Now that our backyard is fenced in I absolutely love hosting little gatherings and play dates. Any excuse for a party is fine by me and so when Pampers asked if I would like to host a potty learning party I jumped at the chance. When Willow was born nearly three years ago two of my very close friends also brought beautiful little girls into the world within months of each other. Those three have been close ever since and have now entered the potty learning phase together. What better way to get them excited about this milestone than to have a party? Plus spring and summer is the ideal time to kick off potty learning especially for kiddos headed to preschool in the fall. An added bonus to warmer weather is less clothing to fumble around with when trying to get those little ones to the potty. For my girls sundresses have always made everything so much easier.
I got the backyard set up Pampers potty learning style with decorations, party favors, and activities…
We invited the older siblings too. After all they’ve been accident free for many years and I figured they could offer some advice to our little ones. But before we could jump into the potty learning activities everyone had to fill their bellies with a kid approved meal – pizza, cheese curls, grapes, & kool-aid.
Our first activity was story time with Alleigh. All of the little ones gathered around to listen to a reading of It’s You and Me Against the Pee… and the Poop too! written by Julia Cook and Laura Jana, M.D.
While Willow and her friends were absorbed in the story I shared Pampers Easy Ups Potty Training Tips from the author, Laura Jana, M.D., with the moms in attendance.
Promote potty learning. Instead of referring to your child’s transition from wearing diapers to using the potty as “potty training,” consider calling it “potty learning.” After all, mastering this eagerly anticipated milestone of childhood takes time, teaching, and plenty of practice and patience!
Take a teamwork approach. From the outset, I find it helps to keep in mind that potty training is a team sport. If you simply remind yourself that you are (and always will be) on the same team as your child, it can really help you stay calm in the face of potty accidents and be a much more positive and effective potty training coach.
Stock your deck. Part of the secret to your child’s potty success will involve being well equipped and removing any obstacles that stand between your child and potty success. Sure, this typically includes a fun trip out to purchase a brand new first set of coveted “big-boy” or “big-girl” underwear. But it also means having on hand other practical supplies that can help foster your child’s interest and independence – from a step stool (to improve access to the toilet) or potty seat to training pants. That’s why I’m happy to partner with Pampers, whose Easy Ups training pants are designed to help the diaper-to-underwear transition by allowing potty-training toddlers to set aside their diapers and wear something with more of an underwear-like look and feel that still helps contain accidental messes no matter whether they happen at home, on-the-go or overnight.
Embrace success. As with any learning experience, young children can learn a lot from both their potty successes and their failures. While potty accidents are an inevitable (and admittedly inconvenient) aspect of potty learning, they shouldn’t dominate your day-to-day discussions. Instead, simply help your child learn to cope with (and clean up) any messes and focus your attention on celebrating your child’s successes with plenty of hugs and words of encouragement.
Watch for the signs. There are several characteristic signs and developmental abilities you can watch for that suggest children are ready to potty train. These signs of potty training readiness typically include the ability to use their words to express themselves, toddle their own way to the bathroom, pull down their own pants, and to be aware of the sensation of peeing or pooping (characteristically noticeable when young children suddenly stop what they’re doing as they feel themselves start to pee. Or when they start hiding behind the sofa or standing in a corner to poop. It is also helpful (and increases the likelihood of potty training interest) when children start to be bothered by their poopy and/or wet diapers, as that can serve as a good motivation for using the potty instead!
Start making connections. There’s a lot that you can do to help your child be well-prepared to use the potty successfully long before he actually starts to. Reading fun and engaging children’s books about potty training, such as You and Me Against the Pee! (which I co-authored) can go a long way towards making the idea of potty training a family and eagerly anticipated one. You can take this familiarity a step further by letting your toddler accompany you in to the bathroom when you need to go so that he both becomes familiar with the routine and comfortable with the idea of using the toilet, rather than being afraid of or intimidated by it!
Our next activity, which I knew the girls would love, was coloring. I had printed out some coloring sheets of a little girl on the potty for Willow and her friends to color. I also printed out some blank underwear so that everyone could design their own big kid underwear to get them excited about eventually graduating from Pampers Easy Ups. Kaelyn’s design sure was colorful! And we couldn’t help but notice that Emma picked some rather appropriate colors for her masterpiece, hehe.
In our party kit we also received some fun photo props. Of course three picture loving moms couldn’t let those go to waste and after a little brainstorming we came up with a hilarious photo opp. Those little thought bubbles are completely accurate… little miss Willow Jean is proving to be a tough cookie.
Begrudgingly the older kiddos joined in on the photo prop fun… and Lilah too!
A big thank you to Pampers for not letting our party guests leave empty handed. Everyone received a gift bag which included the book Alleigh had read earlier and a package of Pampers Easy Ups. We love Pampers Easy Ups because they have an absorbent core that holds 25% more than other leading training pants which means fewer leaks to keep little ones dry for up to twelve hours of protection. Their stretchy sides makes them easy to pull up and down when using the potty giving a more underwear-like feel for our growing toddlers. The kiddos love the fun Thomas & Friends® and Dora the Explorer® designs and moms appreciate that the graphics fade when wet to help our littles learn.
Thank you to Pampers for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions are my own.