Inside: How to use your Alexa device to potty train your toddler
Potty training can be an absolute nightmare. I know, because I have been through it three times now. But, after the first two were potty trained I realised why it had been such a stress.
You see, the first time I went through it, it was just me and my daughter. We didn’t have any routines to worry about or places to be. I didn’t rush the situation and it just ran smoothly. I mean don’t get me wrong, it lulled me into a false sense of security come my second daughter, but it was a good experience.
The second time around I had a baby on the way, school-runs to manage and just more to think about with being a mum of two. Plus of course, with the first time being so straightforward I just expected it to be easy. It wasn’t.
There were two reasons for this; firstly she just wasn’t ready when I first tried but secondly, I just didn’t have the brain capacity to keep remembering to remind her to try for a wee every 5 minutes of the day.
Using Alexa to potty train your child
When it was time for William to start his potty training journey (and if you’re not sure when to start then take a look at my post about how to introduce it to your child) I knew that I needed to have a system in place to take the pressure off my shoulders and in turn help him to succeed.
Now, if you don’t have an Alexa (or Google device) you can easily set this up as alarms on your phone. The principle is the same but it is up to you to keep your phone near by.
Explain to your child that it is time to stop wearing nappies and that they are going to try for wees and poos on the toilet/potty and make sure they know where everything will be.
Open up your Alexa app, head to the menu (3 lines in the top left corner) and go to ‘Reminders and Alarms’. Click on the ‘Reminders’ tab and click to add a reminder.
You will want to start off with regular reminders – every 20 minutes from the time they roughly wake up to the last wee of the day. It is a tedious process but once it is done you can sit back and relax.
“What is this reminder for?” Here you want to use YOUR CHILD’S NAME. I typed in “William go try for a wee”.
“Repeat” Turn this on
“How Often?” Set to repeat every day.
“Time” 20 minute intervals.
“Announces from” Choose the name of the device you will use. I set ours to call out the reminder from our living room device as that is where we would most likely be throughout the day.
Save and repeat for the entire day.
Like I said, super tedious but it is so worth it! I am hoping they will introduce regular intervals as a feature in the future though!
Demonstrate how it will work to your child. At the next timeslot, they will hear Alexa beep and say “This is a reminder…. William go try for a wee”. Honestly, I don’t know what it is about her saying their name but it made him smile for the entire process and he went off without any fuss!
You will be able to judge the natural cycle for your child after the first day so that you can reduce the number of reminders you have. I set ours to every 45 minutes on day 2 and then to every hour and a half by about day 5.
All you need to do is go through and delete the extra reminders, this only takes a minute or two.
Delete all reminders.
I didn’t know whether this whole process would work when I started it. I wondered whether he would need reminding constantly. But by week 2 he would take himself off for a wee and then when the alarm went off he’d yell “I beat ya!” at Alexa with a big smug grin on his face.
Only start when they are ready. It won’t work if they aren’t already showing signs.
Have the announcement coming from a room that you’ll be able to hear for most of the day.
Go with them each time in the beginning as they often get ‘stage-fright’ and may need company to help relax them.
Take books into the bathroom with you – hearing stories or singing songs is a great way to take their mind off the task at hand.
Reward them. We went down the sweets route as honestly it is just easy but you can do stickers or any number of things. Just be sure to wean them off and explain that it is just while they are learning!
Good luck!! I hope this process works for you too!