Top 13 Potty Training Tips
If you are combing the Internet looking for top potty training tips, look no further.
Like much of parenting, potty training requires you to gather information and then develop a flexible plan.
Once you’ve determined that your child is ready to potty train (link to "What's the Right Age to Start Potting Training" article when live), the next step is having a plan.
Top 13 Potty Training Tips
3 Tips to Get You Started
A key thing to remember is that each child is different, as Rebecca Eanes at CreativeChild can attest. She offers helpful hints to keep in mind as you are potty training your child.
Her top three tips are:
- Get a little potty seat long before you expect they’ll want to learn.
- Take your child’s personality into account. In other words, some children will learn with a gentle nudge, while others will dig in and refuse if you push potty training too hard.
- Keep your attitude about potty learning light, encouraging, and supportive.
It’s important to understand what encourages your child and what shuts him down. Either way, having a positive outlook, praising often and not taking things too seriously will go a long way toward your child’s success. A lesson I learned the hard when I was too intense for my sensitive toddler.
4 Additional Tips to Keep You Going
Whitney Barthel at Babycenter agrees that all children are different and that it’s important to recognize your child’s personality.
She offers four additional tips:
- Be an example by letting your child come in with you as you use the bathroom.
- Tackle one thing at a time (going pee, going number 2, washing hands independently, wiping—there is a lot to potting training).
- Have patience with going number 2. It’s not unusual for this to take longer to recognize and respond to the need to go poop.
- Use incentives. Find what motivates your toddler by taking him to the dollar store to pick out stickers, small treats or toys.
Being an example shouldn’t be too hard right? Who hasn’t had their privacy invaded by the tiny toddler in your house who often finds it very hard to take no for an answer?
5 More Practical Tips
- Many experts recommend going cold turkey on diapers and pull-ups and going straight to underwear. Diapers and pull-ups can be confusing and delay the recognition of the urge to go or the sensation that they went already.
- Some experts and parents swear by the naked approach. Letting your child go diaper and underwear free will aid in the recognition of the need to go to the toilet, as well as add to the discomfort of having an accident which may motivate some children to pick up on the cues quicker.
- Let your child take some ownership and pick out her own underwear.
- Give your child plenty of opportunities to drink water and fruit juice. Then stay close to your child and try sitting on the potty every half hour or so.
- Don’t punish, threaten or criticize accidents or unwillingness to try. Don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t go well. Not every child will potty train on the first attempt.
One Final Tip
The last tip comes from the book, On Becoming Pottywise for Toddlers. Authors Gary Ezzo and Dr. Robert Bucknam say “don’t start training your child until she has both the capacity to learn and the ability to achieve.”
They offer a variety of methods knowing that every child is different and the methods work because of “the combination of right timing, right method, and right motivation.” Their book, a quick and easy read, will equip you with all the basics you are looking for in addition to all the pertinent, in-depth background information.
Once you have your potty training plan, relax and trust the process, then say goodbye to diapers!
Annie Wiesman is the co-author of “Education Begins at Birth: A Parent’s Guide to Preparing Infants, Toddlers, and Preschoolers for Kindergarten.” She is a former kindergarten teacher turned stay-at-home mom who enjoys traveling, hiking in the mountains, and creating memories together with her husband and little girl.
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