There are many childhood experts out there ready to tell you how to potty train, and sometimes their advice is all you need. You read a book, print out a list, and within a short amount of time your child is a master of the porcelain throne. But often times, the expert tips don't cut it. Your kid doesn’t respond to the tried and true advice, and you need potty training tips you won’t find in books.
I’ve potty trained all of my kids with various degrees of success. (Though they all ended up using the toilet, so I guess that's a 100 percent success rate.) Some of them were potty trained by the book, while others didn’t respond to any of the typical means. That’s when knowing some great insider mom tips can save the day, because who knows better about potty training techniques then someone who has experienced it firsthand. These moms and dads have been through the potty wringer and come out the other side dry. They know that all kids are different and there are moments in parenting when you’ve got to go off the beaten path and try something new to get results.
Knowing that, here are some potty training tips from parents who’ve been there, done that, and are ready to share their wisdom.
1. Get Involved, But Not Too Involved
"By not forcing the hard fast rules of potty training too hard there was never any overwhelming feeling that real success had to happen right freakin' now," Serge Bielanko, Babble writer and father of three wrote of potty training his kids. "I'm not saying that that's the best way to make it happen at all either; we all find our own right ways. All I'm saying is that my kids were potty trained around the same age as most kids but with a minimum amount of fuss or frustration on their parents part. Which is kind of best case scenario if you ask me."
2. Plan A Celebration
My husband and I swear by celebrating potty training success with a potty party,” says Galit Green, author of Kindness Wins and mom to three, “There's nothing more fun (or enticing) than a party at the end of the diaper-free tunnel.”
3. Don’t Take It Personally
"Every child does it on his or her own time, and there's no rushing it," Allison Slater Tate, contributing writer at Brain, Child and Today Parents. "Don't take it personally. Which is like the hardest thing."
Not taking your child’s milestone markers– and how or when they get there– personally is genius advice, if you ask me. ( Mom of four, if you were wondering. ) The more children you have, the more you realize how powerful genetics and personality are. Your child can be guided– that’s our job– but forced? It doesn’t work in the end, and it’s not about you, mom and dad. Sometimes kids just have to do and learn on their own time.
4. Use Elimination Communication
Taymar Pixley-Smith, writer and mom of two boys, practices elimination communication with her baby boy, Benny, who has Down Syndrome. "We hold Benny over the toilet so he can see himself in the mirror on the medicine cabinet," she says. "He loves it and has been pooping in the toilet since he was six months old."
5. Use Your Influence
"Long before you begin training, while your kid is watching you pee, talk about what you're doing," says Club Mid social media manager Kristen Mae. "Let them flush the toilet, get the toilet paper for you, etc. That way nothing about the experience feels new to them when they're ready to try on their own."