The 10 STEP POTTY TRAINING METHOD – JESSIE’S (NO FAIL) WAY
I’VE BEEN SHARING bits and pieces of my potty training journey on social media with our youngest who is almost 23 months old and many of you wanted to know more about how we have been successful when he’s so young. So, I figured since our way worked for all 3 of our boys to be fully potty trained by age 2, it just might work for you or someone you know.
Let me first start by saying, every child and household is different so you will have to tailor this to you, your child and your schedule. BUT to be successful, there is not a lot of room to tweak once you start Jessie’s Way. It’s an all or nothing kind of thing.
Ok… here we go:
Step 1 – Your child has to understand what it means to go “potty” or “pee-pee” on the potty and has to have an interest in it before you should even try to start training.
Step 2 – Buy 1 or 2 small travel potty’s that you keep close by in whatever room you are in. Take your child with you to pick it out even. My boys picked out ones that were blue and had sports stuff on it. This made it exciting for them to check it out and sit on it once we brought it home.
Step 3 – Go cold turkey. I mean once you decide to start training, go all in and commit to not putting a diaper on them for the entire day unless for nap time or bedtime (which we’ll talk more about shortly). This means that you will have to not have anything planned for 3-5 days and give all of your attention to them.
Step 4 – Go completely bottomless. Yes, that means they are running around naked with their bare butts sitting on everything. Carry a thick folded up towel with you and just put it under them on the couch or carpet. Again, my kids didn’t mind because we made sure it was a fun towel with an animal or Mickey on it and we made a game of always sitting on it which they thought was funny.
Step 5 – This will seem pointless because for the most part they really have no idea what you are saying, but take them to the potty and have them sit on it. Explain how they go “pee-pee” in the potty while pointing in between their legs to the bowl. Continue to explain, if they get “pee-pee” in the potty, they get M&Ms (or whatever treat or reward you decide – maybe a sticker chart or something). M&M’s resonated best with my kids.
Step 6 – Accept the fact that they are going to have quite a few accidents the first few days. Don’t get mad. It’s important in these beginning days to just explain and redirect immediately to the travel potty. Even if they pee’d entirely on the floor, explain that they need to sit on the potty and go “pee-pee” and walk them over or carry them over to the potty and explain again if they get “pee-pee” in the potty, they get their reward. They will get the idea quick, I promise. With all 3 of my kids, we had several times on day 1 where they either finished peeing in the potty or went “pee-pee” on the potty when prompted to sit and try. So they got rewards on day 1 which made them excited to keep doing it.
Step 7 – Make a really big deal even if they only get a drop of “pee-pee” in the potty. Clap, smile, celebrate in whatever feels best for you. We do what we call the “pee-pee on the potty” song. It goes like this (sung to the Blue’s Clues tune): “Pee-pee on the potty, pee-pee on the potty, pee-pee on the potty because you’re very big!” And it continues with more clapping and lot of “Yay’s” and hugs. And then I say, “Let’s go get our M&M’s” and I give him 3 or 4. Then of course, I go clean the potty immediately so it’s ready for next time.
Step 8 – It’s important to not wait for them to tell you they have to go. Just keep asking them those first few days every 20-30 minutes if they have to go and then have them sit on the potty. It’s annoying I know, but necessary to be successful. At times, you will feel like a broken record explaining the same thing over and over again. But remember, they aren’t even 2 yet, this is beyond new to them. Do not get mad. Mad will only deter or scare them from doing it. You do not want to discipline them for having an accident. Again, this is like those first few steps of walking for them and you didn’t get mad at them when it took them weeks to figure out how to stand, take 1 step, fall and get back up again before ever getting the hang of it. MORAL OF THE STORY: Have patience.
Step 9 – It’s important to ONLY put them down for a nap if they have gone potty first. Which means your schedule might get thrown off by 20 minutes or so. But wait until they can go and then put them down in a diaper of course. Once they wake up, you have to immediately take their diaper off and ask them to try to potty. Sometimes they will just cry and say “No”. That’s ok. Give them a few minutes to wake up, cuddle them, read a book and then try again. My kids woke up dry every single nap from day 1. We did this same thing at night time and of course limited their drinks in the evening hours before bedtime and most nights they woke up in dry diapers as well. We never once used pullups or taught them that it was ok to go back and forth from peeing in a diaper and then on the potty. That’s confusing to them and why potty training takes so long for most who do choose to use them.
Step 10 – Once you’ve gotten through those first 3-5 days, you will have a pretty well potty trained child. Which means, you are going to want to go back to normal life and start venturing out of the house again. Ok… You have to follow the same rules as nap time except you are NOT going to put a diaper on them to get in the car or go for a walk. You are going to put on underwear and pants. They MUST go potty before going out. You MUST explain to them that you are bringing the potty and the M&M’s with you right in the car or on the walk. And if they say they have to go while you’re driving, then you immediately find a place to stop so you can sit them on the potty to try of course all the while explaining to wait a minute, you are going to pull over so they can go on the big girl or boy potty and get their treat. We had very minimal accidents in the car seat or in a store. Because we always made them try and go potty first. Yes, this will throw your schedule off some, so again plan ahead, don’t be rushed and be patient.
Ok…. So there you have it. I’ve laid it all out for you. I tell no lies – All 3 of my kids were fully potty trained and in underwear by age 2. It’s not easy but it is worth it. The truth is, this is your new normal. The next few months you will feel like a slave to your kid and that damn potty, BUT…. If you follow these steps, I GUARANTEE, you will have a fully potty trained kid faster than most. And life will get much easier quicker than those whose children are still having accidents and wearing dipaers or pull-ups at ages 3 and 4. I’d rather work hard for a short amount of time than be lazy about it for two years straight and feel discouraged and wore out. Not to mention, what a great feeling for both you and your child to have success so quickly.
So, Let me know how Jessie’s Way works for you. Happy adventures!