So you have decided to embark on a new chapter in your journey as a family: potty training! Potty training ranks high among the list of challenging milestones (read: parenting dilemmas), but if you are armed with the right tips and the proper essentials, then you can be confident about conquering it.
Before you begin with potty training, you need to make sure that your baby is not only physically but developmentally up for the task. Here are some common potty training readiness signs that you can take note of:
- The baby maintains a dry diaper for a longer time than usual.
- The baby becomes visually uncomfortable in a wet or dirty diaper.
- The baby shows interest in their parents’ toilet behavior.
- The baby is able to tell or gesture that they are about to go.
In other words, a child who is ready for potty training is a child who is already able to understand the signals of their body. If they are able to respond to these signals both physically and developmentally, then you are off to a good potty training start!
8 Essentials for Potty Training
The first thing you need to successfully potty train your child is, of course, a potty chair. Potties are perfect for little babies as they are small in size and do not look as intimidating as grown-up toilets. Some potties even have extra features like music to keep a little learner entertained.
If you prefer not to buy a stand-alone potty chair, then you may also get a toilet seat to put on top of your toilet. They come in brilliant colors and playful designs that babies love. Using a toilet seat is a good idea if you want to save on space. Aside from that, it exposes your baby to the actual toilet, which means they will not have a hard time transitioning from a “baby” toilet to a grown-up toilet.
2. Flushable wet wipes
There will be a lot of accidents during the first phase of potty-training, so be ready to handle as many clean-ups as you can! While you can use reusable muslin cloths for cleaning up, wet wipes – particularly flushable wet wipes – will definitely make the process a lot easier and faster.
Having a pack or two of flushable wet wipes around will also make it easier for your child to help with cleaning themselves up. These wet wipes are soft and smooth and will not clog up your plumbing.
3. Crib mattress protector
Again, expect a lot of accidents to happen during the first days of potty training. While having soiled sheets is an issue that is rather easy to fix, having a soiled mattress is an entirely different matter. To prevent this, get a pack or two of waterproof crib mattress protectors. They will make your life a lot easier!
Crib mattress protectors in the market are made using different materials. Avoid buying mattress protectors that are made of plastic, which may feel scratchy and may have loud crinkly sounds. Instead, choose ones with soft and comfortable cotton covering to not disrupt your baby’s sleep.
4. Extra fitted sheets
As mentioned above, getting dirty or soiled fitted sheets is a problem that is relatively easy to solve. Just throw them into your washing machine! But during this time, you need to expect to wash at least one sheet every day, so be ready with extra fitted sheets for changing.
Having extra fitted sheets handy is also incredibly useful when an accident occurs in the middle of the night. All you need to do is strip off the dirty sheets and put on fresh, clean ones. Don’t forget to choose 100% cotton crib fitted sheets for optimal softness and comfort!
5. Elastic waist shorts
Potty training is not a time for clothing that take some time to put on and take off. If your baby needs to go, then they need to go right away! Because of this, stay away from clothing – especially shorts – with buttons, zippers, drawstrings, and snaps. Instead, opt for elastic waist shorts.
Using elastic waist shorts that are simple to take off will help prevent accidents. This will also train your baby to be able to undress themselves when they have to go. Thus, using elastic waist shorts encourages independence!
6. Cool underwear
Getting new pieces of underwear that look cool (or pretty) will be a great help in encouraging your baby to potty train. It can motivate your baby to transition from diapers and move on to using big boy or big girl underwear.
You may surprise your baby with their new underwear, or you may also involve them in the process by letting them pick. Come to think of it, you can add a potty training gift set with underwear and other essentials sounds to your list of baby shower gift ideas. After all, it’s never too early to start preparing for it!
Another potty training essential – also a good addition to your baby shower gifts – is a potty training book. This is not an informational book aimed to educate you (although you may certainly get one!) but rather an entertaining children’s book that will help motivate your baby.
There are many engaging children’s books that deal with potty training. It may be a good idea to choose one that specifically targets your baby’s gender to make the instructions more relatable and easy to follow.
Finally, don’t scrimp on potty training rewards! Potty training is not a one-time task that gets done right away. Instead, it transitions your baby from one routine to another routine, and forming new habits isn’t exactly easy. Rewards will help motivate your baby and make the process more fun for them.
You don’t have to buy expensive things for your potty training rewards. You can get stickers, baby-friendly snacks, books, or even a plush toy. Rewarding your baby with a prize for using the potty is a great way to make the transition smoother and less stressful.
Potty training is a huge challenge that may either be met with trepidation or with the right preparation. Be prepared to conquer this milestone with these 8 potty training essentials!