Nov 4, 2015 | Parenting Blog | 0 comments

Half the battle of potty training is knowing when to start.  Here are some tips and tricks to help ease the stress of potty training.

Signs your child is ready to start potty training:

  • Shows interest in the potty
  • Has body awareness. Understands when they are wet or has a bowel movement in their diaper
  • Can pull pants down and up
  • Wakes up dry from bedtime or nap

Prepare your child:

  • Talk it up!  Make this potty training event exciting!  Make them feel independent and like a big boy or girl
  • Have them pick out their underwear, potty seat and stickers for the potty training chart
  • Review your potty training chart so they can understand the process
  • Don’t plan any major trips or events for a week or two
  • Take the whole weekend to potty train before sending them to school or leaving the house for an extended period of time
  • Inform all care takers about your process and be consistent
  • Practice washing hands, flushing toilet, putting toilet paper in the potty and pulling down and up pants
  • Have them observe you, your partner or older sibling using the potty
  • Put a mirror in front of the potty so that they can watch themselves
  • Go to the library to find books about potty training
  • Come up with a reward system.  When they produce “x-number” of times on the potty they receive a prize.  Examples:  every time they use the toilet and produce they get one piece of candy (m&m) after 5 times they get to visit the toy store and pick out one toy under $10 dollars.

Potty training event:

  • First thing in the morning, after nap  or after eating are key times to use the potty
  • Put them in clothes that are easy to remove
  • Praise them for each step they complete on the potty training chart
  • Take them every hour at first and slowly space it out to two hours, three hours, etc
  • If they have an accident, don’t shame them!  Be positive and say “It’s okay let’s try again”
  • Have them go through the process of changing themselves when they have an accident so they can understand the whole concept of potty training.  They will realize that it will take longer to stop doing/playing with what they were doing then to go to the bathroom in the first place
  • After three accidents have them try again the next day.  Don’t put too much pressure in the beginning.  Remember it is supposed to be a positive experience
  • Stick with using underwear only.  Try not to use pull-ups as it can be hard for your child to differentiate between underwear and pull-ups
  • Review your potty training chart.  Make them feel proud and have them share it with other family members
  • Be consistent with your process and be ready for lots of accidents
  • After a week if they are struggling or having anxiety about it, try it again next month or when they are ready
  • Use a diaper during bedtime if they do not wake up dry
  • Don’t stress yourself or your child.  Realize that they will get it when they are ready

Have fun and best of luck! 

By Jamie Brown – Former Preschool Teacher, then Director, and Parent & Consultant for EastBayPreschools.com.


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