Ah, potty training. 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.
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.