We’ve all heard horror stories about how difficult and stressful it is to start potty training a toddler
But it doesn’t have to be!
Once you’ve determined that your child is truly ready (see our companion article), do yourselves a favor and set yourselves up for success. These simple potty training tips can make things easier and faster for the whole family.
Help your child relax on the potty
Experts recommend getting kids their own scaled-down potty, because it’s easier to use and balance on. You can choose a low, self-standing potty chair or a child-sized seat that attaches to a standard toilet, along with a step stool for kids for safe, easy access.
Build a potty vocabulary
Decide in advance what words you’ll use to describe body parts and functions. Choose words that you and your family can live with for the long haul, because you’ll be using them even after your child is trained.
Help your child recognize his or her body’s signals
Encourage your child to tune in on the “I gotta go!” sensation. Unlike diapers, training pants that allow kids to feel wetness after having an accident will help raise body awareness. (When your child starts announcing he or she has a dirty diaper, you know he or she is paying attention.)
Experts say it’s important to get kids to sit on the toilet frequently, to help build the habit of going to the bathroom. A Potty Watch is a fun way to remind kids it’s time to go (and then, you won’t have to watch the clock or nag!). And don’t let travel disrupt your potty training schedule: bring a portable travel potty seat along with you.
Emphasize the benefits of achieving “big kid” status
Use praise and positive reinforcement to keep your child enthused. Many kids are motivated by the thought of trading in their diapers for “big kid underwear.” Potty training rewards charts and stickers are great incentives, too.
What about potty training boys?
If you have a boy, you may choose to train him to urinate standing up from the start. Many parents report that their sons do well when following dad’s example. To make training easier and minimize cleanup, consider a kid-size urinal or a potty for boys that comes with a splashguard.
Make it easier for yourself
Admittedly, potty training can get messy and exasperating at times. Be ready for it. For example, get ahead of nighttime accidents by covering the bed with a quick-change mattress protector. And if you can share your frustrations and funny stories with other parents, it will help put the whole process into perspective. “Potty humor” will take on a whole new meaning!
You can do this without losing your sanity, and we’ve got tools to help—check out our proven potty training solutions.
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