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Operation No More Diapers {A Potty Training Adventure}

On August 30, the Friend household embarked an Operation No More Diapers {until Baby #2 arrives at the end of the year}. I am proud to say {but not too loudly because I don’t want to jinx it} that it was a success. Even though my daughter was only a little over 2, I figured that we would give it a try now and if it didn’t work, we’d wait until after  Baby #2 arrives. Here are some things that helped us – I hope they can help you if you are looking to start this adventure!

Fairfield County Moms Blog | Operation No More Diapers

  • To get in the right mindset, read the book Oh Crap! Potty Training: Everything Modern Parents Need to Know to Do It Once and Do It Right by Jamie Glowacki. It was seriously a lifesaver. A friend recommended that I read it before starting and this was honestly the best piece of advice that I got. I read all of the important chapters in a few hours. It is a very quick read and the author is really funny. If I hadn’t read it before we started the process, I really don’t know if we would have been successful. Trust me, you won’t regret reading it! We didn’t necessarily follow it 100%, for example, we used underwear after the 1st day instead of going commando for 3 weeks, but followed all of the underlying theory. It reinforced to me that we weren’t trying to start potty training too early, but rather, we were doing it at exactly the right time. The book will help you figure out if your child is ready or not. My daughter had been going on the potty at school on and off for over 6 months, so we thought if we got more serious about it, then she’d be more serious about it – and that was the case.
  • Find out how your child is comfortable going potty. Whether it be on the big potty with a toilet trainer, on the big potty with nothing, or a potty chair; they need to be comfortable. We found that the potty chair worked best for my daughter.
  • Find out where your child is comfortable going potty. When we started, I really wanted to keep the potty chair in the bathroom, but after the first day, I realized it was silly to be stubborn and allowed her to choose wherever she wanted to put her potty. By having it in the room where she was playing, it helped to remind her that she needed to use the potty, but it also empowered her to know that she could make it in time. After a month, the potty usually sits in the bathroom now, but occasionally, we will bring it into the living room.
  • Reduce their FOMO {fear of missing out}. At the beginning, my daughter had severe FOMO if she went to the potty. We explained that her toys would still be there after she went to the potty or that we would pause her movie and press play when she came back. Allowing her to choose where to put the potty really helped with her FOMO.
  • Find out what motivates your child and run with it. A lot of people will recommend giving out treats every time they go to the potty. If this works for you, go for it! We didn’t really want to use food and it didn’t really seem that she needed encouragement, other than our clapping and praising her. We had stickers in the beginning that she could decorate her potty chair with, but after a few days, she didn’t even need that motivation. On day 2, we took a trip to Target and let her pick out her own undies, and she absolutely loved having her favorite characters on her undies. I think this really helped, since we would remind her to go the potty when she needed to because she didn’t want to get Olaf dirty or wet!
  • They might be scared of making a bowel movement somewhere other than their diaper. My daughter was very scared the first time she made a bowel movement in her potty chair, so I told her that every time we flush it down the toilet, it helps flowers grow outside. She seemed pretty happy with that answer and it didn’t scare her after that first time.
  • Get a travel potty for the car. This was the second best piece of advice we got and it also was a lifesaver. I have this small potty chair in my car and she can use it when we are out in a pinch. It allowed us to leave the house without being paranoid that she wouldn’t have a place to use the bathroom. It looks the same as the one she has home, just a little bit smaller, so she is very comfortable with it. Also be prepared with extra clothes in the car for when there are accidents because they will happen!
  • Have them drink extra fluids when they are getting started, but be careful. You want them to have to go potty often so they get used to it, but just be careful. We gave my daughter way too many fluids and fruit juices and she didn’t eat enough the first few days to balance out all of the juice. We had a very unfortunate explosive bowel movement on day 2 and we learned that lesson the hard way.
  • After a few days, don’t ask them every 5 minutes if they have to go potty. At the beginning, I was asking her way too much and not only was I getting annoyed that she said no so often, that she was also getting bothered by me asking so often. She was starting to be able to hold it for longer and had to make trips to the potty less often because of it. I took a step back and allowed her the freedom to tell me when she had to go potty. I still asked before we left to go someplace, but for the most part, I started to trust her, and it eased frustrations on both sides. Having the potty close by and in her eyesight also helped with this a lot.
  • Tackle nighttime potty training at another time. Since we have a newborn arriving in a few months, I had no interest in starting sleepless nights now to get her nighttime potty trained. I don’t think she can even physically go all night without the potty. For now, we are using pull ups so that they seem different than diapers to her. We also let her pick out her own pull ups and she proudly chose the “Choo Choo” ones! If anyone has tips on nighttime potty training, feel free to share with me!
  • Bring them around other kids their age that are potty trained. My daughter’s best friend at daycare was potty trained and it helped immensely. I really do feel like peer pressure is a good potty training influence!
  • Make sure that all caretakers on board. My daughter goes to daycare during the day, and they were fully on board. We told them about our experiences, so that they were consistent with us. We were so lucky to have a supportive daycare and I think it made a world of difference. If you have a babysitter, nanny, or family member watching your child, make sure they are aware and know what to do.

What tips and tricks have you learned while potty training?

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One Response to Operation No More Diapers {A Potty Training Adventure}

  1. Allison Hughes-Randall
    Allison Hughes-Randall October 9, 2015 at 7:51 AM #

    We went through this over the summer, though my daughter was much closer to 3 at the time. She knew what to do, but was just stubborn enough to not want to it, I’m pretty sure that was to spite me. Miraculously, one day, about 2 weeks before she turned 3, she just completely potty trained herself – day and night. I think waiting for when your CHILD is ready to be potty trained is often more important than when YOU want them to be potty trained. Great tips.

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