While many kids show signs of being ready for potty training between the ages of 1 1/2 and 2, the American Academy of Pediatrics says that some children might not be ready until they’re 2 1/2 or older. It’s important to wait until your child is ready -- within reason, of course -- to start potty training or else you might be working on potty training for a lot longer than you otherwise would. Getting your tot potty trained in two weeks is possible if you’re consistent and patient. You’ll be saying goodbye to diapers and hello to big kid pants in no time.
Keep your mood light and upbeat when you start talking about potty training with your child. A few days before you start the actual potty training, talk a lot about how excited you are that he’s going to be a big boy and how you can’t wait to show him his big boy underwear. Don’t make him feel like there’s a lot of pressure to go on the potty.
Set up her potty seat in the bathroom, along with a step stool for washing hands, toddler wipes and any rewards you may be using to encourage her to go on the potty. Talk to her about the gear, explaining to her she will sit on the potty chair when she needs to use the bathroom, and Mommy or Daddy will help her wipe and wash her hands. Have her practice for a few days sitting on the potty chair with a diaper and/or clothes on just so she gets the feel of it. You can even dump the diaper contents into the potty chair to show her how the chair works.
Keep diapers on your child for the first week. The first few days will likely be the trickiest as you’re trying to establish a new routine.
Schedule bathroom breaks for your child. Sit him on the potty first thing in the morning, after snacks and meals, before leaving the house, before bedtime and a few other times throughout the day. Look for signs that he needs to use the bathroom, such as holding himself or doing the “I’ve got to go potty” dance. Immediately place him on the potty if you notice these signs. Let him sit on the potty until he goes, or for about five minutes if he doesn’t. Then, set a timer for 30 minutes if he did not go or one hour if he did. When the timer goes off, time to use the potty again.
Reward her when she makes it to the potty without having an accident. Make a potty chart and place a sticker on it each time she goes on the potty. When she has, say, five stars, she gets a prize or incentive. Don’t forget to verbally praise her when she does a good job.
Leave a dirty diaper on your child if he does not make it to the potty in time. WonderBaby.org suggests letting the child learn to associate an uncomfortable feeling with diapers. You shouldn't leave him in a messy diaper for hours, of course, but 15 to 30 minutes will let him experience that uncomfortable feeling that may make him want to say bye-bye to diapers for good.
Tell your child around day 5 or 6 of potty training that you’re ready to get rid of the diapers. Fill a box with 2 days’ worth of diapers and tell her that this is it. Once these diapers are gone, you're not buying anymore. Stay upbeat when talking to her about this and tell her how exciting it will be to move on to training pants in a couple of days.
Start the second week off with training pants. Training pants will help transition her into using underwear. Let her wear the training pants for a few days, still sticking to the routine you used the previous week with the scheduled bathroom breaks. Switch to big kid underpants after she’s mastered the training pants.