Potty training toddlers can be an extremely stressful time not only for the parents but the child as well. It’s our job as parents to put on that happy face, use reassuring words, and over exaggerate the rewarding praise.
Some children, well at least mine viewed the toilet as the big bad monster who would most likely suck you down it’s bottomless watery pit. However, the little portable toilets you sit on the floor did not attract my child’s attention either. I had to come up with an optional idea that both intrigued and made him feel safe.
With my experience and knowledge of first hand potty training I have listed some successful tips that got my toddler completely potty trained without having any accidents or bed wetting.
1. Know that your child will show signs that he/or she are ready to move out of the diapers. Mine started asking for big boy pants. He wanted underwear like daddy or at least similar to daddy’s with cartoon characters on them. I told him if he was to wear big boy pants he would have to learn how to go potty like a big boy. This is where the award process comes into play. At first, he would whine and say nooooooo. But after thinking about it for awhile, he decided he wanted to make that effort because he was excited that he would get to pick out his very own big boy pants.
2. The Process Begins – I knew he wouldn’t be able to immediately put his designer cartoon big boy pants on because frankly, I didn’t trust him and he was still a bit afraid of the toilet. So I also bought some of the pull up diapers because I knew that if he were to have an accident it would be ok. I also let him pick out a toilet ring. Toilet rings are the smaller version of the adult seat and fit right on top of it. His happened to have “Bear in the Big Blue House” on it. They are the best things since sliced bread, not to mention you don’t have to clean it out like you do with those on the ground kiddie potties.
3. The Sit Down – Girls sit down and boys do both. For boys you have to teach the sit down before you can have them advance into standing up to urinate. This technique should be used for both sexes. It’s important to stick to a schedule and create a routine. When the child first wakes up take them into the bathroom and sit them on the toilet ring and then every hour there after. Make it a social event and a fun an exciting time. Sing some songs, get them to tell you a story and continue giving them instruction on what you would like them to do, which is go potty. Don’t make them sit forever if they say they don’t have to go or they will resent the experience while fighting you all the way. There were several times that we left the potty and nothing happened. Don’t get discouraged. It’s new to them and they are still feeling unsure.
4. Do Not Admonish – They will have accidents in their pull ups. Whatever you do, don’t get upset at them and say things like “I thought you were a big girl/boy” or “Look what you’ve done”, this will only make them feel bad and embarrassed. Instead, be encouraging and let them know that it’s ok, they can try again, and you are sure they will give it their best effort to tell mommy and daddy that they have to go.
5. Announce What You’ve Done – Every time a parent goes to the bathroom, announce it. “Mommy, just used the potty”. Sound excited get them excited like it’s a real big deal. I know it sounds silly but they want to know.
6. After They’ve Done It – Ok, they finally did it. Your child sat on the potty seat and went potty. The goal is finally within reach. Give them praise, praise and lots more praise. Children adore it if they feel like they are a star. Keep a bowl of some special treat whether it be a jelly bean, gummy bear, or raisin close by. Let your child know that they may have one every time they successfully use the potty.
Thoroughly follow these steps and before you know it you will be buying your last pack of diapers. Keep in mind, while they are steal learning they will need constant reinforcement. When they start to go in bathroom on their own remind them throughout the day by asking them if they have to go or did they go.
You will also need to teach them personal hygiene as well during the potty training. Teach them how important it is to wash their hands afterward. Make sure they are properly wiping themselves. You will probably have to help them with the wiping for a bit until they get the idea. After that it’s smooth sailing.