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Have you recently started the potty training journey with your toddler? This has been something that we’ve been working on for about a year now. We aren’t in a huge rush. She won’t be attending PreK until next year but we also realize that once she’s using the potty? So many things will change. That’s why I wanted to share my advice and tips for how to potty train a toddler.
We’ve taken a very relaxed approach to this and I’ll be the first to admit: we’re okay with her taking her time. It’s not something that I want to rush because I don’t want to deal with potty regression.
So, the way I figure, when she’s ready – she’s ready. And until that time, we do what we can to support her.
Some parents wish they could hire someone to take care of this stage, while others take it in stride. There are some things that might make the process easier, though, regardless of how you anticipate potty training. Here are some tips on what to avoid and how to be successful.
Dos and Don’ts for How to Potty Train Your Toddler
1. Go for the elimination of liquid waste first. For little ones, having a bowel movement on the potty is often a much bigger deal than just urinating. So you might try giving them extra liquids on a day when you are going to be hanging around the house, and see about encouraging them to go.
2. Try using a reward system. Using candy or other food rewards for potty successes is a matter of some debate, so you might want to stick with less controversial reward systems like a sticker chart. Each time your child goes on the potty, let her put a sticker on her chart.
You can make a big calendar with the days of the week so she can see how many times she’s used the potty that day or week. Or you may just want to use a chart made up of blank squares.
3. Set your little one up for success. Pay attention to your child’s usual elimination schedule and don’t schedule activities right in the middle of those times. Think ahead during the potty training phase – don’t get in the car for a long drive unless you know you can stop frequently and/or at key times, and don’t be away from a familiar potty for a whole day at first.
Some children have a fear of public toilets or portable potties (such as the kind at fairs and other outdoor events), and that can set things up for potty training setbacks if that’s the only thing available.
1. Using shame as a way to keep your toddler from having accidents is not recommended by experts. For one thing, mistakes are part of learning any new skill. For another, shaming your child may produce anxiety and fear about using the toilet.
2. The potty is not a place of punishment. For example, don’t force your toddler to sit on the potty as punishment for soiling his clothes or going in his diaper.
3. Try not to rush into potty training because you (or someone else) think it’s time. You’ll know it’s time when your toddler shows interest in the potty, or when she tries to go herself, or other signs. If you try to push things too early, it can have a negative effect if your toddler is not ready.
The Exact Steps I’m Using to Potty Train My Toddler
So, while we’re taking a more relaxed approach, here are the steps we’re taking:
- We’re using Pull-Ups® Learning Designs® which feature an underwear like design and easy open sides. As part of the Potty Partnership, this is definitely our brand of choice.
- We keep her potty chair in the bathroom, not the living room.
- We encourage her to go when she needs to instead of trying to stick to a strict schedule.
- We use a flip book.
After cutting out each individual card, I pasted them on index cards (5×7) and then stapled them together for her to use. You can also print out the cards and not cut them out to put on the wall as a guideline of sorts.
Sam’s Club has become our favorite place to stock up on just about everything!
If you don’t have time to visit your local club, you can also order online and take advantage of free shipping or free pick up. Sam’s Club has helped make my job as a parent a little bit easier with their convenient shopping options. I can easily make sure that we have our necessities in stock, by using the handy Easy Reorder feature that let’s you pick from items that you’ve purchased in the past- either online or in-club.
And with club pick up, you can place your order at your convenience, and then pick it up when it’s ready! Sam’s Club will take care of the shopping for you.
Have you started the potty training process with your toddler? What tips would you like to share?