My twins are potty trained! I can't be more excited, it was a long journey but it's behind us now. I've potty trained three times now and the first two were different then the last. I'll share my experiences to hopefully make someone's journey in this stage of life much smoother.
First off, I want to say that kids are smart! Much smarter then we may think sometimes. They act up to what we expect of them. I'm learning this by comparing my oldest, with my youngest two. I still treat them as babies and they are to me, but when my oldest was eighteen months she did, said, and had more responsibility then they do at two and a half! They will live up to what you expect of them.
I started potty training at about six months with my oldest, and around one with the rest. What I did with all of them during the potty training season, is I put undies on them to wear when they weren't sleeping. I didn't use pull ups with any of them, first of all they don't have any for such a young age and second I personally think that under the age of two, the toddler can't tell the difference between a diaper and a pull up.
I'll start with my first. I was at home with her all day while my husband was at school/work. So all my attention was usually devoted to her. I got pregnant with my second baby when she was around ten months, and I was determined to have her potty trained before baby came. And she was! I still remember the first day I took her out to the store with no diaper on, she was fourteen months. (She was trained at home, but it’s always scary to take them out not knowing how they will do.) The way I trained her is, I watched her closely and timed every time she went for the first few days. Then according to that, I would set the timer and read books with her on the potty until she would go. If it wouldn't happen for a while I would then let her go play and check her every few min. It got to the point that every time I sat her down she would go. It was nice and convenient, she did later learn to come and tell me when she had to go. It took her a few months to master not having any accidents but she had it down by the time baby came. When my baby boy was born she was eighteen months.
With my second I felt like I had no clue what I was doing. He’s a boy so it was different. But with the support of my mother, I had him trained before he was two as well. I pretty much did the same thing with him as I did with my oldest, and we got through it!
As for my twins...I went into it a little freaked out to be honest and felt like I didn’t know what I was doing again. Haha But as soon as the weather warmed up enough for them to wear undies, I knew I had to start. (Yep, even in Hawaii up on the mountain it gets chilly in the winter). They were a little over one when I began.
The first thing I did was explain to them the difference between diapers and underwear and told them that you can't go potty in the undies. I showed them the potty and explained to them what it's for. They learned quickly that having accidents was unpleasant so they stopped having them. Besides the occasional one here and there. But for the most part they just held it all in, until nap or bedtime when I would put on their diaper. After I would put them down they would then call me to tell me that their diaper was full. That stage lasted a while and maybe could have been prevented if I would have put in the effort of sitting them on the potty and taking the time to read with them. But I couldn't seem to find the time and there is two of them! So I just went with the flow. With every accident or dirty diaper I would tell them over and over again, that this goes in the potty not in your undies or diaper.
One day my little guy started showing signs of wanting to go pee, he even said it once or twice. But when I tried to have him sit on the potty, he refused. A few min later as he was standing up having a snack at a little table (without undies on) I put the potty under the table in front of him just incase. And what do you know, he peed into it standing up! Something clicked for him that day and he's been peeing standing up ever since and he usually never has an accident. I feel like maybe if I tried the standing up meathod with him earlier he would have understood it much sooner. As for my little girl she watched him for a few days and then started to pee on the potty herself, but there was one problem... she would do it without telling me and she would stand over the potty to pee. Haha it took a few days to teach her that she's a girl and it works differently for her then for her brother. Number two was a little harder to teach them but slowly over time they both learned it too. Now they love to sit and read books on the potty! (Especially when it's time for bed).
I feel like I didn't do much to actually potty train them and it was almost too easy to be true. But they are two and a half now and usually never have accidents. Both of the older kids always needed someone to take them, every, single, time they had to go and it took a while to teach them to go by themselves without constant supervision. The twins on the other hand are both very independent, they don't tell me when they go, but they do occasionally come after they are done to get a high five. I've taught them to at least let me know when they are done with number two so I can help them.
I didn't bribe any of my kids or reward them with sugar (even though grandma insisted) or even sit them in front of a movie. (My kids didn’t have screen time until 3-4 years old and by then they were all trained) I just explained it to them and expected them to learn. I repeated it over and over again. All four of them were potty trained under three(two and a half to be precise). Kids are geniuses, all you have to do is believe in them and let them prove it to you. Be patient, rested and always prepared. Have cleaners, disinfecting wipes, and piles of undies always ready.
Don't get angry or frustrated. And if you need a day off then put a diaper on them and enjoy the day. I took off the whole holiday season in the midst of potty training because risking having an accident wasn't something I wanted at that time. They were fine we all had a peaceful season and they actually figured it out shortly after that. So I strongly believe that they do retain all the information that you teach them and not one day is wasted. They will get it sooner or later something just needs to click for them. I've heard of all kinds of stories and researched a lot. It's different for everyone and no two kids are the same. But if you're persistent and patient it will pay off!
It wasn't all a stroll in the flower gardens believe me! There were plenty of days when I thought I wouldn't be able to handle another accident, but we got through those days and looking back now, I can say it was worth it. The third time around and the way it happened was so much less stressful. Watching them take their time but figure it out fairy quickly was a pleasant journey. If I ever have to do it again that's probably the way I would do it, but maybe with a little more intentionality to speed things up. I hope this will help your potty training journey be less stressful and more fun!
*They also started sleeping without any diapers at around the same time, to me that was so unexpected. Every time I put them down they would play in their cribs and then take their diapers off, I kept having to go in and put them back on. After a while I realized maybe I should let them try to sleep with out any and they did great! They wake up dry from naps and occasionally have an accident in the night but for the most part doing awesome. If they ask for their diaper on or if they aren't feeling good I put it on for the night. But I don't force them and more often then not they choose to go without. Anyway I had to add that just in case your little one is doing the same thing, let them try and see how it goes!
What are your helpful tips on potty training, day or night?