Inside: Here are stylish, handmade gifts that help toddlers learning to potty train.
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I watch as my son carefully slices into a banana on his wooden board, preparing a snack of what we call Power Towers (banana slices stacked together with sunbutter in between).
A few minutes later, I look over and see him with sunbutter smeared on his little cheeks.
He's eating his snack with this proud look, and turns one thumb up to show me his Power Towers taste good. He's so happy that he made it himself.
Potty training falls smack in the middle of the childhood stage where your toddler wants to do it ALL by himself. While a toddler working to put on his shoes in the morning rush out the door can feel nothing short of agonizing to watch (how long can this possibly take?!), the more we set up our little ones to do things on their own, the less pushback we tend to see.
Help your child be more independent, and you're likely to see less power battles.
When I'm working with a mom in a potty training consultation and she shares that her toddler is not going to the potty on his own, not self-initiating, just relying on mom for everything...I ask about how other jobs are done in the house.
Because if you're doing it all for your toddler, doing ALL the steps for the little things around the house, that tends to hamper the self-initiation stage in the potty training process.
What's a simple trick that can help?
Start by giving your toddler more jobs to do.
Small tasks that a toddler can do.
Simple jobs that your toddler will shine at doing all by himself.
Here's an easy place to start — making snack.
Now close your eyes and think on your child's most favorite shirt that makes you think of them stilled at this age. My daughter had a shirt with blue horses all over it that she loved to wear when she was two (it's now been woven into a memory quilt, it was so special.)
Potty training generally gets lumped in with plastic potties and disaster accidents. But guess what else I remember from that phase of motherhood? My child walking around the house in adorable cloth training pants...
I could freeze-frame my mind to the undies that were a daily part of our lives.
That phase of motherhood.
With that thought, these are gifts that celebrate this special stage in your toddler's life.
Gifts that are thoughtfully made.
Gifts that you'd be happy to see day after day in your home.
Gifts that feel good to the touch.
Gifts that help with want-to-do-it-themselves toddlers.
And yes, gifts for anyone entering that potty training stage of life.
Sometimes you want to share a gift wishlist that feels a bit indulgent, but also builds in things that are practical, too.
That perfect mix of thoughtfully-made, aesthetically charming, and gifts that serve a purpose.
Well, friends, then this is the gift guide for you!
(And anyone you know entering soon into that potty training phase of life with their toddler)..
Here are 10+ gifts I rounded up that bring together style, function, and a little indulgence for those in the potty training phase of life.
+ Help Your Toddler Take on Making Snacks:
Here's a safe knife for toddlers to join in on making snacks (another way to help picky eaters is to involve your toddler in the process of preparing foods.)
+ Choose Undies You'll Remember:
Like sleepy foxes on organic cotton training pants, that are also especially helpful for dribbles or toddlers starting to sleep diaper-free at nap or nighttime. Also love the patterns for the handmade toddler underwear by UpperLooper.
+ Warm up Legs on Cold Potty Training Days:
When you start the bare-bummed days of Oh Crap Potty Training, an easy way to keep those little toddler legs warm is to layer on some leg warmers. I spotted these cute rainbow leg warmers, as who doesn't need a rainbow to brighten their day?
+ Make the Potty Spot More Fun (and Easy to Clean):
When I stumbled on these handmade potty mats, I kinda wondered how they haven't gone mainstream..such a smart idea! Protect your floor, the polka dots add cuteness, and you can place something distracting (like a board book) on the potty mat to help your toddler sit longer. Win win!
+ Give Moms a Rainbow of Solutions for Accidents:
Learning is messy and you will see accidents when you start potty training. But an easy, eco-friendly way to clean up pees on the floor is with super absorbent cloth pads (like cloth diaper pre-folds.) These rainbow-edged cloth diaper flats give potty training mamas something pretty and sturdy to use when there's a miss.
+ Step Up to a Stool that Spells their Name:
You can find a stepstool for toddlers anywhere, that is true, but to gift a personalized wood puzzle stool that is sure to help the process along of wanting to step up to wash hands, step up to use that toilet, or step up to see your name in rainbow puzzle letters! It's a special gift idea, maybe one for grandparents looking to be helpful but not knowing what to give.
+ Give Moms a Pretty Place to Store Essentials:
Spare pairs of pants, wet clothes, wipes, and more. There are countless reasons why a wet/dry zip pouch becomes the most important carry-all when you start potty training. For something she'll use everyday, why not give her a wet bag in a pretty pattern that feels anything but ordinary. Also love the moon pattern of these wet bags.
+ Make it Easier to Get Dressed in the Morning:
A sweet clothing rack, just at your toddler's level, will make it easy for your little one to reach the clothes she wants to wear. Leave out just a few options. Dressing oneself is an important stepping stone in being successful in potty training, especially when heading back to preschool.
+ Give Your Toddler a Place at the Counter
Kids in the kitchen tend to be kids who eat more at the table. But it's pretty tricky to make muffins with a toddler who can't reach the counter. A toddler learning tower is a gift that'll get used for years to come, and helps your toddler take part in the cooking process.
+ Put Your Child in Charge of the Weather
Or tracking the weather, that is. Toddlers are notorious for choosing sun dresses in the middle of a winter ice freeze. One easy way to get your child interested in dressing themselves is to set up a home weather chart. You (or Alexa!) can share the weather for the day and then your toddler can proudly change the weather chart (and hopefully match their outfit, if you're lucky.)
So get your gifting on with special finds that celebrate this potty training phase of life.
Maybe soon, you'll even eat a snack prepared by your little one.