At first it was all about just getting them accustomed to the potty. I would let them go to the bathroom with me (oh! goodbye last shred of modesty!) and even let them flush it for me if they were up for it. The next step was just to get them to sit on the potty. For this I would just take them a couple of times a day, not expecting anything from them. I did this for about a month before actually starting full on potty training.
During that month of getting used to the potty, we also took the time to take them to the store to pick out their own big boy/girl undies. They loved getting to pick out their favorite characters! It was so much fun for them!
The next step in the process is the doozy; actual full on, oh my goodness, are we actually doing this-potty training. My book of choice was the 3 Day Method by Lora Jensen. It was straight forward and easy to follow. I went into this with the understanding that my children wouldn’t be completely trained in 3 days. I get that. I don’t know of any child who becomes completely accident free after only 3 days. So my idea of potty trained 20 month olds was that they have more successes than accidents and able to go out in public in underwear. I say that to stress that complete potty training is a long and continuing process and won’t happen overnight, so try to be patient! (I know, MUCH easier said than done!)
The very first thing I did when I started this method was put them on the potty as soon as they got up. I only let them sit for a few seconds (to encourage them to actually go instead of sitting down and playing). After that first try, they get their big boy/girl undies. I explained to them that they were big kids and it was important to keep their undies dry and tell me if they need to go potty. Then we went into the blocked off kitchen and played. I chose the kitchen because of the wood floors (easy clean up, always a plus!).
One thing I did in preparation is have some tasty things for them to drink that they don’t usually get because it helps them need to go more, which in turn, helps them learn what to do quicker. They especially loved that!
Another big point is that I never asked them IF they needed to potty. That put me in charge of when they went. Instead the author recommended reminding the kids constantly to tell when they had to go potty. This completely put the ball in their court. It was really hard to hand the control over, but they needed to learn!
The rest of the day is spent repeating that phrase and running kids to the potty. The main goal is to catch them in the act of going and rushing them to the potty to finish going on it. This is where the patience comes in handy! It was difficult and I learned the hard way that two at once was a ludicrous idea. I eventually potty trained Jayleigh first and then a few weeks later potty trained Jaxson. That worked so much better for me. I really didn’t want to potty train them at two different times, but the first day trying to train them both was the most ridiculous thing I have ever done in my life! So one at a time was the way for us!
Who could have imagined these sweet little booties could be so crazy?!
Jayleigh was much easier. Let’s face it, what everyone says is true (or at least in my case it was).
Girls are easier to train than boys.
That’s part of the reason I chose to potty train her first and it worked out well. She took to it quickly and didn’t need much persuading. The only issue I had was that the first day she was scared to death of the potty. I could not figure out why, especially since she had done so well the month before. I finally figured out that she didn’t like the excessive celebrating I did when she actually went. I was shocked. I just knew that playing up her going to the potty was what she needed when, in fact, it was scaring her to death! (Way to go, Mom…) Once we figured that out, she had it. We still encouraged her in different ways. She would get an M&M or a sticker sometimes and that was enough for her!
Showing off her sticker!
Keep working! We are going on 3 months of being potty trained and we still have our fair share of accidents. It happens. I tend to overpack when we go out, just in case. And I do advise keeping some plastic bags in your purse or diaper bag in case an accident happens. That always saves me!
I love these two and am just so proud of them for being such big kids!