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As a seasoned mom of many, you’d think that I’d have this potty training game well under control.
I’ve been down this road a few different times and know how to potty train my little ones, but each of my children have been different.
Maeve seemed ready to potty train when I was pregnant with Daniel, but I was too exhausted to even think about it at that point. Then, when I was ready, she didn’t seem to be interested.
Now, I think we’re both ready, but I have to manage this potty training while breaking up wrestling matches between my identical twin boys, teaching my daughter Latin and keeping the baby from eating the dog food.
It’s going to be a challenge.
Potty Training Tips for Busy Moms
Assess the Situation
Is your toddler even ready for potty training? You can take a handy quiz here.
Over at the Pull-Ups® Big Kid Academy, you can find a variety of resources to help you navigate the potty training journey, whether you’re a first time mom or a veteran.
There’s a handy Pull-Ups® Time to Potty App to keep track of when it’s time to potty (perfect for my house, when potty distractions are everywhere). I even found tips on handling setbacks without losing your cool.
I love having the app alarm to remind me to stop what I’m doing and take Maeve to the bathroom. She’s excited to able to play fun games as a reward. At the end of the week, I can track how much progress we’ve made.
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Put on Your Patient Panties
This is a marathon, not a sprint.
Potty training is a learning process for moms and toddlers/preschoolers.
Don’t compare your child to your friends’ children, or even the other children in the house. Each child has their own unique timetable for potty training.
Teach Proper Bathroom Behavior
One of the drawbacks of potty training is having your small child loose in the bathroom. Maeve wants to touch EVERYTHING — the toilet, the floor, the garbage can. We even made up a song, so that she didn’t stick her hands in the toilet bowl.
“Hands on your knees, Hands on your knees, Hands on your knees to potty.”
Trust me. I’m no Mariah Carey, but this gets the job done.
Don’t forget to teach children about washing their hands when they’re done, too, even if their efforts on the potty were unsuccessful.
Have the Right Sized Gear
We’ve used the same potty chair for all the little kids. I prefer one that’s simple, without a lot of bells and whistles or nooks and crannies to clean.
For your little one, you may have to try a variety of potty chairs or potty seats.
Make the potty accessible for your small children to find. In years past, we’ve put the potty right out in the open, in the living room or kitchen, or had a potty in each of our bathrooms.
You may want to invest in a portable potty chair or seat for road trips, too. Don’t forget a wet bag and change of clothes for accidents.
Maeve surprised me, when she refused our beloved potty chair and headed straight for the big potty. She wants to do everything just like her bigger siblings!
Give Your Child a Choice
My kids always respond better if given a choice. “Do you want to wear these pants or this dress?” Let them have some control.
Maeve and I took a trip to my Kroger to let her pick out her Pull-Ups® training pants last week. She was excited to be going on a trip with Mommy by herself.
We headed into the diapers and wipes aisle and looked for the Pull-Ups®. Maeve was thrilled to see some of her very favorite Disney characters like Doc McStuffins, Minnie Mouse and Ariel on the Pull-Ups®, and finding the perfect fit was simple.
Pull-Ups® come in a variety of sizes to fit your little one: 2T–3T (18- 34 lbs.); 3T–4T (32–40 lbs.) and 4T–5T (38+ lbs.)
We chose the Pull-Ups®” Learning Designs® style, and I was pleased to see the Pull-Ups® designs are gender specific. For boys, the added protection is in the front, while for girls, it’s in the back. Brilliant!
Later, we may try the Cool Alert® edition or the Night*Time Training Pants when we’re a little further down the potty training road.
We bought a package (and Maeve even got to scan it herself), then headed home to try them on. She was excited to have her own Pull-Ups®, and I was thrilled to check out some of the newer features like the super easy open sides.
Make Things Easy for Your Child
Ever had to go to the bathroom and found yourself struggling with a zipper? (tell me I’m not the only one who’s had this issue!)
While your children are learning to use the potty, you might have to re-think their wardrobe. Leggings will be easier to pull up and down than jeans.
Dresses are great for little girls learning to use the potty, but you might have better luck if you forego fashion and leave the tights behind. Legwarmers will keep little legs covered, instead of trying to struggle with tights in the bathroom.
If your child prefers to use the big potty, you may consider a stool to help them climb up and down, too.
Even if you think that your child will never get the hang of it, it WILL happen. Deep breaths. You’ll look back on this and laugh one day.
What about you? How did you manage potty training with lots of little children in the house? Chat with me in the comment box!