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Friday, May 7, 2010

Do's and Don'ts of Potty Training

We are starting Potty Training real soon.  We actually already started but we are taking it a bit slow because we still have diapers to use and I want to switch him to Training Pants once we start Potty Training full force!
I got some Potty Training Tips from Parents Magazine, August 2009 Edition and from What to Expect: The Toddler Years.
First, here are the signs that your child is ready for Potty Training:
  1. Can easily take off all clothes.
  2. Asks to get diaper changed.
  3. Follows you into the bathroom, asks questions, and imitates you.
  4. Knows the body parts and words "pee" or "poop".
  5. Understands what the words on sign no. 4 mean, where they come from, and where they belong.
  6. Shows interest in books and videos about using the potty.
  7. Stays dry for at least two hours in a row, is dry after naps, and is "poop" free overnight.
  8. Normally stops activity when needs to "poop".
  9. Has one or two formed stools a day (not constipated).
Check out for additional Potty Training Tips and Tricks.

After I read the above signs, most of these honestly sounded like they were too complicated for a toddler but I am known for underestimating how much a toddler actually knows and understands (I am a first time parent!!).  The signs I noticed on our son were no. 3, 6, 7, 8, and 9

Some other things to consider:
  • I was advised to use a toilet trainer rather than a potty seat.  You skip the step of having to train your child to use the "big" potty if you start with it.  Plus having to clean the baby potty seat . . . Yucky! 
  • I was also advised to take two days and stay at home.  Take him to the potty every half hour and by the end of the two days he will know how to use the potty.  
  • Be patient and expect plenty of accidents!  It typically takes anywhere from 4 to 6 months for a child to achieve Potty independence. 
  • Give them plenty of praise, cheers, and applause with every success.
  • Use a Chart and have your child place stickers on it for every success or give them a different form of reward for every success.  Some sample rewards from Pull-Ups HERE and Dora Progress Chart from Easy-Ups HERE and an Award Certificate HERE.  You can also order a Potty Training Kit from Easy Ups HERE which includes samples, coupons, a progress chart, stickers, and a Trophy.  We got it in the mail and LOVE it! 
  • Get a box, put it next to the potty, and fill it with toddler potty books.  I ordered The Potty Book for Boys from Amazon and we love it.  It is so cute and it tells a story that Rafi could relate to.  Other books I am planning on getting are A Potty for Me and Dora's Potty Book.  If you have a Barnes and Noble Membership card you get Free shipping (No Minimum Purchase required!).   Plus you also get cash back thru 
  • Stick to Training Pants!!  Do not mix diapers and training pants as it will confuse your child.  
Some of these might be repeats, but these are the Do's of Toddler Toilet Learning from What to Expect: The Toddler Years book:
  1. Do switch from Diapers to Training Pants
  2. Do bare your child's bottom once in a while (if temperature permits! and if there is an area in your home that is completely washable!).
  3. Do make the bottom easily accessible when not bare.  Dress your toddler with easy off, elastic waist pants that can be pulled down in a flash.
  4. Do watch your toddler closely for signs that tell you he or she needs to go!
  5. Do watch the clock closely.  Most children, like adults, have a potty pattern (urinate on waking, or have a bowel movement after a feeding).
  6. Do let your child come and go as he or she pleases.  Resistance and Rebellion to the potty grow from feeling prisoner of the potty.  
  7. Do have your toddler take turns with a drink and wet doll.  At this age, going to the potty is more fun when you go with a friend.
  8. Do try a trickle to start the flow.  The old turn on the bathroom faucet while your child sits on the potty is a good one.
  9. Do appreciate your child's reporting after the fact as a step in the right direction.
  10. Do be an enthusiastic audience.
  11. Do spark motivation.  
  12. Do have your toddler check for dryness.  Praise dry pants but do not criticize wet ones.
  13. Do be patient with relapses.
  14. Do teach about hygiene.
  15. Do be sensitive to your child's feelings and needs.
Now the Don'ts of Toddler Toilet Learning:
  1. Don't expect too much too soon.
  2. Don't punish or shame.
  3. Don't deny drinks or use unnatural means to get desired ends.
  4. Don't be a broken record.  No nagging.  
  5. Don't force the issue.
  6. Don't turn toilet learning into a moral issue.  There is no good or bad when it comes to toilet learning.
  7. Don't discuss progress (or lack of it) with your spouse in front of your toddler.  
  8. Don't take slow progress personally.
  9. Don't make the bathroom a battleground.  If you meet with total resistance then your toddler is not ready yet.  Postpone it for now.
  10. Don't give up hope!!
I know this is a lot to take in, but I found all these tips very helpful.  We will be starting potty training soon full force (we started with going "poop" on the potty first and now think we are ready for going "pee" in the potty).  I will post updates and what worked for us as we progress. 

Thanks for reading.  Make sure and post comments on what worked for your children.  This will be such a huge help and blessing to me and my other readers. 

Happy Mother's Day!!


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