Have you ever done the math on how many diapers you’ve changed since your baby was born? Of course, the number will depend upon a variety of factors, including how “prolific” they are. But no matter how you slice it, the answer to this question is … A LOT! No wonder parents often can’t wait to get their kids out of diapers and onto the potty.
If this is you, we’ve got some tips for how you can help your child “take care of business.”
#1. Timing is Everything
Success in potty training requires that a child is both developmentally and emotionally ready for this step. Developmental readiness includes being able to sit down on the toilet, pull their pants up and down, and communicate (verbally and/or non-verbally) that they need to go. Emotional markers include demonstrating an interest in going, such as wanting to be changed out of a wet or soiled diaper immediately.
#2. Prepare Your Mindset
Potty training can be messy — literally and figuratively. Approach this new adventure with a sense of humor and an understanding that things will not always go the way you want them to. It’s important to be patient and avoid telegraphing any frustration to your child. Remember that every child potty trains on a different timetable, so avoid making comparisons — even between your own children.
#3. Pick a Potty
The decision of whether to use a potty chair or a toilet seat is one of personal preference (if you choose the latter, you’ll want to get a sturdy footstool to help your little prince or princess ascend to their “throne”). Either way, you might get more buy-in if you take your child shopping to help pick out their chair or seat.
#4. Visually Display Your Child’s Progress
Having a potty chart can not only help you keep track of progress but it can also — and more importantly — help motivate your child. Every time they produce a drop or a plop, allow them to add a sticker to a progress chart. Download our fun and colorful chart and sticker templates here. (Pro Tip: 8.5” x 11” sticker paper for printers is widely available.)
#5. Praise and Rewards for the Win!
You’re your child’s biggest cheerleader, so piling on the praise will come naturally. And don’t just limit your affirmations to going potty. Commend them for pulling their pants up and down, washing their hands afterward, etc. If your child needs some extra motivation, you might consider adding some rewards to your bag of tricks.
#6. Consistency is Key
Establish a routine and stick to it. Start off by taking your child to the potty every 30 or 60 minutes (consistently) until they appear ready to stretch out the time between their visits to the loo. Establish your family’s own language (i.e., what you want to call going potty, pee, poo, etc. ) and stick to it. And if grandma or anyone else will be watching your child, make sure they know your established routine and emphasize the importance of them sticking to it.
#7. Make It Fun!
Look for ways to infuse joy and excitement into this adventure. Whether it’s decorating the toilet or a potty chair like a castle or car, singing silly potty songs, or having some of your child’s favorite books handy, embrace the opportunity to get them engaged in the process.
Your potty training adventure won’t always be smooth sailing. But employing these time-tested tips will help you ultimately ditch the diapers!
If you have any tricks of the trade that you’d like to share from your past potty training experiences, we’d love to hear from you. Leave us a message below.