Below are some great tips on how to help your child use the potty! Just as every kid is different in when they take their first steps, children vary when they are ready to start on the potty. Check out my blog post about when you should start here.
Just remember on those days that it seems like there are accidents every hours that one day they will be dry! It takes time, patience and your child's interest to become potty trained!
- Start slow : D has been using his potty, clothed, for six months. Then we started using it with just a diaper on. This past week, I have been putting him on naked. He's not too sure about the feeling of something other than his diaper on his bum, but he's getting used to it!
- Make it fun : Have special books, toys or games that are for when sitting on the potty. Keep them special by only using them on the potty. And keep a chair close by (the lid down on the toilet works too) for yourself.
- Be their number 1 fan (or number two. Get it?!) : Cheer for them when they sit on the potty. Sing them praises when they use their potty. Be as excited as you were when they took their first steps.
- Let them lead : If they show interest one day but none the next, don't push it. Let them decide. You can use incentives but don't force them - it will just slow down the process!
- Use coloured water : Add some water with a drop or two of food colouring so that when they go pee, it changes colour!
- Let them have a treat : A jellybean or a candy after a successful potty session can help encourage some children. My son is all about food (He took his first steps for blueberries! He signed his first words for milk and more food!) and I have a feeling that this trick will be what wins him over.
- Sticker chart : You can start off with putting stickers up just when they sit on the potty, then when they use the potty. Young toddlers may find that just putting a stick on the chart is reward enough. At preschooler ages, ten stickers from successful trips to the bathroom could mean a new Hot Wheels car.
- Set the timer : Once your child is ready to go into full potty training gear, set the timer on your phone or your stove for 15-30 minutes. Every time it beeps, have them help turn it off and sit on the potty.
- Watch your words : Have a stubborn preschooler who is having accidents when he's too busy playing? Instead of "Do you need to go potty?" try saying "In two minutes, it's time to go try on the potty!" It follows the lines of that common saying : Don't ask a question you don't want the answer to. Instead, make it a statement. But make sure to give warning if they are mid-playing.
- Target practice : If you're teaching your son to stand, drop in a few coloured ice cubes for him to aim at.
- Easy access : If it's possible, leave your child without pants and in just underwear. It's easier for them to pull off in a mad dash and helps to also let them notice if they have an accident. If you have carpet or if it's winter, you can keep pants on them but make sure they are easy to pull down.
- Go big or go home : Try the toilet instead. They will have to eventually get there, so why not give it a shot early on? Some kids prefer the big toilet instead of a small potty. And if you put them on backwards, it can actually be more comfortable for them and gives them the tank to hold onto for support.
- Let them pick : Take them on a fun adventure to the store to pick out new big boy/girl underwear. Let them pick any design they want. Let them carry them up to the till and pay for them (and even keep the change for their piggy bank!) It will add more excitement to using the potty.
- Throw in the towel : Sometimes, your fifteen month old seems ready. And then a month later, she doesn't. Don't feel bad if you have to call it quits for a while.
- Keep it handy : The bathroom can sometimes feel so. far. away. when you're busy saving the world from dragons. Bring the potty into the living room so it's close by. They may even be more inclined to go try on the potty if it's close by and in view!
- Commit a weekend : I've heard some parents spend a weekend focused on potty training at home. They stay home and close to the potty. They let the kids skip the diapers and try on the potty often. It works for some children. After a weekend, they might end up being nearly fully potty trained, or you could both be ready for diapers until they are 20 years old if that's what it takes.
- Drinking problems : Let them fill up on milk or water while you're planning on being home so they have lots of chances to practice. Try to limit drinks when you know you have to run out for errands if your child will be wearing underwear.
- Keep cool : Don't let your frustration show when you child has an accident on the carpet for the 30th time that morning. If they sense it, they could feel anxious about the whole potty training experience and not want to fail and upset you again.
Have any more tips to share? Feel free to comment below with your tips and tricks!