This guide is all about starting to potty train early. I’ve put together a lit of 8 tricks and tips for parents who want to start potty training early. We started Cora at 8 months with the intent of helping her feel comfortable with the potty and have it be a fun thing for her to do, rather than a chore we rush her through later on.
Some months ago, I posted a photo on Instagram of Cora on her potty chair (seen here) and mentioned that we had started introducing Cora to the potty chair at 8 months and that it was going very well. I got a lot of questions about it, so I put together this post to outline our potty training guide, with a focus on starting early. This has worked for us very well so far. Cora uses the potty every day and it is just a part of our routine, but just because this worked for us, it does not meant that it will work for every child. Potty training is tough – so take heart mamas and dads – you are doing a good job and if my tips don’t work for you, there are lots of good potty training guides out there – like here and here.
Our potty training adventure started early by accident. I saw this potty chair advertised on Amazon and read through the comments section. It got tons of good reviews and decided to just order one to keep on hand for when Cora turned one and we could start potty-training her. It arrived and I unwrapped it and decided to just put it in the bathroom so that Cora could see it and see that it wasn’t scary. She was sitting up very well at this point so right before her evening bath, I got her undressed, sat her on the new potty chair and started reading some books. Then SHE PEED! It was complete luck but I cheered and clapped and kissed her and Nick came in and did the same. So she knew then that she had done something good. Now, at 15 months old, Cora pees and/or poops in the potty 90% of the times we sit her on it.
We pack this potty chair in our suitcase when we travel too. It’s light, I wrap it in two plastic grocery bags and it does not take up much room.
The average age to start potty training seems to be around 18 months. Our plan was to have her so accustomed to using it so that by the time she is old enough to really communicate with us and let us know when she has to use it, she already knows HOW to use it.
Potty Training Guide – Starting Early
One. Introduce the potty chair early.
Let them touch it and play with it. We started at 8 months, but anytime before one year old. And if they don’t seem into it that early, don’t push it!
Two. Incorporate it into a daily/nightly routine and don’t deviate.
Before a bath, we take off her clothes, sit her on the potty chair and we read one or two books. Then we dump it, flush it and take a bath. As the baby gets older and gets more comfortable with the potty chair, increase the number of times you sit them on it. Start right before a bath, then add potty time after each nap or first thing in the morning – whatever works for your schedule.
Three. Associate using the potty with praise, even if they don’t go potty.
Kisses, clapping, high-fives and lots of hugs.
Four. Use the same verbiage each time and establish association words.
We say “Time to Go Potty,” “Do you have to go Potty,” and “Yay, Cora went Potty!
Five. Take a look!
Have your baby look at what they did in the potty! We have Cora stand up and look and we cheer and high-five and then she helps us dump it out in the toilet and flush!
Have them stand or hold them close to the toilet as you flush and cheer! The idea here is that they get used to the loud noise and associate it with something positive rather than just a scary noise.
Seven. Make sure all caregivers are on the same page.
Grandparents, nannies, daycare, babysitters…make sure everyone is on the same page here, particularly in regards to #2-#4 above.
Eight. Monkey see, monkey do.
Chances are that many of you do this anyways, but let your baby see you go potty too! Talk through it and use the same language you use with them.
P.S. I’d love to hear your potty-training tips if you have others! What worked or didn’t work for you?
XOXO – Em