Michelle is a stay-at-home parent to a five-year-old boy, three-year-old girl, two dogs, and one husband. She lives in Houston.
Does thinking about potty training give you nightmares? Do you break out in a cold sweat just thinking about it? Potty training strikes fear in the heart of even the most confident parent. Potty training was such a traumatic experience with my first child that I was super nervous about training my second. Thankfully for me, she has been much easier. She just turned three recently. We are not totally out of the potty training woods, but we are close.
Through trial and error, I have learned much I wish I knew from the beginning. I’m sharing these tips with you to arm you with great potty training tools.
1. The Amazing Portable Potty: XOX Tot 2-in-1 Go Potty
We stayed very close to home in the early potty training days with my oldest. After two or three weeks, we needed to get out. He wasn’t ready to use a big potty, and he wasn’t giving me much warning. I carried a big plastic potty chair with us everywhere we went. Lugging that thing around was a pain—and embarrassing.
Then I saw a mom friend using this cool little fold-out potty with her kid. It is the best potty training investment you can make! It is extremely portable. Now I carry around a ‘potty bag’. In it is the XOX Tot 2-in-1 Go Potty, a change of clothes, and plastic bags. No one knows it's a potty bag, and it's easy to carry around.
You can use the XOX Tot 2-in-1 Go Potty two different ways:
- Folded out into an actual potty that they can use on its own. You attach plastic bags to it to catch pee and poop.
- Folded flat as a seat that goes on top of a regular toilet seat.
Bonus Tip: Save money by using plastic shopping bags. Make sure to double bag because sometimes those bags have holes in them.
Bonus Tip: Instead of using a plastic bag use a diaper inside the XOX potty.
2. Less Laundry With Training Pants
When preparing to potty train my first child, I read a lot. Many articles would mention training pants but not explain what they were. To make matters more confusing, when you do an internet search for ‘training pants’, many different products show up.
To save you from the confusion, training pants are thick underwear. If the child urinates a small amount, the training pants will absorb it. I wish I had known what those articles were talking about the first go around! I discovered them by accident with my second after I had wasted my money on a bunch of regular underwear. My second is mostly potty trained by now, but like most three-year-olds, she has better things to do than go potty. Often as she rushes to the potty she’ll pee a little bit in her pants. The training pants absorb the little accidents enough so just the underwear has to be changed. Yea, less laundry!
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I love these things so much that I’ve hidden the regular underwear from her so she will just wear the training pants. You can find them with all kinds of characters kids love, just like regular underwear. My girl has princesses and Paw Patrol. Here are the Paw Patrol girls training pants I ordered for my little one. They are awesome!
3. What to Do With Urine-Soaked Clothing: Dish Soap, Vinegar, and Water
Speaking of training pants, what do you do with that urine-soaked clothing? This took lots of trial and error for me. Let me tell you my trick so you don’t have to go through all of that! I keep a big bowl that I only use for this purpose in our bathroom with a bottle of white vinegar and dish soap. If an accident occurs, I am prepared. If your little one pees on his or her clothing, this is what you do with it:
- Fill the bowl with approximately 8 cups of water.
- Pour approximately two tablespoons of vinegar into the bowl.
- Pour approximately two tablespoons of dish soap into the bowl.
- Mix the solution together.
- Submerge the urine-soaked clothing in the bowl.
- Let the clothing soak for at least an hour.
- After soaking either rinse the clothing out and hang it to dry or put it in the wash.
When you do put the clothing in the wash, I recommend that you use the heavy-duty setting on your washing machine. I know all washing machines are different. I put mine on power wash, extra rinse, and deep clean.
This trick prevents the urine-soaked clothing from stinking up the laundry hamper. It also prevents you from having to do small loads of laundry all the time. And it will get that yucky pee smell out of clothing.
I hope you are blessed with children who do not occasionally pee in their pants, but if they do, this method is helpful.
4. How to Protect Your Child’s Mattress: Vinyl Mattress Protector
I wish I had not wasted lots of money and time spent cleaning mattresses and instead bought zippered vinyl protectors from the start! I bought vinyl mattress protectors from Target, which are affordable and work perfectly.
I thought my children would be uncomfortable with vinyl. I have spent too much on cloth mattress protectors that claim they will protect the mattress. They do not. Do not waste your money! The vinyl ones work well not only for pee accidents but for vomiting, too.
Bonus Tip: My son was uncomfortable when I put the vinyl protector on his mattress. I put one of the cloth protectors over it, and he has been fine.
5. Potty Seat Solution
When my oldest moved on to the regular toilet, we used a potty seat that snapped into the lid of the regular toilet. We had two problems with this snap-on potty seat: there was no good place to put it, and he could not put it on himself. Over time, it damaged our toilet seat.
I had to replace our toilet seat and came across one with a child seat attached. For us, this has been a great solution. Our bathroom is narrow, and it's used by other members of our family and guests. The potty seats with the steps attached are too big for our bathroom. There would be nowhere to put it when my daughter is not using it.
The attached potty seat solves this problem. Unlike the snap-on potty seat, she can easily put this potty seat down on her own. As for the step stool, we have a small one that she can easily move into place herself when she needs it.
Good Luck on Your Potty Training Journey!
I hope these tips help you with your potty training journey with your little one. May you have no drama or extra laundry!