One of the most dreaded and yet looked forward to steps in your toddlers development.
1.Make sure your child is ready– Do they show signs of readiness? Do they indicate when they need to go, or have just gone? Do they do the “gotta go dance”? Can they stay dry for long periods of time? Are they showing any interest in using the potty like a big boy/girl? By all means give it a good try, if the time is not right stop for a month or two and try again.
2. Go shopping– Make a big deal of this new step by going to pick out underwear or pullups with your child’s favorite character, and a special potty. Letting them pick out these items for becoming a big boy/girl will give them a sense of power over the experience- and we all know toddlers love power!
3.Set a Timer– Little ones are easily distracted and may not always notice or want to stop playing when they get the urge to go. Set a Timer for every 15-20 minutes and let your child know that means its time to stop what they are doing and go. Of course encourage them to come anytime they feel the need but having regular potty breaks will cut way down on accidents. This is a fun timer that would work great later for other activities like timed clean ups, etc.
4.Use rewards– This is a big deal in your little one’s life, a big accomplishment. I fully believe that bribes rewards should be used to reinforce the positive actions and behavior that you desire. 5 or 6 MM’s minis are not going to ruin your child. If you don want to use food, stickers are another great option, create a chart or just hang up a sheet of paper and put a star on every time they go.
5.Stay Consistent– Keep everything consistent. Are you using underwear or Pullups? Decide on one and stick with it. If you are using a timer, stick to it. Treats? Give them every time. Your child thrives on routines and consistency whether they seem to like it or not. Keeping everything consistent will help make the process easier for the both of you.
6.Make a potty basket–
We keep ours in the bathroom right next to the little potty. Its frustrating to run around collecting items when you need them, little ones cant always wait. Ours include- changes of pullups or underwear for accidents, wipes, and books to look at while we wait for things to happen. Especially potty books that help reinforce potty training time:
7. Make a “ Gotta Go” bag– For those times when you have to leave the house for groceries, Dr. appointments, and other errands. Pack it with pullups, diapers, or underwear- accidents will happen and it will be less frustrating if you are prepared for it. Include wipes, hand sanitizer, toliet seat cover and whatever positive reinforcement you chose-stickers or small candies.
8. Keep it Positive– Keep in mind their little bladders or minds are not as developed as ours. Don’t make a big deal out of accidents- just keep the Clorox wipes handy, clean it up, and say “ You’ll make it next time!” DO make a big deal out of success, clapping, a potty dance, cheering, call up grandma and share, reward, and lots of hugs and kisses!