Is it possible to potty train a baby or young toddler? Yes, it is! Mommy Medicine creator Aimee Elliott Ghimire interviews Nakeisha about potty training babies or super young toddlers in the video below. Both Aimee and Nakeisha have potty trained all of their children very young! On top of that, Nakeisha has successfully potty trained two boys very early, which is quite a feat.
In this blog, we review the main steps that Nakeisha leads us through in the interview. For more information, check out Aimee’s ebook “Kerplunk – The Definitive Guide to Getting Your Kid Into Undies by 18 Months”, which goes through more detailed steps to early potty training and more!
How Do I Potty Train My Toddler Early?
Here are 7 practical tips to potty training babies or young toddlers.
1) Wait…until your child can sit upright
A child usually begins to sit up on his or her own at around six months of age. Sitting up independently and of course being able to hold their head up very well are two developmental milestones your child needs to master before considering early potty training. Your child will definitely need the ability to safely sit on a small training potty chair or an adapted toilet seat cover.
2) Learn your child’s potty cues
After your child has mastered sitting independently, the next step is to study your child’s behaviors. Start watching your child and learning everything you can about the non-verbal cues he/she is sending you. You can learn so much by simply observing. What you want to watch for are cues that tell you your child needs to or is peeing or pooping . For young children or infants, these cues can look like:
- Feet up at a 90-degree angle while they are laying down
- Clenching or bearing down
- Concentrated look on their face
When your child is a little older you might see:
- Blank stare
- Concentrated look on their face
- Suddenly stopping what they are doing
- Sudden look of surprise or shock on their face
These are cues that can tell you when a child is actually having peeing or pooping.
After mastering these, we can learn about your child’s peeing and pooping patterns. What time of day do they usually have a bowel movement or wet diaper? Do they regularly poop right after getting up from bed, an hour after a meal, or during nap time? If you watch carefully, you can often catch on to those subtle patterns which makes the next step easier. The goal is to anticipate your child’s need to use the potty and get them onto the toilet right before they need it.
3) Have a potty always available
Now that you have studied your child’s habits, it is time to buy a child potty training toilet and/or adapted toilet seat covers specifically for your child. Nakeisha has found the following toilet training potty and adapted seat very useful and strongly recommends them:
This potty-training stand alone baby toilet has a removable insert that the child pees or poops in and can be removed for easier cleaning. It is a great size and has a large splash guard for those potty training little boys!
This special adapted toilet seat cover is soft, comfortable, and highly effective. It also has a large splash guard for those potty training little boys!
Whether you purchase these recommended items or invest in a different one, some guidelines to remember are: comfort and practicality. Having a stand alone baby toilet that can be moved throughout the house is great, but make sure it has a removable insert to ease in washing and a high splash guard on the insert if you have little boys. Aiming pee streams is an advanced skill, and your floors will thank you for investing in preventative measures! When purchasing a toilet seat cover, make sure it is comfortable. Pooping as a young child can take time and concentration, and it is good to make sure it feels safe, secure, and comfortable for your child.
Especially when potty training a young child, it is important to keep the toddler toilet and the toilet seat cover constantly available. Never go ANYWHERE without it. A young child has little to no time between needing to use the toilet and actually peeing or pooping. So, be prepared at all times! If you see any of those toilet cues from your child that we talked about in the previous section, whip out those toilets and toilet seat covers!
4) Create routine potty times
In addition to being prepared for your child to need the toilet at any time, have some set times where you have your child sit on the potty no matter what. You can establish those times around your child’s normal bowel routines. For example, if your child usually poops an hour after eating, set him or her on the toilet an hour after eating. Or if your child usually poops first thing in the morning, have him or her use the potty right after he gets up.
These routines help both you and your child know what to expect and decrease “accidents.”
5) Make it fun – pee on a tree!
This is important: make it fun. Potty training needs to be an enjoyable experience for your young child for it to be successful. If not, it will be traumatizing for you and your child! This is not a time to discipline or get angry. Help your child get excited over every success, and help him look forward to getting on the toilet.
For boys, one example of a way to help them learn what it is like to have control over their bladder and enjoy the experience is to have them go into the backyard and pee on a tree. Of course, this is only acceptable for very young children, but it can be surprisingly motivating for a reluctant young boy!
6) Celebrate every step no matter how small
Like we said above, this is a time for positive reinforcement. Shower your child with praise every time they use the toilet. Celebrate every success no matter how small.
If your child is scared of the toilet yet sits on it for a minute without pooping, celebrate! They conquered their fear of sitting on the toilet. Of course, if they actually have a bowel movement in the toilet, it is time for a big celebration! You can even have a pee-pee-poo-poo parade and get the entire family involved! It is a big deal to your child and a great milestone, so it deserves celebration.
You can also offer small rewards for using the potty such as a small piece of candy, a honey stick, or another small present. The goal is to make the process a fun and rewarding experience for everyone involved.
7) Get your spouse involved
Lastly, potty training can be exhausting for moms. Make sure you have back up. Getting your spouse involved and making sure you have others in your life supporting you is crucial. Potty training can be challenging, so make sure you have someone to be with you in the difficult days!
Wrapping it Up
Potty training a young child can be both rewarding and extremely challenging. With these seven steps, you are well on your way to potty training success. Check out Aimee’s ebook “Kerplunk – The Definitive Guide to Getting Your Kid Into Undies by 18 Months” for more details on early potty training!
At the end of the day, how do you potty train a young child? Step by step, hour by hour, with lots of praise and encouragement, and never giving up. You can do this!
Mommy Medicine is a group of moms that love sharing tricks, tips and strategies with our fellow moms. Send us your mommy questions you would like to see as the subject of a blog. We would love to hear from you! Subscribe to receive posts straight to your inbox!
Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (6/19/2020)
Photo by Barrett Ward on Unsplash