How to Prepare Yourself — Your Child — And Your Home For Potty Training
So, you think your child is ready for potty training, do you? You are about to embark on a rewarding journey with your child. For some parents, potty training is a breeze; for other parents, potty training is less of a journey and more of a long and difficult chore. Let’s talk about how to prepare for potty training.
So, what’s the secret to a smooth potty training journey?
First of all, before you hype yourself up for being the best darn potty-teacher out there, you should figure out if your child is really ready to start a full-fledged toilet training program.
Carefully observe whether or not they are ready. Keep an eye out for these signs:
- Staying dry for 2-3 hours at a time during the day
- Waking up dry from naps
- Becoming fully aware that they are wet (fussing or wiggling in discomfort when they are soiled)
- Becoming interested in wearing big-kid underwear
If your kid is showing at least 2-3 of these signs, it means that they might be ready to give the potty a shot — it’s time to move on to the next step.
The Prep: Things to Have Before You Think About Potty Training
Of course, you have probably been thinking about potty training since before you had your child. You’re excited to get going, and that’s good! Before you get down and dirty with toilet training, it’s time to hit the store and find some things that will make the process easier once you get going.
- Buy a potty chair (or three)
When I say “or three,” I actually mean it. Potty chairs each come with different features, designs, and colors. It is best to buy two of your favorite potty chairs that have the features you like (i.e. music playing when your child pees or a splash guard to reduce cleanup) and let your child choose the one they like most. The choice will make them more comfortable and give you a higher likelihood of getting them to use it.
It might also be a good idea to buy a toilet insert that adapts your toilet so that your child can sit in it without falling in. This gives them the further choice between the potty chair or the big-kid toilet.
- Get rewards and treats!
Stock up on healthy treats (and sweets) to give your child when they make progress. This doesn’t mean that you should only give them treats when they pee in the potty. You should make it a BIG DEAL when their diaper is dry or even if they alert you that their diaper is soiled.
You should make an even BIGGER DEAL if they successfully use the potty. Balloons, cake, candy, a standing ovation, a pet pony — no celebration is too big. Make them feel special and give them the positive reinforcement they need.
- Find a few books about potty training
Leave these lying around the house so that your kids can play with it and look at the pictures. Of course, it would be best that you also read it to them to help them understand it.
Getting Your Child Used to the Idea of Going Potty in the Toilet
Now it’s time to start prepping your child for potty training. Even months before they are ready to start toilet training you can start applying these tips:
- Talk to your baby about diaper changes
Talk to your child about using the bathroom. For example, when you find your child has a wet diaper you can say something like this: “mommy and daddy go pee, too. But they use the toilet.” or even: “you are wet, doesn’t it feel nice when you are warm and dry?”
- Empty their diaper into the toilet
If your child sees you empty their poop into the toilet they will begin to understand that poop can go into the water instead of their diaper.
- Use consistent terminology.
If you call it “pee-pee” then make sure you ALWAYS call it pee-pee. Get the rest of your family on board. Don’t confuse your child with four or five different terms for the same thing. Grandmas, aunts, uncles, siblings, and spouses should all use the same terms.
- Introduce underwear
Try to get them excited to wear big-kid underwear — make it feel like a big step forward.
- Get your child to sit on the potty, even when they don’t have to go.
Getting comfortable sitting on the potty is good for them, so when they finally have to go, the potty chair doesn’t feel so foreign. Let them sit on it with their clothes on, but if it’s possible, get them to sit on it with their clothes off or with just their diaper.
The Journey Lies Ahead — You Can Potty Train Your Child Quickly
For parents who simply wait for their child to be “ready” and hope that they will want to use the potty, the journey of potty training can be long and difficult.
If you are prepared, though, you can do this — and fast!
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