There are many times when I wish I could freeze a moment with my baby and keep it forever. Changing his diaper is never, ever, one of these moments. I'm ready to get him to the next step in growing up—using the potty! However, having already trained my two girls, I know it's not my readiness that brings on this next milestone.
Here are some tips I learned from my older kids which will help with toilet training my little guy (and yours too!)...
Experience in the bathroom helps a child learn what a potty is all about. We are pre-potty-training right now. Every day. He watches his big sisters flush with great interest. Just yesterday (and really he did this yesterday), he climbed up onto the closed potty lid and pushed the button to flush the toilet. All. By. Himself.
Fun encourages going potty. When I trained my girls, we made going "potty" fun by reading books, singing finger songs and telling stories. I will definitely do this with my son. Not only did it make potty training a fun activity it also helped with timing. You know how kids say "OK, I'm done" but they haven't done anything because they've only been sitting for 10 seconds? I found, if I said "Sit until we've sung our A B Cs" that it was a good instant potty timer.
Positive rewards make for happier, more successful potty training. My oldest loved stickers as a reward for potty training. My middle child loved band-aids. We eventually weaned both to to the point that just hearing "Good Job!" led to potty success. And I learned that potty rewards have to be mobile—I could give out stickers and band-aids at home, at Grandma's house or even at the mall.
Pull-Ups makes potty training easier. I used Huggies Pull-Ups for two reasons when potty training both my girls. They liked the character designs. I liked the pull up/pull down ease (those who have wriggled a moving toddler into and out of a diaper will get this).
It takes longer than a day. For those who say they know "How to toilet train a child in a day" I call liar liar pants on fire. You cannot throw on a party hat, have a potty-pa-looza, and think your child will be trained in a day. It takes longer than a day. Weeks. Sometimes months (some very wet months).
Potty training schedule depends on the kid. My first daughter was trained in just a few weeks. It took a few months for my 2nd daughter. No two kids train the same (in my experience). I'm not placing a timeline expectation on my son.
And most of all, I have learned to keep calm. With my first daughter, I admit that I got stressed about potty success. With this boy, I know to just keep calm and potty on. It will happen when it happens.
And when it does...well, that's the next big step in growing up.