Toilet Training Your Toddler.
OK, so your child is ready to begin potty training, but are you ready? Here in this potty training checklist are the essential toilet training supplies you will need to get the job done. Using the right tools to do the job is important no matter what task you are taking on. After all, you would not use a hammer to tighten a bolt, or a screwdriver to drive a nail.
Potty training is no different. Using the right tools will make the task easier, both for you and your child.
Some of the theses potty training essentials you will need at the very beginning of the process. Others will become necessary as you progress. So, let’s get started.
Just what are you, as a parent, going to need to potty train your child?
- #1. Patience.
The number one item on the list of potty training essentials is patience. That’s right, and you are going to need a lot of it. So you might want to start stocking up on it now. Just remember to keep calm and stay cool, no matter what happens.
- #2. A child size potty.
Obviously if you are going to potty train your child you are going to need a potty training toilet, or Potty Chair as they are called. These come in many sizes, shapes and colors, but they all have one thing in common. They are designed to fit your little one’s bottom. Some are rather plain and utilitarian. Others are colorful and may even have various animal or cartoon themes and even play musical tunes. The idea is to get something your child will want to use. Try, as far as possible, to make the potty training experience an adventure.
Also, there are things called Seat Reducers. These are designed to sit on top of a standard adult toilet seat. Their purpose is to reduce the toilet seat to a child friendly size. These are generally cheaper than the stand alone potty chair and also come in a variety of colors and designs.
Which ever you opt for, Potty Chair or Seat Reducer, make sure it is a good fit for your child.
- #3. A mall step stool.
The step stool will serve more than one purpose. If you opt to get the Seat Reducer rather than a Potty Chair, the step stool will help the child get up onto the seat. An adult toilet may seem quite high to a toddler. Also, whether using a Potty Chair or Seat Reducer the child’s feet need to be able to rest on the floor or step stool as they sit on their potty. Fortunately many seat reducers actually come with built in step ladders to help your child reach the toilet.
A step stool should also be used to help the child to reach the bathroom sink to wash their hands after they go potty. Teaching the child proper hygiene as you potty train them is important. If they learn it now at an early age it will become a habit that will last them a lifetime, and in all likelihood spare them many days of sick time.
- #4 Some kind of wipe.
Toilet paper or wet wipes? You will probably need both. Toilet paper you probably already have. Wet wipes can really come in handy, especially in the early stages of toilet training. Toward the end of the training period your child will should have graduated to using toilet paper. There are plumbing safe flushable wet wipes available. But whichever you use, be sure to have a good stock on hand. You do not want to run out at a crucial moment.
- #5. Hand soap.
As you teach your child proper hygiene it helps to have soap that is easy for the child to use. Soft soaps work well. Some suggest using the foaming variety. To encourage hand washing you might take the child shopping and let them pick put their own personal soap. Having their very own soap will give the child a sense of ownership of the hand washing process. Try always to install in your child a sense of personal pride in the things you are teaching them to do. The more they WANT to do it the quicker and easier the whole thing will go.
- #6. A book or game.
Get a picture book, perhaps one on potty training, that your child can look at as they sit on the potty. Give them something to occupy their time as they sit. Or perhaps you might read a story to them. Little children are not good at sitting still for prolonged periods of time. So something to keep their interest will help keep them on the potty until they do their business.
- #7. Their Very Own Special Watch.
Part of the potty training process, especially when just beginning, is to establish a set routing of going to the potty as specific intervals of time, like once every two hours or so, until they become better able to determine for themselves when they actually need to go. There are special fun children’s watches designed for this very purpose that can be set to play a musical tone at specified intervals. Having their very own special musical watch to alert them when they should go to the potty not only adds an element of fun for the child but also gives them a sense of ownership of the potty training process, and hence enhances their motivation to potty training success.
- #8. A progress chart/reward system.
Get a chart to show your child’s progress. You can buy them or make your own. The chart above is just one example of a personalized chart available on Zazzle. This one happens to be a Dry Erase Board. But the designs on Zazzle can be transfered to almost any medium you desire. If you opt for a poster board chart you may also want to get some colorful stickers and let the child place a sticker on the chart every time they successfully use the potty. Little things like this will help keep them interested in their training – and hopefully motivate them to be more successful as time goes on.
Now let’s talk clothing – Your toddler is going to need a potty training wardrobe.
- #9. Easy on, easy off, potty training pants.
Draw strings, zippers, button up pants, rompers, overalls. – Sorry, but they all have to go. By the time a child of this age realize they need to go, they need to go like right NOW. They do not have time to fumble around with clumsy zippers, drawstring, buttons, rompers or overalls. What they need is something that can be pulled down quickly, that is, something with an elastic waist band. The object is to develop a sense of self dependence they progress in their training they can do themselves.
Potty training pants are easily available for this purpose. They are quick and easy to pull up and down, and they work great when accidents happen. And accidents will happen. Count on it.
- #10. Undies
As you near the end of the potty training you may want to graduate your child to wearing children’s underwear. These can be in bright colors with cartoon characters. The prospect of graduating to undies can also become a motivator for your child. As you observe your child you will know when the time is right.
- #11. Patience.
Oh, did I mention this already? Well you are still going to need it. So be sure to stock up on plenty of it.