Potty Training Pointers
First things first: keep in mind that the key word in potty training is training. Even as an adult, it takes time for you to process new information and you need to practice what you learn. The same goes for potty training. It is a new experience in behavior modification and practice makes perfect.
What you should know before getting started:
Signs your child is ready:
- Able to pull clothes off by himself/herself
- Verbally communicates other sensations such as hunger
- Understands simple request such as “go get that cup”
Your child’s schedule: keep it consistent
Tips for successful training:
- What time does your child eat meals? Target potty usage 15-20 minutes after meals (day care providers can provide this information daily)
- Cut off liquids 2-3 hours prior to bedtime.
- Chart the times that your child has soiled or wet his/her diaper. (day care providers can provide this information as well)
- Timing is everything. Place the child on the potty 5 minutes prior to the expected charted time.
- Sing his/her praises. Making a big deal of successes helps him/her feel proud.
- Dress for Success. During your potty training period dress girls in dresses and boys in elastic waist pants. Don't make things more difficult than they need to be!
- Read together. Provide potty books that are special books only to be used during potty time.
Know what motivates your child and use an incentive. Be creative. Many parents place a few drops of red or blue food coloring in the toilet bowel and explain to their child that he/she has the magic to turn the colors orange or green.
Other ideas include creating a special song for potty time or making a chart where your child can post a sticker each time he/she successfully uses the toilet. If they go a set number of days without an accident, they get a special reward.
Remember to remain patient. Every child is different and the approach you used for your oldest child may be different from the approach you will need to use for your youngest. This is one of many learning opportunities your child will experience in his or her life, so set a positive precedence for learning, growing, and achieving success!