Starting Potty Boot Camp? Tips from the Trenches
I received this list of tips and tricks from a mother who recently used The Potty Boot Camp to train her son Oliver. Being an analytical sort, Dana meticulously made notes about her progress through the program and wrote down her insights about various tips that she thought might help make life easier for other parents going through the process.
Below you will find Dana's advice:
Potty Boot Camp
Notes from what I learned from doing the Potty Boot Camp.
Remember, every family does this differently as what works best for them but this is how I did it. Some of my comments below will make more sense after you read Potty Boot Camp.1. The book:
The Potty Boot Camp: Basic Training for Toddlers - online downloadable pdf that is short and a an easy quick read. I printed it and read it on the go in a day but it is easily read from your iPhone or iPad or Kindle. 2. Underpants.
I started with 4 pair of underpants (what I had) and that was not enough. I had to wash a load each night. I would say 6 pair minimum but even more would be better.
I also found that character or animal printed underpants worked as a better transition welcoming him into the underpants world and saying good bye to his diaper which he was so familiar. He became very excited to put on Woody, Buzz or Monkey underpants. 3. A potty.
I found that using a child potty worked much better than the toilet seat insert. With the insert he seemed to have less control for himself with climbing onto the seat and getting himself actually pointed in the potty rather than out at my wall! I know that they will need to learn to use the insert for school and travel and such but for getting familiar with sitting for a long time and doing their business, I found that a potty on the floor is best. It allows them the independence to sit on their own and rest with their feet on the ground while reading or doing other activities while waiting to do their business. Also, be sure it is easy to clean! We have the BabyBjorn Smart Potty - White - Best Price and I really like this one - it is small, comfortable for him, good boy blocker in the front and easy to clean. It is also small enough that you can toss it in the car if you travel a lot. 4. Treats/Prizes.
Hit the Target dollar aisle. Stickers, coloring books, play dough, etc. I found that a color book was a great prize and then good activity while sitting. Suckers were good too. He loves them, knows they are treats and keeps busy eating it for a good 5 min. while sitting. Other ideas: kids flashlight, packs of gummy snacks, a new iphone game. 5. Children's Potty Book.
I had no idea how responsive he would be to a potty book. I honestly assumed they were just an excuse for parents to spend money on another book but my son loves the one I got him and seemed to actually apply what we were reading to his days of training. He quickly memorized what each page said and read it to himself over and over explaining to us that the little boy should NOT go in his diaper but SHOULD use the potty and he would cheer for him each time the end of the book showed that the little boy used the potty. He also seemed to focus on the page where the little boy says bye bye diaper and the page of all the drawings of underpants. He identified which underpants were dada's, mama's, cousin Willem's and his own. 6. Fluids.
My son typically drinks water, watered down OJ and milk but for this I treated him. Motts makes a fruit punch that has no sugar added and 40% less sugar than most juices (meaning lots of water and therefore good for producing urine!) but it tastes a lot more fun than water or OJ so he was excited to drink it. I also used chocolate milk as a prize/treat as he only gets that on special occasions. 7. Activities.
I found that getting him involved in brain sucking actives (tv, movies, iphone/ipad games, even playing with his train set) were dangerous between potty sittings. It was either hard to pull him away when it is time to use the potty or he would forget to tell me he needed to go and would have an accident.
However, a friend gave us this movie which I let him watch during potty training days and 1. he loved it because it was Elmo and 2. he would mimic what he saw- particularly the washing your hands after using the potty. Sesame Street: Elmo's Potty Time [DVD]
Have things for you to do that day as well- things that are easily interruptible. Don't plan to cook long crazy meals that require lots of attention or baking that requires things to be taken out of the oven instantly (I even managed to burn a pot of rice). I make quick meals on days we were potty training all day particularly ones that were ok to eat cold as many times we had to leave eating to use the potty. I spent the time cleaning the bathroom while we were in the potty and other activities like this- folding laundry etc, reading ahead in the Potty Boot Camp book.
Living in a split level house with carpet in many areas I found to be good and bad. Good because if we were in the kitchen where the potty was either up or down stairs, it taught him to hold it for a bit so that we could get there. It was bad in that times where he was too busy to tell me in time, we were not close enough to get to the potty in time and had to travel across carpet to get there. Which brings me to the next item . . .8. Clean up.
Carpet spot cleaner- I use what we do for pet stains- Nature's Miracle Stain & Odor Remover - Free Shipping
Rags and towels for carpet and solid surface floor clean up.
Wet basket in the bathroom for wet and soiled pants and cleaning rags after accidents between washes.
I keep a container of Seventh Generation Wipes in the bathroom for quick cleaning the potty between frequent potty uses.
Wet diaper wipes or toilet wipes for toddler clean up after accidents and BM's. 9. Timer.
I used my iphone timer and set it to the dog bark sound. He knew that when he heard the dog bark it was time to go to try to use the potty. Now, what happens when we are outside and actually hear a dog bark . . . I will let you know! 10. Tips and Notes.
As soon as he wakes up in the mornings, I take him to the potty, and he is, for some reason, always willing to do so even though he still has on his night time diaper and I have found that if I take him immediately from bed to the potty, he goes. Sometimes it took a few minutes but he would go and after 2 days he was waking up telling me he had to potty first things. Same goes for nap time. He was waking up dry after nap but I had to take him to the potty as soon as he woke and he would always go. Potty manipulation!
My son quickly learned that anytime he yelled POTTY I would let him out of bed to use the potty. And each time (the first night it was 4 times) he was able to produce urine in the potty each time, thereby justifying his need to get out of bed. I was not sure how to handle this exactly but figured that telling him NO and making him go back to bed and wet in his diaper was counter productive and so I would let him up, but he knew that there were no activities or treats to be had. I think what may help is installing a dimmer switch on your bathroom light and leaving it on the low setting or having a well lit night light in there for night time bathroom usage to keep from blaring the bright lights in their face like you would in the day. If found this was particularly harsh first thing in the morning when the sun was not out and he had to use the potty and not completely awake yet.
It seems that everyone I know who has used Potty Boot Camp to potty train has done it a bit differently as did I based on my schedule. My son is at school every day until 330 but for an entire week, Monday - Sunday, I dedicated our time (when he was not at school) to potty training. M-F from 330 until bedtime I did an amended version of day 1 training. Then on Saturday, all day, I adhered to boot camps day 1 plan. Sunday we did day 2 and Monday I sent him to school in underpants.
Post by Suzanne Riffel, author of "The Potty Boot Camp: Basic Training for Toddlers"
- a new, fast, easy toilet training method that produces remarkable results. Social Bookmarking