I know what you are thinking. 4 months? That is way to early. Before I had kids I would have said the same thing but when my oldest was 2-ish months I read a post stating that this mom was training at 4 month. I thought ‘if she can do it so can i.’ My baby-sitter and husband both thought I was crazy at first until she stopped pooping in her diaper at 6 months and potty trained at 18. I have now been potty training my 2nd for a little over a month now. I always heard stories about how horrible diaper changes were once they started solids. I’ll hopefully never know.
I’ve learned a few things along the way with this. 1. you MUST keep a routine. 2. teach them certain hand gestures and 3. reward them.
- The routine is the KEY. I can not stress that enough! At four months I don’t expect much. After every time she wakes I take her to the potty. We have a potty seat on our toilet.
This method of corse is optional. You can find both of these on Walmart.com. I use it only because I don’t want to clean poop out of a “potty”. This goes back to the whole “smelly poop” conversation. lol Plus it isn’t solid until they start solids too. I hold her there for about 2-3 mins ( this is a great bonding time too so make it fun. I sing silly songs, make silly faces, make peeing noise or pooping noises) If it looks like they want to poop encourage them. HINT: Put a stool in front of the toilet. 3 mins is a LONG time to squat by or bend over the toilet. lol
- Gestures are to eliminate frustration on BOTH ends. I do an “all done” gesture and a “potty”
Before getting up I always sign all done. Of corse I do it with one hand because the other is always holding the little one. Safety first. Even if your little one can sit up great on their own NEVER leave them alone on the potty or let go of them. It only take one sec for them to fall off and get hurt.
I try to sign “potty” before we get on but sometimes I do forget. While we are sitting there though I sign it a few times. Again, don’t expect much at first. They probably won’t start signing back until 9-12 months, but this will help after a year. Before they can talk but when they are old enough to understand to go in the potty.
- Reward system. It doesn’t matter how you reward them to me just as long as it works. I have a friend that used pez candy. Every time they went they got one. Us, we use Reece’s Pieces. She gets one for pee and two for poop. We had to do the poop seprately because it hurt one time when she got constipated so she stopped wanting to go. If you are against candy you can use a star chart. I know someone who had a chart and would get a sticker when they said they had to go, and when they went. He added the “when they went” because his kid got to smart and kept saying he needed to go just to get a star but wouldnt go. When they got to a certain number or star they got a prize or something special. After giving my daughter the candy for a few months I would only give it when SHE remembered it and asked. Now its only 50% of the time.
- Lastly, for potty training at night, first take away liquids 1-2 hours before bed until she learns not to pee at night. When she had dry diapers for a couple of weeks we put a small potty in her room with Kleenex for wipes (she knows to only grab one). She now can drink all the water she wants anytime because she has learned to get out of bed, pull her panties down, go pee, wipe, pull up her panties and get back in bed.
Update: I have been putting my 4 month old on the potty for three weeks now and she already tries to hold it when she sleeps because she knows to pee when she wakes. Keep it up. It is hard but worth it. I was talking to a lady today about potty training. She is trying to start her 2-year-old and she HATES the potty. But when you start young, they don’t know any better.
TIP: The first time I did put my oldest on the potty she DID cry. If that happens don’t force it. Just try again in a few days. And make it fun! Remember to laugh and play when they are there and they will like to be there knowing they get one-on-one time and your undivided attention.
Everything in this article is my own personal opinion. What has worked and not worked for me. I hope something I have said will help you and your little one.
What have you done today?