If you’ve ever tried to potty train a child, you know how frustrating it can be. They might be interested at first, but likely lose that interest when they realize they have to stop playing to take a trip to the bathroom. It doesn’t pay to start too early either, because this just draws out the whole ordeal. Watch for signs that your child is ready for potty training and then pull out a bag of tricks that will make the phase easier on both of you. You might even have a bit of fun.
Signs of Readiness
If your child doesn’t give a second thought to his diaper being soiled they probably won’t potty train easily. Wait a few months and watch for them to start showing interest in what happens in the bathroom. If they suddenly want to go with you when you go, or they exhibit interest in wearing underwear, it’s a good sign to go ahead. Once your child starts to complain that their diaper is dirty or wet take the opportunity to start introducing them to using the toilet. If they can follow simple directions and pull their pants up and down, these are other signs that they might be ready to learn to use the toilet. If your child wakes up from naps with a dry diaper, this is another great sign that you can buy a potty seat.
Tips and Tricks
Start by talking about what you want your child to do with his potty seat, there are many tips and tricks to help you. Read books from the library or give up your dignity and simply let him watch you go. A boy watching his father and a girl watching her mother is a particularly helpful situation. A little boy who learns to pee sitting down might have trouble when school starts and he has to use a urinal. Likewise, girls who think they need to urinate standing up are just going to make a huge mess.
Make potty training fun
Let your child help you choose the potty seat they want. This makes it much more likely that they’ll be open to using it. A stand alone potty makes it easier for your child to get on and off, but you’ll have to empty it and clean it out after each use. A portable potty that goes right on your toilet seat makes the hole smaller so your child can sit without falling in. This style doesn’t need as much cleaning, but you probably want to put a stool in the bathroom so they can get high enough to sit down.
A sticker chart is a fun way to track your child’s progress. Give them a sticker each time they go in the toilet. Once they get ten stickers, offer a small toy or a fun outing. Incentives give children a reason to try potty training and knowing a toy is in store makes it more likely that they’ll head to the toilet when you suggest it.
Make a potty training schedule
Stop what you’re doing and go to the bathroom every hour. At some point, your child will have success. If you get really excited and happy when it happens they’ll be more likely to try again. Set a timer so you don’t forget.
What Not to Do
Never punish your child for having an accident. This is scary and might make them think it isn’t even worth trying anymore. Instead offer encouragement to try again and you’ll get through potty training with your sanity intact.