We are starting the potty training with our now 3-year-old Walt. With his Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis, he is a little behind and it’s going to take a lot more work. So a couple weeks ago I asked for some parent advice on KSON’s Facebook page. Here are some of the best tips I got.
“Underwear! Most kids don’t like the feeling of being wet. I tried pull-ups and it was a wait of time they treated them like diapers.” – Sarah
“Yes, underwear!! Plenty of them, and don’t put the wet ones in laundry basket, unless washing today!” – Nancy
“I decided not to try to control something that was not IN my control. I had a drawer with diapers, pull ups and colorful undies and simple gave them a choice each day as to which they wanted (two boys and a girl). We had very few accidents and no power plays, tears or revenge poops … Easy peasy!” – Wanda
A lot of parents suggested letting their kids pick out their underwear. They’ll be encouraged to wear something they like versus something with plain colors you picked out. Plus, there was a lot of parents that said no to Pull-ups. Because they are absorbent like diapers kids tend to use them just like diapers. Using regular underwear will make your child more aware of when they are going.
“Potty training star chart. Have a reward system like a cookie after dinner or extra screen time.” – RJ
“We had incentives aka prizes every time our son successfully went to the restroom:) Our son got a hot wheels toy. Granted, potty training took a couple months, but he stopped requesting for a prize after a few weeks.” – Jennifer
This one was a little mixed. Some parents gave liked to give little treats when they went to the potty correctly, M&Ms, marshmallows, jelly beans, etc. Other parents warned against giving a treat that could be unhealthy and instead suggested using a small toy or something as simple as a star chart to encourage your kid to use the potty.
Make it a game
“’Sink the Cheerios’ that’s how I trained all 3 of my sons!” – Maria
I would say this is the BIGGEST tip I got and unfortunately its only for boys. A lot of parents put cheerios or fruit loops in the toilet that your son can use as target practice. It must work because a LOT of parents suggested it.
The Naked Method
“My son went from diapers to underwear in 1 weekend. Over that weekend I let my son run around naked and when he would start to pee I’d tell him he was peeing and put him on the toilet. This way he was able to associate the feeling of having to pee and actually peeing. After that it was just making sure he went pee first thing when he’d wake up and before bed or leaving the house.” – Angelica
This was actually one of the first tips I got from a friend when it came to potty training. She would let her boys run around naked in the backyard so they could be more aware of when they were going. Apparently she isn’t alone because MANY parents said the same thing. Most for boys, but it may work for girls too.
“Make sure he’s on board and is excited about doing this. With boys there are a lot of phases of potty training… since there are more options… and the one thing I wish id known… no tv. My boy oldest missed the mind body connection… which lead to more accidents. Second boy was faster because I didn’t park him in front of the tv.” -Rebekah
This is a great reminder not only for kids, but for parents too. Try to limit distractions for everyone. The less distractions the better!
The Big #2
“They also think they are “losing ” a part of themselves when they do bigboy #2, so we would have a big “goodbye” sendoff as we flushed. hiphip hooray and all.” – Becky
This is one thing I wasn’t expecting. I have a friend whose son would only go #2 in a diaper, but I never heard of kids thinking they were losing a part of themselves. Although it does make a lot of sense it you think about it. Love that Becky made it into a ritual to help her kids get through it.
Planning for Travel
“Take a portable seat – bucket with you everywhere. I’ve pulled over several times to encourage and support the “not in your pants” mentality when we just couldn’t get to a proper toilet in time.” – Marette
When potty training, make sure you have a plan what to do when traveling. One really great tip from a parent was to stop at the bathroom immediately when you get somewhere. I’ve had a couple friends recommend portable seats as well so you are always prepared.
What is the #1 tip you have for potty training?