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Getting Practical About Potty-Training


There are tons of methods out there, and my family has been through a few—including haphazard elimination communication, hanging around naked, the 3-day-method, and just waiting. We didn’t find one more universally helpful than the other, but there are a few tips that helped us through the process, regardless of method!

When choosing a potty chair or a seat, we prefer a tiny chair that’s easy to sit on, because seats that sat on the toilet were a little hard to climb onto in a rush. A few potty chairs had crevices that pinched delicate bottoms, and drawers that were easy to spill. We liked the simple Fisher-Price Froggy Potty—no cracks, no pinchy spots, and easy for toddlers to hop onto from the front or the back.

There are a lot of opinions out there about whether to go fully naked, do disposable pull-ups, underwear, or cloth. You really need to do what’s best for your situation and the state of your furniture. SuperUndies also makes durable cloth pull-ups if you need to protect your carpeting and your toddler is bothered by the noise of plastic pants!

Be prepared for mess! I don’t know a parent who doesn’t have a “And then the baby pooped on the floor” story. A bottle of Biokleen got all potty-training smells out of our couch, rugs, and mattresses and lasted through both kids.

Finally, bring the ring sling! When you have a toddler and a baby and you’re spending a lot of time running back and forth to the bathroom (or sitting by the toilet rubbing your toddler’s back and encouraging her), a baby carrier is indispensable. Not having to rush the big kid or run back and forth between rooms is a huge deal in terms of stress-reduction.

Potty training is one of those things that varies so much from kid to kid—one kid could train themselves at 19 months, and the next one be using pullups at 4. We parents do have a little influence on when that day comes—but above all, be patient with yourself and your kid, because it’s mostly personality and maturity-based.

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