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Potty Training Tips

Are you a parent of a toddler? Then here are some good tips on potty training your son or daughter.

I know how frustrating it is and your desires to be diaper free forever. I have been there, too. Well actually three times! I know you would like to say good bye to expensive diapers and wipes. You cannot wait until the day you can leave your house and “leave” the diaper bag behind.

Is your child ready for this big step in both of your lives? From the time a child turns two he or she will start to show signs of being ready. 

You will know your child is ready when he or she: 

  • stays dry for at least two hours at a time
  • is able to follow simple instructions
  • is able to pull elastic waist pants up and down
  • is anxious to please you
  • dislikes wet or dirty diapers and wants them to be changed
  • likes to imitate
  • is asking to use the potty chair or adult toilet
  • is asking to wear big girl or boy underpants like mom or dad
  • can understand and say one word phrases, including words such as “wet”, “dry”, 
    “potty” and “go”

Has your child shown you some of these signs of readiness? So is it time to begin the next step? The best time to start is on a day that you can devote the whole day to your child. You will have to continually be with your child during all the waking hours. You will have to constantly watch your child’s every move and expressions. 

Every 15 minutes or so you should take your child to the potty. Only keep him seated for a few minutes. In courage him and ask questions while potty training such as “do you have to pee-pee or poop in the potty?” Let your child see your excitement. Children get excited when we get excited.

Announce to your child that the time has come to be a big boy or girl and that you will be saying bye-bye to diapers. Let them know that they are going to use the potty just like mommy and daddy do. The day before the “big day” take your child to the store and let him or her pick out some special underpants they want to have. Have your child practice putting on the underpants. Have them pull them up and down, to get them used to it. Select an easy outfit to pull up and down or even just a t-shirt.

Take your child into the bathroom with you to set an example. Siblings are often pleased to act as role models too. Few children train themselves; they need to know what this is all about! Who better to teach and guide them than you! Watching you or an older sibling lets them know what is expected of them and is more likely to become trained quickly and easily.

Always remember your child will have accidents and mistakes, but treat them lightly. Show strong encouragement and praise when he or she is successful. Plan ahead and have special rewards such as stickers, little candy bars, little box of raisins, etc. Have enough for several days (you do not want to run out). I even got a little bit bigger surprise that my daughter liked and I told her when all the treats were gone from the bowl she could have the big surprise. I had enough little treats for about 3 days and gradually moved it to a week. This worked very well with us. In fact my friend tried it with her three-year-old son (who wanted no part of potty training) and he was trained in one day.

Don’t expect your child to have dry nights. This is a big step and dry nights may take a couple of weeks to several months. Some kind of nightly protection should be used such as a pull up. Diapers should not be used again!

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