We just potty trained our toddler girl in one week. She was showing lots of signs of readiness, like absolutely hating having a wet cloth diaper and telling us whenever she was going pee, so we figured it was time. We barricaded ourselves in the house with lots of paper towel and laundry detergent and got it done. It actually wasn’t too bad, but I’m glad this week is over. She seems to have nailed it!
I had done a little reading online about the three day potty training method and spoke with a few moms with young diaper free kids. But for the most part I just winged it. I tried to make it really fun with stickers, marshmallows, a pink Minnie Mouse potty that makes sounds, a little faucet extender, and stepping stools for the toilet and the sink that are oh so fun to climb.
Here’s a quick breakdown of how it went, followed by my five tips for getting your little girl out of those diapers!
Day 1 and Day 2: We just let her roam the house without any clothes on and gave her lots to drink all day. We asked all the time if she needed to go and when we knew it must be coming soon (because it had been a while and she was getting agitated) we would sit her on the potty. For these first two days it was a struggle, she really did not like peeing in that thing. There were lots of tears, kicking legs, and trying to stand up. But we hugged her and snuggled her while she was peeing to keep her on the potty, and as soon as she finished the tears would stop as we’d shout “hooray” and do high fives and run for stickers and a marshmallow. All #2s were on the floor at this point, and that was ok.
Day 3: All of a sudden, the tears and freak outs stopped and she just sat on the potty and peed without any issues. I still sat next to her on the floor and she still kicked her legs a little because the sensation was strange, but it wasn’t a big deal anymore. Victory! Still no #2 but we’re getting somewhere.
Day 4: We brought out the pretty panties and she just wore those and a t-shirt all day. No more tears, no more kicking, just fun! Still no #2s happening in there.
Day 5: Moved the potty to the bathroom rather than bringing it wherever she was. Brought in a big stepping stool to get up to the sink and that made it so much fun to be in the bathroom since now there was climbing and water involved! I also taught her how to take off the panties by herself.
Day 6: We desperately needed groceries, and the nearest store is an hour and a half away, one way! Hubby was working so I decided to go on an adventure. I prepared for it all: lined her car seat with a diaper, brought lots of extra clothes, brought her potty and toilet paper. I tried to get her to pee in the potty on the front seat of the car before we went into the store, but she didn’t have to go…nor in the store with the potty on the floor in the public washroom…nor on the drive back home! It was 6 hours of no accidents, hurrah! Once we were home she didn’t quite make it, but I still considered it a huge victory!
Day 7: I was in the rocking chair breastfeeding Baby K when I heard Baby J say “potty!” and start running. Tired of being interrupted while nursing (because these “potty” cries were happening seemingly every 20 minutes) I told her to take off her panties and sit on her potty by herself. She played in there for a while and eventually left, and to my surprise there was a #2 waiting for me! All by herself! Eureka!
Week 2: She’s wearing her regular clothes now and telling me when she needs to go. The best cue is actually her saying she wants to “snuggle;” that’s code for potty time. My stepping stool was too high so I had to order a smaller one online. Now that it’s here she has no interest in the Minnie Mouse potty, it’s all about climbing the stairs to the toilet and flushing! It’s just so much fun! I have a special dual toilet seat that has two seat sizes—an adult and a toddler (I got it here) so she doesn’t fall in. There have been a few accidents when she’s been distracted, but for the most part we’ve got this down. And she hasn’t had a single accident overnight in bed, how amazing is that? Some nights she sleeps all the way through and others she wakes up, we take her to the potty, then right back to sleep. Such a good little girl!
Ok, now that we are officially potty trained, here are my five tips for potty training a toddler girl:
one: power through the first couple days. Day 1 and 2 were tough, real tough. But you just need to persevere and don’t give up. Hold your kid on the potty if you need to and try your best to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
two: make it fun. I taped a great big piece of paper to the wall and let her have stickers whenever she sat on the potty, even if nothing happened, and mini marshmallows were an added incentive. That was motivation enough for her! And sometimes her stuffed animals go potty, too. Figure out what makes your kid tick. The stepping stools and the faucet extender were icing on the cake because they made it so much fun to be in the washroom. The Minnie Mouse potty was fun because it had a handle that flushed with sounds, but she’s really loving climbing the stool up to the special toilet seat and flushing for real! The stickers I got are here and here, this is the stool, and here’s the faucet extender.
three: watch for signs. Most of the time Baby J tells us she has to go potty. But sometimes she asks for snuggles out of the blue, and other times she’s just agitated or squirmy. Keep your eyes open for how your kid is trying to communicate. And if it’s been a while don’t forget to ask them, because they get distracted and forget.
four: make it easy on yourself: Have what you need (paper towel, cleaners, toilet paper) close by. But also teach your girl to take her clothes off by herself. Leave the light on in the washroom so she can go by herself. I taught J to put her foot on my lap or the stepping stool so that it’s easier for me to wipe. And if it’s a #2 I pretty much always just give her a bath because that’s easier and more fun for us both!
five: wait until she’s ready: We had tried to potty train for one day when Baby J was around 2 years old and that just wasn’t happening, she was too disturbed by the whole thing. But now that she’s 2 years and 3 months the time was right. She was giving us all kinds of signs of being ready, and I was more than happy to have one less kid in cloth diapers! If it really isn’t working than drop it completely for a while and try again later—but don’t do this repeatedly or your kid is going to know all they need to do is be a monster and the diaper magically comes back.
So that’s where we are now, a happy potty trained girl! I’ve already begun my next challenge: night weaning Baby K…there’s always a next challenge when you’re a Mom, eh? Comment below if you have any other tips for potty training a girl or anything I should be prepared for my little guy!