Potty Training Advice

The time has come for your child to graduate from diapers to the big kid potty.  How do you make this transition easy for them?  How can you make stress free for yourself?

Start Slow: Do not expect to make the change from diapers to underwear overnight.  It can take a lot of time to get used to, for both you and your child. Try once a day and see the response you get.  If it is going well, you can increase potty exposure. 

Follow Your Child’s Cues: Make sure your child is showing interest in the potty.  Talk to them about it, and see how they feel.  You know they are ready to start trying when they can acknowledge that they have gone to the bathroom in their diaper or pull up.  If they are scared, talk to them.  Make sure they know going to the potty is a big kid thing, and get them excited about it.

Make it Routine:  Once you have decided it is time to train, do not back down.  If you experience problems, just slow down, but the most important thing is to keep at it.  If you stop all together, you will never make progress.  Sit them on the potty for a few minutes and distract them with a story or a game.  It may take a few minutes, but they will go.  If you notice a pattern in their habits, try putting them on the potty for a little bit when you think they are about to go.

Positive Reinforcement:  Always congratulate and reward.  Even the smallest amount of progress should be rewarded, no matter how much.  You will get further in the long run if you reward the small stuff, rather than punishing accidents.  Do not make potty time a bad experience on the child, or you will continue having problems.

Make it Fun:  Develop a reward system and stick to it.  Tell the child that if they go accident free all day, you will make a special treat for them.  The longer they go accident free, the bigger the reward.  I had a sticker chart that I used with my son, and after his first week accident free, we took him shopping for a toy.

Keep Trying:   It will never go smoothly the first try.  If you are having too many problems, do not let that get you down.  The important thing is that you and your child are working on it, and they will eventually get it.  Though it may seem like they will go to kindergarten in diapers, they won’t!

Do not get discouraged.  Try these tips and see how they work for you.


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