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My two oldest kids were potty trained fairly easy. My oldest was just under two-and-a-half when I had him completely in underwear. Even overnight. My second son took slightly longer, but was still under three years old when he was fully accident-free. I thought I was a total pro at potty training kids! Everyone told me that boys were the hardest but I had no problems with the first two at all. Then came kid number three – Mayhem, as we call him – and he told me he wants to wear diapers forever.
Mayhem is two-and-a-half now, a full blown toddler. I haven’t really pushed the potty onto him since I know that pushing too hard can lead to resistance, which makes it even harder to get them out of diapers. Toddlers are tough. If the whole thing isn’t their idea then they want nothing to do with it. So the easiest way to get them on board is to make them think it’s their idea!
Mayhem is my grocery shopping buddy. After I drop his big brothers off at school, we head to Ralph’s to look for markdowns on organic food. Feeding a big family is expensive! On our most recent shopping trip I rolled him down the baby aisle and pointed out all of the cool Pull-Ups® training pants to choose from. When potty training I prefer training pants over diapers because they fit bigger kids better, they are easy to take on and off, and they have indicators to help with recognizing wetness.
They come in a range of sizes for big kids. 2T–3T (18- 34 lbs.); 3T–4T (32–40 lbs.) and 4T–5T (38+ lbs.). The new designs featuring Doc McStuffins and Ariel for girls and Jake and the Never Land Pirates and Lightning McQueen for boys are definitely intriguing. Suddenly he wanted to buy some “Big Boy Pants” and I definitely wasn’t going to argue. The three different kinds of gender and size specific training pants include Cool Alert®, Learning Designs®, and Night*Time Training Pants, so you can guide your big kid to the one that will work best for them.
We stumbled upon a super awesome Pull-Ups® Starter Kit, so of course we had to get that. We got the same amount of Pull-Ups® training pants we would have gotten had we bought two packs, and for the same price, but it also included some flushable wipes and some tools to help with the potty training journey.
Step one to getting your unruly toddler potty trained is to let them think it was their idea. Mayhem was very excited about his treasure chest that he picked out himself. He couldn’t wait to get home and open it and start his potty training journey.
Step two is to gather your tools. When you’re trying to potty train an opinionated two year old, you can’t just sit them on the toilet and hope for the best. You’re going to need reinforcements. Treats, toys, entertainment, stickers, charts, whatever peaks their interest.
The Pull-Ups® Starter Kit that we got came with some awesome goodies. Stickers, progress chart, a downloadable book, and lots of coupons. Plus, access to Pull-Ups® Big Kid Academy, which is a great online potty training resource.
Step three is to get them on the potty and keep them there as long as possible. Whether it’s reading books, playing on the tablet, or singing songs. With my first two we would sit in the bathroom for up to 15 minutes reading or singing. If nothing happened I would wait another 15 or 20 minutes and try again. If something did happen, I’d make a big deal about it. Lots of cheering, lots of excitement, and maybe even a little candy.
Step four is just to be consistent. Keep a chart of some sort to track progress, have a goal to work towards. Like, “fill up your chart and we will go to the big boy park!” Just pick something that your big kid really loves and keep reminding them that if they go on the potty they’ll get it. With my second son it was the Ikea play area that he desperately wanted to go in, you have to be completely potty trained for it, so it was a matter of days until he was done with his training pants. So of course we celebrated with a trip to Ikea.
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