This review was made possible by Double Duty Divas and Pampers. I was provided the featured product free of charge to facilitate my review, but all opinions are 100% mine.
My just turned 2-yr-old son was sitting on the potty. It was day two of the three day potty training method and it wasn’t going well. The first day he peed on the couch. Luckily, I had put a towel underneath just in case.
The morning of the second day, I started having horrible contractions. We didn’t even get through the second day of training because I went into pre-term labor and delivered my 4th child.
I put potty training off, waiting for a three day period where I could devote all my attention to it. After my 4th child was sleeping better at night, I decided to try again. This time I was diligent, keeping my son in the linoleum areas of the house, putting him on the potty every 30 minutes, using stickers, snacks, drinks, and treats.
Nothing seemed to work. After sitting on the potty, singing songs and reading books for at least 5 minutes, I would get him off the potty and 5 minutes later he would have an accident. I emphasized the need to be dry and clean; had him teach his beloved stuffed duck to use the potty, but to no avail. Plus, I was exhausted from feeding a newborn every 3 hours around the clock.
After the three days were up my son started to hate the potty. Simply saying the word would make him start to blubber and cry and I started to feel the same way.
However, I didn’t give up. I just changed my approach. I call it the Gentle Potty Training Method.
What Is Gentle Potty Training?
This is a strategy for moms who simply can’t devote more than one day to potty training, don’t want to clean up a bunch of messes, but want to stop changing so many diapers especially poopy ones. Here are the things I like about this method:
- No messes
- No treats
- Perfect for busy moms
- Can be used for very young children
The first step in Gently Potty Training is to get your toddler used to the idea of using the potty, emphasizing how everyone uses it. The key is to show how fun it is and how wet diapers are dirty and yucky.
In this step, I just have my child come into the bathroom with me, daddy, or anyone else in the family that feels comfortable with it. I show my child how everyone in the family uses the toilet and how no one except babies wear a diaper.
This helps children become familiar with the restroom, toilet, the process and all the noises involved. Some children are just afraid of the potty and the small cramped space in the restroom.
The next step is to get your supplies. You’ll need some underwear, potty seat or extender, travel potty, special potty book(s) and prizes, and training diapers.
I love Pampers Easy Ups because they have an underwear-like look and feel, but are 25% more absorbent than the other leading training pants which means no leaks even overnight!
After that, establish a potty routine. I started putting my son on the potty right after breakfast and after nap everyday. Even if he fought me I would make him sit for just a little bit with me and we would read a special new book that was only for the potty. When he got off, I praised him with lots of clapping and wahoos even if he didn’t actually go.
Anytime he wet his diaper I just reminded him where pee goes. Poo was different because I hate changing poopy diapers. So I made sure to tell him how dirty it is and even showed him what it looks like.
After a few days he got used to his potty routine and actually went in the potty right after his nap! Oh man were we excited about that. I rewarded him with a snack that he usually gets anyways. I then introduced him to the prizes he could earn if he stayed dry and clean for the whole day.
We also introduced underwear that he would get to wear if he stayed dry. Getting underwear with a special character that your child really likes and displaying them in a prominent place in their room really helps. You can even have your children wear the underwear under their Easy Ups just to get a feel of what it is like to be wet because the Pampers do an amazing job of keeping moisture away from the skin.
Gradually we added more potty times to our routine. We are up to 6 potty times now and down to using 2-3 diapers a day. I rarely have to change a poopy diaper and my son is so close to wearing those dinosaur underwear and playing with his special prizes.
Tips for the Gentle Method
While this method does work, it takes just as much patience and the results are not immediate. We’ve been doing the potty routine for about 3 weeks now. So, if you need your child potty trained quickly, and have the time, then I suggest trying the three day method first. The key is to keep up the potty routine no matter where you are, so a travel potty really helps.
Want to Learn More About Potty Training?
Join the Pampers Twitter Party on Thursday June 10th at 9pm EST to get helpful advice and win prizes, too! Prizes include:
- 100 ct Easy Ups, Sesame Street Portable Potty
- 100 ct Easy Ups, Baby BanZ Sun Protective Beach Tent
- 100 ct Easy Ups, Radio Flyer 4-in-1 Trike
- 100 ct Easy Ups and Splash Zone Spray N Splash Inflatable Water Park
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To help you get potty training started, I’m giving away a Pampers Prize Pack ($100 Value) including 100 ct Pampers Easy Ups, Portable Potty, and fun items to use as prizes of just kick off summer for your child!
We are currently potty training our oldest boy. Our oldest is a girl and was so much easier! I started when I was pregnant with our 4th too. He is doing much better since I stopped pressuring him so much and try not to make it such a battle. I like the idea of having set times when he tries. It seems like he always needs to go while I am nursing our 3 month old. Hopefully both of our boys will be in their new special underwear soon! 🙂
We used the 3 day method with our daughter and it went well, but since I hate changing poo, we started sitting our baby on the potty at 8 months, just to see what happened. Two months later, he goes about 50% of the time and is getting familiar with the routine. I suppose that if we took it seriously and made a potty schedule as you suggest, I’d probably be able to avoid diapers all together in a few months. Sounds good to me! Thanks for sharing what worked for your son!
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This was very helpful thank you. My son is turning 2 in September I haven’t even thought about potty training until this. I think I will start with this method as he is very stubborn to learning new things and slowly introduce him. Does anyone have any more tips on how to introduce the potty?
I’ve heard of a lot of people buying a potty seat that they can keep in the play room and just having their children sit on it to get used to it. I don’t do it but I’ve seen others do it.
I’m confused… you said one thing you like about this method is “No treats,” but then you talked about the prizes he got for staying dry. Isn’t that prize essentially a treat?
No because he doesn’t get to eat the prize and he doesn’t get one after each time he goes on the potty. In the past, I’ve used treats with my girls and it ruins their appetite for anything else if I’m giving them little bits to eat every time they go on the potty. With this method, I make the potty into something we just do at a certain time each day and if he goes pee then we reward him with praise, and if he doesn’t then he isn’t upset because he didn’t get a treat. I show him the prize every once in a while to encourage him to stay dry and try to get him to tell me when he needs to go pee.
Oh, I understand now. Thanks for clarifying.
That’s an interesting method. I found with my 5 they all went at different times and were encouraged in different ways. Some only responded to reward others just went because they wanted to. Whatever works for you is awesome and don’t feel pressured to do it any other way 🙂
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I agree, they are all so different. Thanks for stopping by!
I am starting to potty train my son. A couple weeks ago I tried the boot camp and decided at the end of the day we needed to wait a few weeks (we’ve had too much going on for me to continue). The Gentle Method seems less overwhelming to me, and we are already kind of doing it:-)
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Sue Hull says
When my daughter was little I bought her potty when she was about 1 1/2 yrs old so she would at least learn what it’s for. She would sit on it then one day I took her diaper off and she went. I was yelling yay and good girl! So she was completely potty trained by about 2 1/2 yrs old. I’d give her M&Ms every time she went. Treats always work. Thank you for the awesome giveaway 🙂
Thanks for sharing! So refreshing to have another option besides a form of the 3-day! Once you started your routine did you put him in training pants right away? And kept him in them from that point on?
When he started staying dry, I changed to underwear. Then if he had a lot of accidents, we went back to the training pants. It definitely takes longer, but it works!