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how we potty trained a twenty month old

Potty training became extremely important to me the first time Briar took poop out of her diaper and played with it. By play with it, I mean that she used the poo to style her hair. After that I was determined to get poo in the toilet instead of my daughters hair.

What we used... 

toddler potty - just get a basic one; the toilet is not a toy so it does not need bells, music, flashing lights, etc. You want your kid to do their business and get off, not stay to play. Get one for the house and one for in the car. 

treats - Initially we used chocolate chips for Briar which somehow ended up all over her hands and face. This left us playing poop or chocolate a lot more often than is acceptable. Now we use jelly beans and they work perfect.  

underwear - Get LOTS of underwear.  

toddler seat for adult potty - We figured out pretty early on that Briar would much rather use the adult toilet so we went right to Home Depot and bought one of those toilet seats that also has a toddler sized seat included. 

stool - We wanted Briar to be as independent as possible so she needed to be able to get up and down herself. I built her one because I could not find one at the store that wasn't hideous.  

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How we did it... 

The first few days we did no underwear. We set an alarm for every half hour and when the alarm went off we took Briar to the potty. As she got the hang of it we gradually increased the amount of time on the timer. At first she was hesitant to sit on the potty so she got a treat for sitting, another for pee, and two for poop.  

*People suggest not leaving the house but we totally did - I am not trying to go stir crazy!* 

Briar was not talking yet so we just stayed on top of when she went last and made sure to take her frequently. Within a week or so she was no longer having accidents even when we were out and doing activities.  

My suggestions...  

Be fully committed. If you put a diaper on to go run errands and then expect your kiddo to use the potty it can be confusing. I know it is hard but I really think it makes a big difference. My family lives nine hours away guys  -  we didn't even use diapers on a nine hour drive to visit! Once you start, no going back. 

 

A break during a nine hour drive to visit family. Yes, that is Briar sitting between us on the potty! You gotta do what you gotta do!

Have a potty kit in the car. Get an extra potty and keep it in the car along with clorox wipes, a sealable trash can (I use a rubbermaid container with a lid), spare clothes, potty treats, etc. Public restrooms are nasty you guys and toddlers touch EVERYTHING. Have them use the potty in the car before you go into stores. I shamelessly dump the pee out on the ground and anything else goes in the trashcan. 

If you are starting with a younger kid -  do not expect them to be able to be potty trained at night and during naps. Briar is now nearly two and I still don't think she has that control while she is sleeping.  

 

Moral of the story - it is totally doable to potty train a younger toddler. She still has accidents every now and then but it is still worth it. I think we could have started Briar even sooner. Kids are smart. I repeat: YOU DO NOT HAVE TO KEEP CHANGING POOPY DIAPERS! Good luck!

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