How I Potty Trained My 18-Month-Old Toddler {Part 2 of 2}

potty training at 18 months

Welcome new visitors! This is part 2 of the true story of how I potty trained my 18 month old daughter in just 1 week.

You’ll want to check out part one of the series before reading below to get an idea of how we started out and what DIDN’T work for us if you attempt the same type of early potty training with your own little one!

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Piper’s potty training got off to a rocky start, (read part 1 to learn about our first two days of potty training) but after a weekend spent in training pants at Grandma and Grandpa’s house, I was ready to get Piper out of diapers for good! If you remember from the first part of my story on How I Potty Trained my 18 Month Old, I decided that we needed to start fresh on Monday with a new plan:

  1. Piper had a new, smaller potty seat to use.
  2. I was stocked on 100% apple juice and clean sippy cups to give her plenty of opportunities to use her new potty seat.
  3. I was committed to keeping my mouth shut and not asking Piper if she needed to use the potty.

potty training 18 monthsI had ordered Piper’s new Baby Bjorn Smart Potty and it arrived early Monday morning, just in time for us to kick off our new potty training plan!

I gathered Piper and Haiden and opened the box. I made a huge deal over Piper’s “brand new potty.” I vocally admired it’s shiny red color. I explained that it was a smaller, Piper-size seat that would sit right next to Haiden’s bigger potty. I said it was the “perfect little potty” for a little girl.

All that talk felt a bit ridiculous, but I 100% reinforced that this new item was a potty especially for Piper! After that, I set the seat up next to Haiden’s potty chair and stepped away from both of them.

Piper had worn a fresh diaper during breakfast, and it was dry when I took off her pajamas to change her clothes for the day. I put her in a cozy long-sleeve shirt, baby legwarmers and socks. I didn’t put underwear on her so she didn’t have to worry about anything getting in the way if she decided to use the potty seat.

Side note: The best part about potty training (besides the end!) is the super cute BabyLegs that you can put on your little ones to keep their legs warm 🙂 

About 10 minutes after I got her out of her diaper, Piper had an accident on the floor. I turned it into a teachable moment and simply told her, “Piper, don’t go potty on the floor. Next time, go pee-pee on your new red potty!”  I made sure to be as upbeat as possible and keep the entire message positive. No scolding, no admonishing.

After taking off her soggy legwarmers, I gave her a cup of juice, cleaned up the carpet (carpet cleaners made for pet stains work the best — I know from experience!) and let her continue playing.

I continued with our morning routine while anxiously waiting for Piper’s next move. Miraculously, I saw her toddle over to her new potty, sit down and almost immediately use it!

 

baby dealsShe stood up, peeked inside and said, “pee pee pee pee!” I jumped up and down, clapped my hands and said, “Yay, Piper! Haiden, Piper went peepee on the potty!”

Haiden’s such a good big brother; he was more excited than I was! I also gave Piper (and Haiden*) a chocolate chip and said, “Piper, you get a chocolate chip for using the potty!”

I continued to give Piper more juice as soon as her cup was empty. Piper literally returned to the potty every 10 to 25 minutes throughout the morning. Each time she used the potty she got a chocolate chip and hugs, high-fives and positive reinforcement. She also didn’t have a single accident that morning!

At noon, I pulled a pair of cotton underwear on her and brought her to her high chair for lunch. She did have an accident over lunchtime, but I know that’s because she couldn’t physically get to her potty on her own.

When I realized what had happened, I told her, “tell Mama if need to use the potty!” I continued to stay encouraging and positive and brush off the accident as a minor incident.

After lunch, I changed her into a diaper and put her down for naptime. In my opinion, the early stages of potty training only involve staying dry during the waking hours. I truly believe “holding it” during naptime and overnights is a longer process, and I have no issues with using diapers or training pants for the sleeping hours.

When Piper woke up from her nap, her diaper was dry.  I took her back to the room with her potty seat, took off her diaper and let her decide what to do. There were books, toys and plenty of other distractions, but she went right to her potty and used it again!

After much cheering and a chocolate chip, I finally started to feel confident that Piper understood the potty training basics, and we were on our way to letting go of diapers forever! The next few days went incredibly well with Piper drinking lots and lots of fluids and using the potty as she wanted to.

I continued to keep her underwear off to make it as easy on her as possible. We had a few accidents here and there, but it wasn’t anything I couldn’t handle, and she was definitely using the potty far more than not!

One thing that I found amusing was that Piper decided completely on her own that she didn’t want to wear diapers anymore.

During naptime on the second day of potty training, I walked into her room and found her holding her diaper and telling me she had to “go pee pee”.Unfortunately, she had already went in her crib, but a waterproof crib pad had saved her mattress from the mess.

The next morning, I found Piper in her crib with her pajamas unzipped. She was trying to get her diaper off again. After that, we started using Pull-Ups or other training pants for naptime and overnights to acknowledge that she was a “big girl” who didn’t need diapers anymore.

By  the third day, I knew that we had nailed potty training, and I’m convinced the key was to let Piper decide when she needed to use the potty. She’s an independent little girl, and I could tell that it made her feel so proud when she was the one who decided to use the potty.

I fully admit that we still have accidents from time to time. We went through exactly the same thing in the earlier months of potty training my son, Haiden.

At least all this potty training experience comes with some lessons learned, and I’m more than willing to pass them along to you!

potty training at 18 months

Potty Training, 18 Months, Lessons Learned

I’ve come to realize that the following situations create the most “risk” of an accident:

  • Drinking too much water/milk/juice
  • Being away from home
  • Being sick
  • Staying up later than usual

As I was writing that list, I realized that I’m trained just as much as Piper and Haiden are ☺.

Since I’ve learned to recognize the situations where a child might go somewhere other than a bathroom, I’ve become remarkably prepared for any situation.

I have extra underwear and clothing in my car and in our diaper bag. I have an amazing little travel potty seat that makes it easier for both of them to use big toilets. I’m also on high-alert during those times and I’m aware of every single public restroom in the vicinity!

potty training 18 months

I mentioned in part 1 that I also found several potty-training books at our library. I didn’t use them to “train” piper to use the potty. Rather, my husband and I incorporated them into our usual routine just to give her another way to get the message.

While I brought home 3 DVDs and several books from the library, both little ones didn’t care for a few of them, leaving me with this list of their favorite potty books and DVDs:

You can find a more comprehensive list of potty training media in Tried and True Books and Movies to Encourage Potty Training.

potty training 18 months

I truly hope that information helps you in your own adventures in potty training 18 months.

While it’s was an intense time with a shaky start, I can honestly say that potty training Piper at 18 months has left both of us feeling proud of ourselves!

*Giving Haiden a chocolate chip every time Piper used the potty turned out to be a great-but-unplanned strategy on my part! Haiden didn’t feel left out, and he became an amazing cheerleader for Piper’s potty use.

After all, wouldn’t you be cheering your sister on if you were rewarded every time she used the potty?

potty training at 18 months The ebook is here! What will you get in the How I Potty Trained My 18-Month-Old in 1 Week that you won’t find anywhere else? In addition to day-by-day recaps of our potty training experience (including what worked and what didn’t work for us), you’ll get:

  • When Is the Right Time to Potty Train
  • Potty Training Readiness
  • 5 Rules for Potty Training an 18 Month Old
  • What to Do if Potty Training Isn’t Going Well
  • How to Avoiding Accidents
  • Bonus: The #1 Piece of Potty Training Advice
  • Additional Potty Training Resources

All of that material (and more) has been organized into a formatted, easy-to-read, easy-to-reference ebook!

How I Potty Trained My 18-Month-Old in 1 Week can be purchased or it can be borrowed for FREE if you have Amazon Prime! If you purchase the book, I’d be so grateful if you left a review on Amazon sharing your thoughts about the book and what you liked about it.

Be sure to check out my other articles about potty training at any age (not just potty training at 18 months!):

 

potty training 18 months

If you’re potty training at 18 months and your little one doesn’t want to stay on the potty, try entertaining her with bubbles! Check out my list of 7 complete recipes for homemade bubbles!

How I Potty-Trained My 18-Month-Old Toddler

potty training at 18 months

As a mom to two toddlers, I’ve been asking myself: When is the right time to potty train your child? for what feels like a very long time!

My husband and I decided to potty train Haiden, (now two and a half) just after his second birthday. He knew what the potty was for, I had just transitioned to being a stay-at-home mom, he was signing “potty” all the time and it just felt right.

Let me tell you, those few weeks of were a learning experience for all of us, but potty training Piper was an altogether new and different experience.

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Piper, the day before she started potty training

Piper is now almost nineteen months old. I’m not going to say that she was showing all those signs of potty training readiness or that she was telling me she wanted to use the potty, because she just wasn’t.

Truth be told, Piper’s only been walking for just over three months, and her verbal skills aren’t that great. Regardless, I had a feeling she was ready to start using the toilet. Here were my reasons:

  • My mom would take Piper to the bathroom whenever we were together. She had great success. According to my mom, Piper knew how to “hold it”.
  • Haiden’s been using his potty chair and a big toilet like a champ for about seven months. Haiden and Piper are always together, so I knew he’d been setting a good example for her.
  • Piper’s just smart. She a great listener, and she definitely comprehends what I tell her.

Really, that’s it. She wasn’t asking to use the potty, she didn’t have consistently dry diapers during nights or naptime, and she wasn’t telling us when she was filling up her diaper.

My husband was skeptical, but he was supportive in my thoughts that we should give potty training a try.

Also, my potty training “plan” was only concerned with daytime use of the potty. My husband and I agreed that staying dry during naptime and overnight would come naturally after Piper started using the potty regularly during the day.

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We’re in Minnesota, and we had a long stretch of ridiculously cold weather several weeks ago. The below-zero temps kept us homebound, so it occurred to me that this would be a good time to start working with Piper on using the potty.

Here’s how we started out:

Day 1 (Thursday): I took off the diaper Piper had worn overnight, then dressed Piper in a cozy shirt, socks and ridiculously cute baby legwarmers to keep her warm. She didn’t wear anything on her bottom. No underwear, and no pull up.

Day 1 Results: Not good! My stubborn daughter would say “NO!” every single time I asked her if she needed to use the potty. She cried when I put her on Haiden’s potty seat. She peed on the floor in several areas.  When my husband got home from work I asked him to take her on the potty and she went for him with no issues at all.

Lesson learned: she didn’t want to cooperate with me!

Day 2 (Friday): Piper spent all day without underwear again. She used the potty a few times and she got a chocolate chip each time she used it. She did, however, have several accidents and spent much of the day telling me “NO!” when I asked her to use the potty.

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I’d noticed that Piper was having a hard time sitting down on Haiden’s Baby Bjorn potty chair (pictured above). At eighteen months, she was a little short to get on there by herself. Plus we had one stressful squabble when they both wanted to use the potty at the same time!

I decided that Piper needed a smaller potty to call her own, so I went online and ordered this little red potty seat just for her.

After two days and plenty of accidents, I called my mom and told her that Piper’s potty training wasn’t going well. We had plans to spend the weekend with my husband’s parents, and I knew that the potty training wasn’t going to get better while we were there. My gut told me that I shouldn’t put her back in diapers, and my mom agreed.

She suggested using waterproof training pants for the weekend then getting back in the potty training routine when we were back home on Monday. I took my mom’s advice, packed a bunch of training pants and we left for a Saturday and Sunday away from home.

Over the weekend I relaxed my potty training “push” and spent some time thinking about what wasn’t working with my method. I realized a few things:

  1. Piper was struggling with using Haiden’s potty seat. It was just was too big for her.
  2. Piper’s stubbornness was hindering our progress. She just didn’t like being told what to do!
  3. She needed more opportunities to use the potty.

With those realizations, I worked out a new plan:

potty training at 18 months
My new plan for potty training at 18 months:

Number one (no pun intended!) was already taken care of. I had already ordered a new (smaller) potty with Amazon Prime. Their awesome two-day shipping meant that Piper’s new little potty was scheduled to be at our house on Monday morning.

Once the new potty was set up, I was going to give her plenty of juice (to solve number three!) to get the day going. The biggest thing I decided was that I was going to stop asking her if she needed to use the potty.

Note: Piper’s new potty was the Baby Bjorn Smart Potty. It’s available in a variety of colors from Amazon.

We relaxed our potty training “push” over the weekend and left my in-laws house with a bag full of disgustingly dirty cloth training pants and a new attitude for the week ahead!

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To prep for the week ahead, I picked up several potty training books and DVDs from the library. I didn’t want to force the issue, so I just found those that were more entertaining and less about teaching lessons. Here’s what I brought home:

My plan was to read the books to both Piper and Haiden as part of our normal reading routine, and watch the DVDs if we could fit them in.

Want to know how Piper did with potty training when we started again the following week? Read PART 2 of our potty training adventure!

potty training at 18 months The ebook is here! What will you get in the How I Potty Trained My 18-Month-Old in 1 Week that you won’t find anywhere else? In addition to day-by-day recaps of our potty training experience (including what worked and what didn’t work for us), you’ll get:

  • When Is the Right Time to Potty Train
  • Potty Training Readiness
  • 5 Rules for Potty Training an 18 Month Old
  • What to Do if Potty Training Isn’t Going Well
  • How to Avoiding Accidents
  • Bonus: The #1 Piece of Potty Training Advice
  • Additional Potty Training Resources

All of that material (and more) has been organized into a formatted, easy-to-read, easy-to-reference ebook! How I Potty Trained My 18-Month-Old in 1 Week can be purchased or it can be borrowed for FREE if you have Amazon Prime! If you do purchase the ebook, I’d be so grateful if you left a review on Amazon sharing your thoughts about the book and what you liked about it.

 

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Don’t forget to create a fun environment while potty training! Learn how to make homemade play dough with natural dyes!

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