Top Twelve Potty Training Tips

IMG_5769Quite some time ago, The Potty Fairy was asked to put together some Potty Training Tips for parents who were potty training their children.  We have pondered the question for a while and would like to share what we have concluded.  Here are The Potty Fairy’s “Top Twelve Potty Training Tips”, to help you organize for potty training!

Note: Each of the twelve tips are linked to another blog post for additional information and ideas

1. Are You Ready?

First, you need to feel ready to potty train your child. You are pivotal to your child’s success. Be ready! You will need to set aside some precious time to stay at home and focus on the potty training process.  You will want to select a period of time that you will not be interrupted or be stressed.  Set aside a time that fits well with your family and work.   You will also want to consider the potty training method that you select.  Some of the methods work best in the spring or summer and some are more suitable in the fall and winter.  Think about any time goals you have as perhaps your child will be heading to preschool.  Give yourself the flexibility to add additional time to the process if you need to.  You want to feel relaxed and be able to make this a fun experience for you and your child. Perhaps it will even be magical.

2. Is Your Child Ready?

Next, your child will need to be developmentally ready for the potty training process. Learning to use the potty chair is a big developmental step for your child and you want it to go well. Readiness is extremely important for potty training to be successful. Attempting to potty train before your child is developmentally ready will not work out well and you and your child will be left feeling frustrated. Some of the signs of readiness are:

  • Your child is independent and proud of accomplishments.
  • Your child has dry periods.
  • Your child does not like a dirty diaper.
  • Your child notices others using the toilet.
  • Your child can tell you when wetting their diaper
  • When your child is pooping in the diaper is obvious
  • Your child is interested in trying to use the toilet

These are some important signs of a child being ready for potty training. You may notice other signs unique to your child.

3. Get Your House Ready! 

What does ” get your house ready” mean?  It might mean rolling up rugs that you do not want to get wet with urine during the training process.  It might mean strategically placing portable potty chairs around the house. You might want to consider putting together a basket of books in the bathroom or near potty chairs.  Downloading books and games on your i-pad. I have even heard of parents placing small TV’s in the bathroom to entertain their child while they work on doing a poo.  Some parents like to cover chairs and sofas to protect against potential accidents.  Take an inventory of your home and create an environment that is ready for potty training.  You may also want to check out the posts on “Potty Training in Nature” and “Backyard Potty Training”.  In these two articles, you prepare an environment for potty training outside!

4. Do You Have The Right Equipment?

 Equipment…what equipment?  You will most likely want to go to the store with your child to select a potty chair.  There are many to pick from.  Perhaps you want a seat for your regular toilet, or you might want a potty chair low to the ground.  There are even little boy urinals that you can purchase.   Consider all the options and have your child help you select what best suits your family.  Stickers are fun for your child to decorate their new chair and make it their own.  Perhaps they get a sticker for successfully using the potty chair.  Some parents like to use a potty training chart as well that stickers can be placed on.  A small step stool for reaching the sink for washing hands might also prove helpful.  There are FREE download charts and enhancement products on The Potty Fairy website. 

5. Oversize Teeshirt for a Bare Bottom to Underwear

If you choose a bare bottom approach to potty training you will want to purchase some oversize teeshirts.  Teeshirts that will cover your child’s bare bottom.  This might be a time to purchase character teeshirts that your child loves or purchase plain teeshirts that your child can decorate and personalize. The beauty of starting with a bare bottom is that a child will not need to struggle with pulling down underwear to go potty.  It makes going potty quick and easy.  Later you will add some underwear.  Seems as though the current suggestion is to purchase underwear, not training pants.   Selecting underwear that has a character that your child loves is very beneficial and can motivate your child to wear them and keep them dry.  If leaving underwear at night from the potty fairy, there are Potty Fairy stickers available for purchase that you can place on the underwear so that your child knows the undies are delivered by The Potty Fairy herself.

6. Pick a Method and Differentiate between a Boy and a Girl

Review the main methods of potty training.  These can be found on the   and on the internet. Find the method that you are most comfortable with and that you believe will work best for your child and your family.  You will also want to review how you can make the method fit a girl or a boy best. There are slight variations in potty training due to gender differences.   The Potty Fairy enhances and enriches all methods of potty training and can make the process magical for your child.  It has been shared that The Potty Fairy helps motivate a child to potty train.  Add in washing your hands to any method!

7. Rewards and Praise “What Motivates Your Child?”

Finding out what motivates your child is gold.  Make potty training all about them and their transition from being a baby to a big kid.  Celebrate their successes and “catch them being dry and successful”.  Some people like to make charts with stars or stickers to track success and help motivate their child towards a bigger reward.  Some people like to leave random prizes when their child is doing well.  Stay clear of bribing, which is different than a reward. An example of a bribe would be…” if you go pee on the potty, I will give you a toy.” That is a bribe.  A reward is letting your child do well, and sharing praise and a token reward when doing well.  Eventually, you want your child to go to the bathroom because they want to and need to not because they are being bribed.  Sometimes bribes can turn into a pattern of a child expecting something if they are going to perform.  Difficult pattern to break.

8. Diet Changes

It makes sense that by providing more fluids to drink that your child will need to pee more and provides an opportunity to practice using the potty chair.  Parents have also said providing their child salty foods and fluids also help the cause.  Providing foods that help a child poop also makes sense.  Giving a child time to process what you feed them is necessary. In our busy schedules, we sometimes have a hard time finding time for a child to sit on a potty chair.  During the potty training period of time supply lots of fluids and time to process.

9. How often on the Potty Chair?

At first, you may want to have your child sit on the potty chair every 10 minutes! You don’t want to miss that opportunity to succeed!  Keep track of how that works and gradually add more time between potty chair sitting times.  Observe how your child does and as you add time to notice how long your child can stay dry.  Remember to get them to a potty chair depending on how long you have expanded the time. This is particularly important as you introduce them to visits to friends, play dates, parks, and public bathrooms.  Bathroom visit reminders will be necessary for a while.

10. Books, TV, and Games

Potty training books are important when potty training your child.  There are so many wonderful books on the market that you can select for your child.  Also, consider e-books for this purpose as an i-pad or kindle is easier to keep clean in the bathroom versus a book.  Public television has some wonderful programs regarding potty training specifically Daniel Tiger is often times praised by parents.  Games on devices can also help a child when sitting on the potty chair and there are many games developed for pre-school readiness.  Books, TV programs and devices are all good tools just censor what you want to have your children see.

11. Accidents

Accidents will happen, even when your child is potty trained.  Children are so busy and can forget that they need to visit the bathroom until it is too late.  If your child has an accident, simply clean them up and move on.  Best not to make a big ordeal over an accident. Focus on the positive and deal with problems and move on.

12. Celebrate Success

Celebrations are important, especially with big transitions and when we are successful at something. This is true of potty training. Your child transitioning from being a baby to being a child.  I have witnessed children in a daycare setting who are in a mixed group of children, some potty trained and some still in diapers.  Over and over again, I have observed the potty trained child wanting to move up a group from the diapered children to children who are potty trained.  It is a big step for children and worth being earmarked.   We have a free crown template on The Potty Fairy website. This template can be downloaded, printed, cut out and decorated.   Have your child create a crown so that they can show others they are a Potty Fairy Prince and/or Potty Fairy Princess now.  Bake a cake with your child and invite some friends over. Celebrate your child’s success! Do something nice for yourself too. It is a shared success story.

Free Potty Fairy Training Tips

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Copyright September 2017

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