5 of the Best Ways to Mentally Prepare for Potty Training

May 2, 2019
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Believe it or not but the real person that needs to prepare for potty training is you.

Deep breath…..and repeat.

Maybe one more time for good measure?

If you’re anything like me, the thought of potty training your kid sends all sorts of horrifying thoughts through your head.

Not having control of the situation can be really stressful.

Diapers aren’t fun to change but they’re easy. Everything is (for the most part) contained and you’re in control.

Mom holding toddler

If there’s one thing that’s true about potty training, it’s that you have very little control. I’m not gonna lie, it’s mentally tough.

It’s not for the fainthearted, and you will probably feel like you “just can’t do it anymore” at some point (or several) throughout the process.

That’s normal. Very normal.

Some even have the challenge of potty training twins

Fear not mama, I’m here to walk you through the best ways to prepare for potty training.

5 Essential Ways to Prepare for Potty Training

You know it’s time to start, or at least you think it’s time to start.

Potty training, that is. But, you’ve got this awesome routine down pat.

Your toddler does certain things at certain times, and potty training could totally mess all that up. Honestly, it kinda does for a little while.

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Then there’s the mess.

I don’t know about you, but the thought of my kid messing all over my house kind of gave me a nervous twitch.

I love for things to be neat and tidy, and just so. There’s an order to most of what I do. To suddenly disrupt that was challenging, to say the least.

However, being a mama requires making sacrifices on behalf of my children, so I went ahead and jumped on the potty training bandwagon.

Today I want to share my tips for surviving potty training while simultaneously maintaining your sanity. We’re reaching for the stars here, people!

game plan

#1 Know Your Method

You’ve probably already researched potty training to some extent.

You may or may not have decided on a method.

My advice, unless you’re one of those mamas that has amazing intuition and just ‘knows’ what you’re doing (do they even exist?!) then pick a method.

I don’t care which one, but find some sort of a guide, because I can pretty much guarantee you that you’ll reach a point where you wonder what the heck you’re doing, and need someone or something to reassure you that everything is honkey dory.

We used the method found in Oh Crap! Potty Training.

I really enjoyed reading the book and thoroughly appreciated the author’s writing style and attitude. She was very honest but at the same time encouraging.

I loved how much she focused on allowing your child to grow their own self-esteem throughout the process. I’m very guilty of underestimating how capable my kids are.

She gave me the tools to encourage my son to achieve milestones without putting unnecessary pressure on him.

If you’re after a quick read that is packed full of tools and troubleshooting guides, then Oh Crap! Potty Training is the way to go.

I would say over half the book is directed at establishing the correct mindset for the parent. If you haven’t got it, your kid won’t get it either.

I’ve heard mixed feedback about the 3 Day Potty Training method.

I think it can work as long as you’re aware that some (*cough* most) kids will likely ‘click’ in around 3-5 days, but it can take much longer than that for the whole caboodle to be sorted.

For instance, your kid may know how to go potty, but not yet know how to communicate that to you.

Like most childhood milestones, it takes time and sometimes it’s a “two steps forward, one step back” situation.

#2 Be Prepared

This! I like to be prepared for everything, so why should potty training be any different? The fact of the matter is, you have NO CLUE how things are actually going to go, so at least be prepared for the worst-case scenario.

Now, I’ve gone and done you a big favour and made you a checklist of all the essentials you’ll need to begin potty training.

Yes, you’re welcome. 😉 Go download it now and stick it on your noticeboard or fridge. It’ll help you relax a little bit more about the whole process.

One thing that I didn’t include on the list (because it isn’t essential) is a diaper sprayer.

If you’re planning on potty training more than one kid, I would highly suggest getting one. It makes cleaning out the potty so easy. It hooks right up to the cistern on your toilet. Easy peasy.

Oh, and if you’re wondering what my favourite cleaning product is for all those messes…vinegar and water.

I just do half and half-ish in a spray bottle. I also used old prefold diapers and diaper inserts as cloths to soak up the moisture. They worked a treat!

feet up on chair

#3 Take A Break

Not from potty training. Nope, you’re in that for the long haul.

I mean, YOU take a break. You’re gonna need it.

When your kid goes down for their nap or quiet time, do whatever it is that helps you relax.

If you have someone that can relieve you for a little while, take them up on it!

I remember for the first few days I would go out window shopping in the evenings once the kids were in bed.

It was a mindless activity, which was exactly what I needed. Potty training is mentally draining on both you and your child.


#4 Give Yourself (And Your Child) Grace

This one is so important. No one’s perfect.

You’ll probably have to count to ten a few too many times during this process, but you know what? That’s okay. Give yourself some grace.

Give your child grace too.

Jack is our firstborn, and he has similar personality traits to myself. He likes things done a certain way, and he tries to always live up to my expectations.

During the first week of potty training, his behaviour was atrocious. I was thankfully able to step back and see it for what it really was.

Instead of being overly firm with him, I scheduled in extra cuddles, stories, and fun times.

The bad behaviour was short-lived, and once he started getting the potty thing down, his self-confidence grew by leaps and bounds.

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#5 Don’t Compare

No two children are the same.

It isn’t fair to compare your child with another because it creates unrealistic expectations.

I’ve now potty trained two children and I used two completely different methods.

This is because each of my children have different needs and personalities.

At the end of the day, they’ve both learned how to use the potty on their own and although it wasn’t always an easy process, they each got there in their own time.

Lastly….for goodness sake, take no notice of the mom who says her kid trained themselves in a day! Just no.

Were these tips helpful? Can you relate to this at all? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Until next time!

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