Potty training doesn’t have to be the horrible task that some people make it out to be. In fact, many people have success when they are training their toddler to use the bathroom. There is not a tried and true method for potty training, but there are many essential dos and don’ts that should be followed to give you the greatest chance at success. If you keep these things in mind and follow them, you should be able to train your child to do their business in a way that will make you both proud.
Do these things
- Wait until your child is ready. Don’t rush your baby, because this can lead to more accidents. There are signs to tell when they are ready to start learning, including asking about the toilet, and an interest in wearing underwear. They should also be able to tell when they have to go to and be able to explain it to you with words. If they are not interested in using a potty chair, then back off a bit. Keep checking back every so often to see if they have changed their mind.
- Read up. There are many different books on the subject, so if you need to read some to feel more confident that you can teach your kid, do it. There are books available for adults, as well as kids, so you may even want to pick some up for your child, to get them more excited about the whole idea.
- Be optimistic. You know you will get through this, so don’t get too upset when your child has a setback or doesn’t want to keep learning. Children who are stressed or tired will not be able to learn how to potty until they feel better, so make sure you don’t get too upset on those days.
- Teach your toddler what to do. Your little one cannot succeed in the bathroom if it doesn’t know what goes on in there. You have to show them how to go number 1, number 2, flushing, wiping, and washing their hands. If you are too shy, see if another family member can help.
- Purchase a potty chair or potty seat. A potty chair is a small toilet that a child can go in before they use your toilet. It has to be emptied into the regular toilet, so a child can see exactly where their waste is going, which may help them become more interested. A potty seat is a seat that goes on the toilet so that it can accommodate a little bottom. They won’t have to worry about falling in or hurting themselves when they climb onto the toilet. Many also have additional safety features which keep them from sliding around and for storage when not in use.
- Break up training into steps. Start with introducing them to the toilet or potty chair when they say they need to use it. Then teach them how to pee in the toilet. After they master using it to pee, they can move on to going number 2.
- Do test runs. When you first start practicing using the potty, try introducing them to it many times a day. Then as your child becomes more aware of when they need to go and what the procedure is, you can cut down the times you practice, especially if your child goes at the same time each day.
- Offer praise. You have to reinforce how proud you are of your little guy or girl if you want them to stay motivated. They also need to think that the whole process is fun. Turn up the cheer and tell them how they have done a good job.
- Bribe them. If you are having a tough time getting your child to want to use the potty every day, try to institute a reward system. This can be anything from stickers to a new toy, or candy to ice cream for dessert. You don’t have to feel bad about this; you are giving them something for being a big boy or girl.
- Buy clothes that are easy to remove. The last thing you need is for your child to not be able to remove their clothes when they make the choice to go on the potty. Clothes that can be pulled down easily are essential, and can save you from accidents and extra cleaning.
Don’t do these things
- Yell at them. No matter what happens, don’t let your child know you are upset. It doesn’t really matter if they have an accident because it is just a minor setback. Also, if they think they are disappointing you, you could have a harder time with the training. It would be pretty sad if you traumatized your baby when you were trying to teach them a real life skill.
- Take away fluids. There is no reason to closely monitor what your child drinks simply because you want them to use the potty at a certain time. To limit accidents, you can make sure they don’t drink anything an hour before bed.
- Ignore the signs. If your child is holding themselves or squirming around, this means they need to go. If you notice this, take them to the potty right away. Otherwise they could have an accident and become upset, which can put a hold on the learning process.
- Force them. If your toddler is not interested in getting out of their diapers, no amount of talking about it is going to change their mind. You may need to wait a little longer until they are emotionally ready to try again.
These tips describe what many consider to be the leading tactics to use when you need to potty train your child, especially if you have never done it before. There are minor differences in training boys and girls, but these ideas are proven to work and are easy to incorporate into your training.