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Being a first time mother is an amazing experience. My fiancé and I had our daughter fresh out of college and had minimal income coming in with my fiancé only working. Yes, we received tons of diapers from our baby shower, but that only lasted for two months after she was born. We were so happy when our daughter stopped drinking formula, which she seemed to just run through within a few days each week. The next major expense to get rid of was diapers. We started potty training a few months after my daughter's second birthday. By the time she was two and a half old, she was fully potty trained and in underwear. Here are some steps that we used that I hope will help you out.
Step One: Timing
Age is never a barrier. Depending on your child you can even start as early as one years old. Potty training is all about timing. When you notice that your child is coming and telling you when they have pooped or peed and that they want to be changed that is a tell tell sign that they may be ready to sit on the potty. Also, look out for frequency in dry diapers. If your child frequently drink liquids and are not have a problem with hydration it’s time to start the potty process.
Step Two: Don't push too hard.
Remember all children are different. The idea of not having to buy diapers or pull ups may be exciting, but you have to remember if you push your child to hard into potty training they may resist. Just like we don’t like being forced into things out children are the same way. Remember to stay calm and don’t show your child any signs of negative emotions towards their exploration of becoming a “big boy” or “big girl.”
Step Three: Schedules
Potty schedules are your friend. In the beginning have your child sit on the potty as soon as they wake in the morning and have them try to go every 20-30 minutes to get them in a routine. Once they become more comfortable change the time a little at a time. If your child is in a daycare or goes to a babysitter of some kind remember to communicate with them your potty training schedule. Just like it takes a village to raise a child, that includes help with potty training. Children respond to consistency. If they are doing one thing with your and another with someone else they become confused and may shut down all together with potty training for a while.
Step Four: Bye Diapers, Hello Pull-Ups
Switching to pull ups and telling your child that they are undies are a great tactic to have your child practice pulling up and down their undies to go potty. Also a great trick to use is putting actual underwear over their pull ups. Just the idea of looking down and seeing their favorite character will make some children keep them dry. After they seem to be getting the concept try limiting the pull ups your child wears and put them in either regular children underwear or the training underwear which a thicker lining in them to help prevent a huge mess with accidents. For example, for naps and night time only or even long car rides/ trips where access to a bathroom maybe limited.
Step Five: Potty Chart/Reward
It’s not bribing if it works! Kids love receiving praise for doing something right or conquering something new. Create a sticker with rewards for filling it. Each time your child successfully uses the potty reward them. Don’t forget your child will not be a pro right away so even reward them if they only two accidents at the most. Remember just like potty training is new to you, it’s for your child. If it helps have your child sit with their favorite to or if you have a portable little potty sit them in front of their favorite show.
Step Six: Don't give up.
Your child may resist because it is a long process for both parent and child, but don’t give up. When you decide to start potty training don’t give up, because you don’t want to miss your “window.” Once your child feels like it’s not important they will give up and you will be stuck with buying more and more diapers! Potty training doesn’t have to be hard as long as you stick to it and make it a fun journey for both you and your child.
I hope this helps and good luck. 🍀