brother/sister is going to go pee in the potty now.”
You’ll even start to ask them questions about whether or not they peed or pooped.
- “Did you pee?”
- “Are you poopy?”
- “Do we need to change your diaper?”
This process helps them start to put words to the actions.
If you are picking up on the queues of when they are peeing and pooping, you’ll change your questions to be in the moment.
- “Are you peeing?”
- “Are you pooping?”
Once they can answer these questions correctly, they are ready to potty train!
Prep for Potty Training: Read About Going Potty
You already know that books are great for teaching your kiddo some letters, numbers and colors. The same holds true for peeing and pooping!
A classic tale of how “all living things eat so, all living things poop” friends. This book has basic, colorful pictures that draw the kiddo into the story. The simple sentences on the page are straight to the point.
It has a great setup for you to compare where they are and where they want to be with an illustration of a big boy on the potty and a baby who has pooped their diaper. “You poop in your diaper like this baby but soon you’ll be like this big boy and poop in the potty.”
Once Upon a Potty
This is another oldie but a goodie book from the 70’s. It comes as a board book with a version for boys and girls which is fun. It also has colorful and simple images with short sentences about getting the job done that appeals to littles.
The only drawback is we are now in an age where using actual terms for body parts and bodily functions but the book uses “wee-wee” and “poo-poo”. You can simply just say “pee” and “poop” instead when reading!
P is for Potty
Who doesn’t want help from Elmo to learn to go potty? If your kiddo is addicted to the Furchester Hotel, Sesame Street or lift the flap books, pick this book up!
It’s another sturdy board book that walks your toddler through the process of going potty and will reiterate questions you’ll already be introducing like, “Do you have to go potty?”
* I’ve added some links below to these suggestions for your convenience! I receive a small commission on purchases made through some of the links.
Prep for Potty Training: Introduce Their Potty
Your goal is to get your child to want to sit on their potty right? How about if I told you to sit your naked butt where it’s never been before?
Your kiddo is going to go through that anxious process too and they will be running the other way from this crazy thing you want them to do, if you don’t do it right.
Put the potty in the bathroom and just tell them it’s their potty. Start giving them the ownership of this new thing they haven’t seen before. Let them touch it and move it around.
Prep for Potty Training: Encourage Sitting on the Potty
You’ve set the stage for this part as you’ve talked about yourself going potty. “Mommy sits on the potty”.
The prime time to practice sitting is when you’re ready to get the stink off of them in the tub. Clothes and diaper are off!
Follow these simple steps:
- Ask them, “Do you want to sit on your potty before you get in the bath tub?”
- Move them towards the potty and see what happens.
- You sit on the potty at that time and see if it helps them want to model after you.
- If there is any push back from them, STOP. You don’t want to continue to ask them and force them to sit. It needs to be an idea they’re comfortable with.
Continue to repeat this process every time before bath. Ask the question. They sit or don’t. You put them in the bath.
It will just become part of the routine of what you do before bath and eventually they’ll sit. Then you can add another time in for when they sit on the potty. Try the last diaper change before bed or the first diaper change of the morning.
Prep for Potty Training: Take the Pressure Off
Let yourself relax. You aren’t pushing them to fully potty train. You are just starting the conversation and giving them opportunity to practice.
You don’t expect them to master any other tasks you give them, right? This is the same. The key to toddlers is “rinse and repeat”.
Just ask the Wiggles who drive in that Big Red Car every other episode mama! Over and over and over…