While there is no hard and fast rule as to how to train your child to use the potty, there are many helpful tips and tricks that can make the potty training process easier and more comfortable for both you and your child. Below we have compiled a list of do’s and don’t’s for you to consider during this important stage in your child’s life!
DO have a couple of pairs of underwear and pants in each bathroom that the child will utilize. You may also want to keep a spare change of clothes, and a large Ziploc bag (for soiled clothes) in your car or bag.
DO begin by transitioning the child in pull-ups. They will familiarize the child with the concept of wearing underwear but will be be more comfortable than wet underwear during training.
DO keep a box of flushable baby wipes on top of the toilets used by the child. They will be familiar to the child from their diaper days and can be more comfortable than toilet paper when they are first learning.
DO have a step stool in the bathrooms the child utilizes so they can easily get on and off the toilet. The step stool also doubles as a seat for mom or dad to sit while the child is on the toilet.
DO allow the child to watch siblings use the potty so they are more comfortable with the idea of doing it.
DO plan for accidents! They will occur and it’s important to let the child know it’s ok and quickly clean them up. Positive reinforcement works to keep the child motivated to keep trying.
DO have multiple sets of sheets and mattress pads for the child’s bed so that if an accident happens, you can easily clean things up.
DO buy some Febreeze Antibacterial spray. It works magic on wet mattresses and keeps the bacteria from building up on the mattress.
DO have set times to place the child on the potty so they can develop a routine. When they wake up, before bathtime, etc. – these are all great times to implement into a routine.
DO get the child used to practicing good hygiene by washing their hands every time they leave the bathroom.
DO incorporate fiber-rich foods into their diet to help their natural digestion. Apple juice, dried apricots, grapes, and soybeans all can help a child who is constipated.
DON’T be afraid to talk about “going potty” often. Frequently ask the child if they need to use the potty.
DON’T compare the child’s rate of progress to another sibling’s. Each child is different and comparison wil not only make the child feel inadequate, but the child may develop a fear of using the bathroom (for fear of not doing it right) which could lead to other, major problems.
DON’T be afraid to throw underwear away if they are too soiled. While it’s not economical to throw every pair that gets soiled away, it’s good to know when a pair has met it’s match.
DON’T start potty training the child when they are sick.
DON’T start potty training if you are under a lot of stress. The child can pick up on your stress and may confuse your annoyance with something else as annoyance at them.
DON’T force the child. If they aren’t cooperating, crying, or uncomfortable to the point of being inconsolable, then the child is probably not ready.
DON’T give up! This is a hard skill to teach, but well worth the effort. Just ask any mom who has survived it!