Joan Hart's Potty Training Tips

Melissa Joan Hart's Potty Training Tips

The actress best known for "Sabrina the Teenage Witch" talks about parenting two boys and her fool-proof potty training tips.

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-She's an award-winning actress, best known for her starring role in the hit show 'Sabrina, the Teenage Witch', but first and foremost she is a wife and mother of two adorable boys. And we are just thrilled to have Melissa Joan Hart in the studio today, to share how she juggles career, family and give us a few potty training tips and I could show you some myself. So, we will get into that in just a second. Congratulations, on the new baby. -Thank you so much, just been wonderful. -Braydon, just a few months old now. -Braydon is a few months old and Mason's two and a half and-- -How's it going? How's Braydon? -Braydon is great. They both are just wonderful. They're smart, wonderful, great children. I can't complain and it's just been-- basically, I'm breast-feeding and I'm potty-training, and it's like two full-time jobs. -And you do it all at the same time. But first, tell me what it was like to bring Braydon home to Mason, who is two. And we have to look at this picture because this is just adorable. -Yeah. -Take a look at a picture of Mason holding Braydon when you brought him home from the hospital. -Yeah. -So sweet. -They are cute. Mason loves baby Braydon. It's just 'Baby brother, baby brother'. So he-- Mason is going, 'so cute, so cute'. And he loves-- he has a baby doll he carries around-- -Yeah. --which don't tell my husband that. No one knows that. -I promise I will not tell your husband. -But he just loves his baby doll. So, when I'm changing Brady's diapers, he changes baby's-- his baby-- we called Baby Leon, Baby Leon's diapers. And, you know, so he does everything that I do with the baby, he does with his baby doll. -So, he was okay with bringing a new baby. -He loved-- he was so excited. We've read lots of books on that kind of thing, which is actually funny, because it's the same thing with potty training, reading books, watching videos like that thing -- getting him prepared. -And how about you? I mean, the first few months are really hard. No sleep,-- -Yeah, no sleep. --and you working around the clock. -No, but you know what, this time was different. With Mason, I felt overwhelmed and it was just-- it was very difficult getting into mommy-mode; figuring how to pack a diaper bag, what to bring, always being prepared. And this time is like, I got this down, you know, I just-- it just have to give myself a little more time, a little bit more preparation, but I know how to do it. So, I'm really enjoying having a newborn around again. -You're an old pro. Right? -It feels like it. I'm also the oldest of eight, so, you know. -So, you raised-- helped raised a lot of your siblings. -I helped raised a lot of kids. -So in the middle of all this, you are, as you said, potty-training Mason, which is not easy. -No, it's such a task. It's really difficult and I'm here to help-- I've teamed up with Pull-Ups,-- -Right. --to try to-- I'm getting all the information I can gain, so that I can share it with other-- all the other moms and dads out there. -And tell us about that this partnership with Pull-Ups. How's that going? -Oh, it's going great. They've been fantastic. You know, basically, I've-- I couldn't have a better resource of-- to learn potty-training and what I learned basically is that every kid is different. Every single kid is different but also every kid is different every day. Mason, what works for him one day, won't work the next day. So,-- -I know how that is. -Yeah, you have to-- you have to be ready, you have to have your bag of tricks, you know, and be ready to go and so I've put together a few tips that I can helped out with-- a little bit. The first tip is, to know when your child is ready to potty-train. And there is a few signs but one of them is just-- that they stay dry for up to two hours. But what works for us was I got potty for Mason when he was one and he sat on it. He, you know, saw it and learned about it but then we put it away for awhile. And when he was two, I was cleaning up the bathroom and he saw it coming out of the cabinet and he was like, 'my potty, my potty'. -So excited. -So excited. So, I was like, 'yup, let's go'. He pee on it the first time and I was like, 'well, my child is brilliant'. -There you go, I'm done. -He's potty-trained but then there are so many road bumps-- -Right. --and so much else that has to come. -Because my 3-year old, was really interested -- now, not so much. He just didn't want to go do with it. -Yeah, you got it. Every day you gotta like reinvent. So, another tip that I learned, actually on the-- there's a DVD that Pull-Ups has on their website, and it's called 'Big Kids Central', and it's full of amazing information, and I learned on it that you should make it very personal. Learn to, you know, make the child feel like this is fun, you gotta keep it light. So, what we do is put stickers all over Mason's potty. So, now it's Mason's potty, not just the potty. -Very smart. -And stickers were there, he decorated himself and, you know, since very personal. And then, the other thing is pretty important is rewards. That's-- -Bribery. --the most important. Kind of bribery, exactly. -But you have to. -Yeah, and that changes every day. At first we have a bucket of hot wheels cars which is working for about a week or two. -Yeah. -And then-- -It got old. -And we were like, 'yeah, okay, what now?', and so we use candy and I felt a little guilty about the sugar thing. -Right. -So, what I found was-- well, first of all, I have a potty now that has stickers that come out as a reward. But also-- -Okay, I need to get myself one of those potties, very soon. -Yeah. I think it's a safety first Mason or something. -Okay. -But those stickers that come out and what we do is on, I printed out this rewards chart. So you put his name on it, you can put in what goals he's working on that week. And what I did was-- you sit down-- I sit down with him, he sits on his potty and we go through. Okay, if you wash your hands, you get stickers here and if you pull your pull-up on by yourself, you get a sticker here and if you sit on the potty, you get sticker-- you know, so we sit there and we go through it all. -Okay, I need stickers, I need to give rewards. -You need to be really armed. -You're really helping me out. -You really need to be armed. -Thank you so much. -No problem. -All right. Now, I have to ask you about your husband. -Yeah. -For those who don't know Mark Wilkerson is a Grammy-nominated musician, lead singer and guitarist for Course of Nature, right? -Yes. -On the road, on tour. -He is on tour. -How are you doing that? As a-- you got a new baby and toddler and you're on your own. -You know, it-- well, it's tough on me because I got the two by myself but it's really hard on him because he's lonely and he misses his boys. So, you know, we've had to figure it out, just about every week or two-- we don't go more than 2-weeks without seeing each other. He flew in here to New York to see us last night. -24-hours, like a whirlwind. But you see him. -Yes, actually we haven't gone a week yet without seeing each other. So, that's been really amazing. It's so hard to say goodbye so many times though, you know, it's so excited to see him and then he's gone and again, and you know. -But you'll be on the road soon, right? Because you are working a couple of movies, one your mom is producing, one you're producing. -Yes. -Tell us a little about what you're-- -One my mother producing, we're gonna be doing it in Louisiana. I'm starring in it and I think, it's gonna be hot in Louisiana. We're still-- it's-- that should be coming up very soon. And then in the fall, I would be shooting a movie for ABC family. We have no idea where that's gonna be yet. But I'm producing that with my mother for ABC family and it's a wedding movie. It's untitled right now but it will be out next spring. -Fun. Very exciting. -It's a really funny one because I get to play a not-so-pleasant woman. So, it's a first time get to really jive into that. -Got a little change for you. -It's so exciting and fun for me, so. -Awesome. -Yeah. Well, thank you so much. It's great to see you and thank you for the tips. -Sure. -Really appreciate that. -I hope they work. -Me too. I think that they will. And if you'd like to check out Melissa's online potty-training journal, you can go to And we'd like to hear your comments and ideas; you can email us at ideas@Parents. TV to tell us what's on your mind. Thank you for watching Parents TV. We'll see you soon.