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Toilet Training 101 for Toddlers | Your Basic How To Guide to Potty Training Success

How to Potty Training?

Ogg-befuddled-parentSince cave man days parents have been asking the eternal question “How to potty training?” Good news. Toilet training for toddlers is not overly complicated. Billions of parents have successfully potty trained their children. This is potty training 101, your basic how to guide to potty training success.

OK, so you have determined that the time is right to begin potty training your child. You have obtained the necessary supplies and have made up you  potty training kit. So now what? How do you begin? Just exactly how do you potty train a child.

1. Get everything ready

Unpack the training potty and get all of your potty training supplies organized. Set up the training potty where your child spends most of his or her time. The object is to have the training potty close at hand. Remember, speed in getting the child to the potty will be essential in the initial phase of potty training.

2. Do a few practice runs on the potty to get your child used to the idea

Get your child used to the idea of sitting on the potty. You might wish to start out by having your child sit on the potty with their cloths on. Give your child a chance to become familiar with it. This should not take long. At the same time, when the child is sitting on the potty, check to see that the potty is a good fit for the child. Can his or her feet rest on the floor? Or will they need something to on which to place their feet as they sit?HappyChild

If you are using a seat reducer instead of a training potty, again get them used to the idea of sitting on it. You might even let them flush the toilet for fun.

Take some time to talk to your child about the purpose of the potty. Let them know why you want them to sit on it. Explain to them what you are expecting from them. Do this using simple but positive language.

Also, this would be the time to break out the entertainment. You child is more likely to be willing to sit still for a few minutes if they are given something to do while they are sitting. Read to them, give them a book to look at, a toy they can play with, perhaps some crayons and paper if they like to draw.

3. Have a standard routine that you follow

Now, having gotten your child used to the idea of sitting on the potty, have the child sit on the potty without a diaper at regular intervals. Depending on the child, you may wish to have him or her sit for a few minutes every two hours or so. Depending on the child the interval may be shorter or longer.

Stay with the child as long as they are on the potty. If they cannot go, that is OK. Praise your child for making the effort, for trying. Let him or her know that they can always try again later. Allow the child to get up when they are ready. And as before, break out the entertainment. Give them something to do as they sit on the potty.

If you are potty training a boy, let them master peeing sitting down first. They can learn to master peeing standing up later.

At this stage try to be consistent. Potty training should not be an on again off again experience. If you are going to be away from home have a training potty or a seat reducer that you can take with you.

4. Keep your running shoes on

When you first start potty training your child you will have to act quickly when you see signs that the child might need to go. These signs might manifest themselves in various forms. Standing behind curtains, going into another room, squatting or holding their genital area, squirming, etc.

Stop whatever you are doing. Stop whatever the child is doing, and get them to the potty right away. Remember that at this point in their development by the time they sense that they have to go, they have to go like right now.

Now you as a parent should praise your child for letting you know that he or she had to go. Do this even if they do not make it to the potty in time. This helps to reinforce their own awareness of their need to go, and with practice they will learn to recognize the signs earlier rather than later, thus reducing the number of accidents. If you praise them even when they fail, it will make them want to do better next time. Positive reinforcement will always bring better results than negative reinforcement.

Also, this is a good place to remind you of the necessity of dressing your child in easy and quickly removable clothing.

5. After your child goes potty, teach him or her proper hygiene

This very important, and what your child learns or does not learn about proper hygiene can greatly influence their future health. Do not just show them what to do, but take the time to explain why they need to do it.

Part one of teaching proper hygiene is showing them how to properly wipe themselves. If you are teaching a girl they should be taught to wipe from front to back as wiping from back to front can bring infection causing germs from the rectum to either the vagina or bladder.

Part two of teaching proper hygiene is showing them how to properly wash their hands. You may need to get them a step stool that allows them to reach the bathroom sink to do this. Washing their hands should become a natural habit to them whenever they go to the potty.

If after a few weeks nothing is working and the child is resisting your efforts to potty train them, it might be too early. Your child may not be ready yet. Take a break and try again at a later date. It will be better for you and for your child.

6. And remember, accidents will happen

When an accident happens keep your calm. Do not try to shame or discipline or scold your child. That will be counterproductive. Let them know that it is OK. It was just an accident, nothing more.

And oh, by the way, since it is inevitable that accidents will happen, be sure to keep a change of clothing handy.



4 thoughts on “Toilet Training 101 for Toddlers | Your Basic How To Guide to Potty Training Success”

  1. Hi, Elden.
    I smiled a lot while reading this article.
    It is only 2 years ago when I potty trained my daughter.
    I don’t even remember the details of how I did it. I simply told her to go to potty when she wanted to pee or poop. When she did it successfully, My wife and I praised her a lot. She was excited and enjoyed using potty. That’s all I remember. 🙂
    You have provided some very useful info such as wiping direction for a baby-girl. I wish I knew it two years ago.
    There will be several funny episodes with potty training for most parents.
    I have one story too.
    Two years ago, my wife and I were watching TV in our living room.
    Suddenly, my daughter walked in and brought her potty.
    Then, she placed her potty between us on the Sofa and the TV, sat on it and began to poop while looking at us. She frowned several times while pooping. Her facial expression is still vivid like yesterday. She did that several times afterwards.
    Thank you for providing useful info and reminding me of my happy memory.

  2. Thanks for a great post, Elden!

    My son is now 2 years and one month old, so I think we will soon start with his potty training. I had not yet been reading how to do it, but now I know!

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