1. Plan Ahead
Potty training is a large investment of time. Most families choose the warmer months to potty train due to being able to dress in less clothing, which makes easier undressing for potty time. Make sure to ask friends and families what their potty training route was, and write down ideas that appeal to you. Write down a general list of potty training ideas and options, and discuss them with your family. Ask for their input and their thoughts.
2. Streamline Your Plan
Once your ideas are discussed and the ideas you’d like to incorporate are in place, take the ideas that appeal most to you and your family and make a step by step plan. Paste it up around the house: on the fridge, in the bathroom, or any other place you and your family can easily find it.
3. Introduce the Potty Chair Early
Introduce the potty chair at the beginning of the process when your child is showing signs of readiness—stays dry for two hours, interested in the bathroom, etc. Demonstrate how it works and instill a sense of potty ownership in him or her by wrapping it as a present or decorating it with stickers.
4. Acclimate Your Child to Potty Training
Before officially starting potty training, break out all your potty training items and let your child touch them, play with them, and get comfortable with them. Show how they are used with a doll. Fear in the beginning is normal, but letting your children get used to the items, and seeing them in the bathroom, will help them associate those items with potty time.
5. Remain Positive and Patient
Remember: Potty training accidents happen to everyone. Remain upbeat and positive. Children thrive on positive energy. Praise and rewards can help tots feel more comfortable with new skills and keep them motivated during each potty training stage. Maybe introduce a sticker chart or some other reward system for when a successful potty time is achieved. Always give lots of love and affection after a job well done.
6. Be Consistent
Be consistent – once tots are out of diapers – they stay out of them. It’s proven that toddlers train faster if they don’t switch back and forth between diapers and training pants. Also, children who utilize cloth diapers and cloth training pants tend to potty-train quicker due to being able to feel the coolness of the wet diaper
7. Surround them with Potty Training Items
To sustain a child’s interest, use interactive approaches, such as games, videos, songs, and books. Keeping them surrounded with potty training tools will help drive the ideas home. Here are a few links to some of the best products available for potty training: http://www.babycenter.com/303_potty-training-books-videos_10364583.bc http://www.sheknows.com/parenting/articles/837417/18-best-potty-training-books-and-videos
8. Work Together and Communicate
It’s important that everyone in the child’s life is made aware of the potty training process you are adopting. Daycare workers, church childcare workers, grandparents, and step-parents should all be involved and kept in the loop on the potty training protocol. Communication is important in keeping consistent.
9. Pack a To Go Potty Training Toolkit
When traveling, bring familiar potty training supplies like a child-size adapter seat for a full size toilet, along with toilet seat covers, so your child can get acclimated to going in unfamiliar territory. Bring a favorite potty training book with you, too, to help the that goes along with using public restrooms. Don’t forget a motivational reward or two!
10. Use Rewards
Small tokens like lollipops, inexpensive toys, and other trinkets are wonderful motivational rewards for children who are potty training. You can also use an inexpensive tiara or crown for the child to wear for each successful potty break. Keeping the spin positive and just brushing over the accidents is the key!
Megan Wilson is a stay at home mom, blogger, and cord blood banking advocate.