Starting potty training when your child is ready can happen pretty easily. When children are ready to potty train, power struggles tend to drop off. No one wins in a power struggle. Fighting with your child will not be helpful with potty training.
The idea of “potty training” your child is not actually what happens. Rather, you set-up conditions so that your child can learn. Your goal is to make the potty training process as easy and effortless as possible. It is a process of learning that happens over time.
Here is an easy step by step process for this process:
1. Begin by reading books about going potty with your child.The story I would like to recommend is “The Potty Fairy” . Potty training dolls can also be very helpful. Most kids love them.
2. Remember that most of what kids learn is through our modeling. Start talking about what you’re doing in the bathroom. Let your child watch. Boys will benefit by watching other boys or their father use the toilet. Often times children have female care takers and lack a male role model. Dads involvement will make a big difference for boys. The Potty Fairy has two helpers that deliver rewards and underwear. Let Bud provide support for the boys and let Blossom provide support the girls for additional role-modeling supports.
3. Kids love to copy other kids. Slightly older cousins or friends who are willing to use the bathroom in front of your toddler can be invaluable in modeling. For boys, you might make a game of it by putting a small bulls-eye in the toilet for them to aim at. The older cousin or friend can talk about The Potty Fairy and the helper Bud or helper Blossom who visited them when they were trained!
4. I strongly recommend having a potty in each bathroom of the house. That way, kids can practice sitting whenever they want, including while they keep you company in the bathroom. Some like to get a movable potty chair that can be moved from room to room when a child is first learning to potty.
5. Before actually starting to use the potty chair, just have your child to sit, fully clothed, on his potty. Give them a chance to see what it is like without having to perform Make sitting on the toilet fun before thinking about peeing in it. For instance, be sure there is a stash of books next to the potty or a Kindle or iPad loaded with e-books, like “The Potty Fairy” e-book. Download The Potty Fairy CD/mp3 and play the story, song, and poem. Sing potty songs or give special cheers each time she gets on and off the potty. Make the experience fun and positive. Never force this on a child.
6. After your child is used to sitting on the potty clothed, ask them regularly if they want to sit on it naked. Sometimes he will say yes, and sometimes No. Don’t make a big deal of it. Your goal is just for him to get completely comfortable. Read “The Potty Fairy” book and other books while sitting on the potty chair. Toddlers are busy. You have to make the potty a place they love is if you want them to spend enough time there to let anything come out.
7. Once she’s totally used to sitting on her potty begin dumping the contents of her diaper into the potty each time you change her diaper. Explain that every day her body is making poop and pee, and they belong in the potty. Tell her that whenever she is ready, she will begin peeing and pooping right in the potty. After a while, let her help you empty the potty into the toilet and be the one to flush it. Wave goodbye to the poop. Reward your child for staying dry and clean. Have the Potty Fairies leave random treats and rewards around the house.
8. When he does pee or poop in the potty be sure to celebrate! But be sure you’re celebrating other things too. The celebration is for the child and all the things they do during the day including potty training. Remember, your child should be in control of the process. No pressure. Only focusing on potty training could feel like pressure.
9. Don’t make the move into underwear until your child asks. When ready to wear underwear, write a note to The Potty Fairy to leave a pair of undies at night for the next day when your child feels ready to start wearing underwear. Let it be their idea!
10. Notice when she gives signs that she is about to poop, i.e.becoming quiet, withdrawing to squat in private. Give her language for what’s happening:”Are you ready to poop? Do you want to do it in the bathroom?”Pooping takes a bit more time and concentration. Give them the extra time and privacy to poop. Sometimes an i-pad with activities helps them take the time to sit and wait for the body to do what it needs to do.
11. Be open if she requests a toilet seat. Many toddlers squat to poop and prefer a potty that allows them to assume a similar position. Typically children start with a small separate potty chair. Sometimes children are afraid of falling into the big toilet or are afraid of the flush.For going poop a small stool or bench for their feet is helpful if sitting on a regular toilet with a seat. It is difficult to poop with legs and feet dangling.
12. If you’re buying a seat to go on the potty or a separate potty chair, find one they love. Let them shop with you to find the special new potty chair.
13. Create a schedule for going to the bathroom. Observe your child’s pattern and develop a schedule to keep them consistent. This will become something that the child will eventually do on their own without a set schedule.
14.Reward your child for staying dry! Let the potty fairies leave random rewards for staying dry. Provide support and praise for using the potty chair. Help make sitting on the potty chair a pleasant experience and fun.
15. Expect accidents and don’t make a big deal.
17. Be enthusiastic but never pushy. Talk about what is happening as your child learns to use the potty chair.
18. If your child poops in her pull-up or pants help your child put it on the potty chair as that is where it belongs.
19. You set the stage for potty training and your child has to do the work. Make sure your child is ready. Support with encouragement, praise and have regular visits from the Potty Fairy with rewards.
20. This is a big developmental step for your child. Make it a positive one where your child’s self-esteem and self-confidence grows. When your child has mastered the potty chair, have a celebration. Decorate a crown that your child decorates and make it a Potty Fairy Prince or Princess crown. A FREE crown template is available at www.thepottyfairy.com
Have a wonderful experience potty training your little one! Let the Potty Fairy help!