6 Great Potty Training Tips

Stay Calm and Potty On

6 Great Potty Training Tips

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.


Frugal Finds For Kid Gear

Because kids are not cheap

Frugal Finds For Kid Gear

Inspired by Julie Cole's Planning to Have A Big Family? Some random tips to save time and money I wanted to share my favourite get-kid-stuff-cheap go-tos (yes, that's a lot of hypens—I appologize in advance to my editor Ali).

Babies and kids go through things at a crazy rate (that expensive baby bouncer we used for three months for example) and some things can be so gently used that you can buy and sell them on the cheap rather than pay full price. And who likes full price anyway?!

 Kijji.com Canada's free online classifieds. I sold an exersaucer and that baby bouncer—easy, no problem sales.

 craigslist.ca Another free online classified site (stay away from the personal section though—it can be dodgy over there). I bought my diaper bag via craigslist from someone who lived four blocks away.

 Consignment shops:  neighbourhood consignment shops are a great way to support the local economy and find a deal fast.  I bought our baby bike seat at a local 2nd hand shop for $40 (store prices were about $120).

 ebay.ca for that item you just don't want to search around for and ebay will have it shipped to you. I bought a new Elmo t-shirt for Baby for $9 and I bought a bannagrams game for $14—SHIPPING INCLUDED—it's almost $20 in store.

 Garage Sales: Garage sales are a win-win—you help someone else clean out their stuff and you get a gently used kid thing at a deal. Case in point: the $10 bike we bought for my daughter a few weeks ago. {And you do know the gargage sale rule right? If there is a kid selling cookies or lemonade you MUST buy. You will make their day.}

 Friends: Hand-me-downs (geez, hyphens again Caroline?!) are a good thing. From sending a bag of gently used clothes to your neighbour down the street to gifting away a still-in-good-use toddler bed, kid gear swapped between friends is an age-old tradition. We were gifted a swing set (yes a swing set) that just needed some TLC. 10 years later it is still being used at our house. Every. Day.

 YummyMummyClub Forums: I didn't realize there was a buy/sell/swap forum here on YMC. Good to know n'est pas?

Before you start off on your kid-gear-frugal-find-quest, take some time to inform yourself on child product recalls. Health Canada has a dedicated site to recalls on child equipment and furniture, clothing and toys.  And check the Ministry of Transportation (that is the Ontario Ministry link) for their recommendations on height/weight seat limitations as well as guidance on buying new or pre-owned.

Don't think of finding a kid deal as being cheap. You are giving something gently used a second life AND you are keeping it out of a landfill—you are being environmentally-friendly. 

Finding kid stuff cheap is an addictive activity for the whole family.