Positive Steps to Potty Training

  1. Show potty videos. (Age 18 months) - Play "Once Upon A Potty" occasionally.
  2. Read potty training books for children. (18 months to 3 years) - Leave out for child to look at and read to him/her occasionally.
  3. Buy a potty seat. (Between 18 months to age 2) - Allow child to play with it and eventually use it.
  4. Allow your child in the bathroom with you to observe you using the toilet. (See it as a natural act.)
  5. Ask, when opportunities arise, if your child can observe a friend's child who has recently potty trained use the toilet. (Learning from peers is very effective.)
  6. Ask your child occasionally if they want to use the potty. (Age 2) No pressure. Make it fun and reward with praise.
  7. NEVER GET ANGRY. Parents' role is to be your child's cheerleader. Accidents in potty training are part of the learning process. Prepare for them. Clean up and calmly say let's try again.
  8. Find incentives that work for your child. Example: Make a simple chart or use a calendar and buy stickers. Give your child a sticker every time they use the toilet or sit for a long attempt. (Some use 1 candy to reward, but my child preferred a daily trip to the pet store to look around.) Finding the right incentive for your child is key. Keep the reward small. The biggest motivator is your consistent praise. Some offer a toy or outing once the child is trained and in underwear.
  9. Buy your child underwear and get them involved and excited about them. Let them play with them, try them on and wear them. Explain to your child with enthusiasm; once you use the potty, you will wear underwear. "That is such a big boy/big girl thing to do"
  10. Allow your child to run Naked outside and watch their body at work. With diapers off, a child can learn by feeling the urine sensation and see what is happening.
  11. Practice putting poops in toilet. (Age 2+) Empty dirty diaper into toilet and explain to the child "this is where poop goes." Say "bye-bye poo-poo."
  12. Set a date for transitioning your child to underwear and do not plan other transitions around this time. One transition at a time = success. If your child needs to be trained for pre-school, start training at least 3months or more ahead of school. Allow 2-3 months per transitions. (* Also consider other issues in the home that can affect success such as a new sibling, a recent death in the family or of a pet, a move to a new home, transitioning to a bed, or off a bottle.)
  13. Set timer - every 20 to 30 minutes to remind your child to use the toilet. Put underwear on your child and teach them how to take them on and off.
    • Ask child after 20 minute buzzer, do you have to go pee-pee. If they say no, suggest: "let's try." Offer a sticker for trying or offer to read to them while they sit on the potty and try running water in the sink. Praise for trying.
    • If child insist "no potty", do not push it. Arguments over potty training will backfire. ( *When a child is in pull-ups, do the same, ask your child if they need to go every 20 minutes.)
  14. Find a Pre-school that will work with you on Potty-Training. Extra pressure to train by age 3 or by the start of school creates added stress for the child and the parents. Discuss potty training when interviewing schools and learn policies if child starts and is having accidents. Some schools will help potty train.
  15. Should we take a break from potty training? (A common question) Ask yourself, what message does that send to your child? "You cannot do it. You're not ready. This is too much work." Once you see the readiness signs: interest in potty training, willingness to sit on the toilet and 1-2 times of successful pee and/or poop on the big or little potty at the approximate age of 2 for girls and 3 for boys - pick your date to switch to underwear and stick to it. **It is okay to put on a pull-up for a long drive in the car and for nap time because it will take time to learn bladder control, and you can continue to instill the message of "you can do it". These are just natural breaks, situations where the child can not run to the potty. (It is helpful to carry a Potty chair in the back of the car while training and until bladder control is achieved for longer drives.
  16. Start with daytime underwear and continue diapers at naptime and bedtime. Nighttime dryness is usually achieved 6 months or more after daytime dryness.

Call Hillary today at (310) 486-4949

24520 Hawthorne Boulevard, Suite 220, Torrance, CA 90505