7 Essential Tips on How to Potty Train Your Toddler - Karen Salmansohn

7 Essential Tips on How to Potty Train Your Toddler

how to potty train your toddler
Is your child ready for potty training? That’s exciting! Read our seven tips on how to potty train your toddler and learn how to deal with this new phase.

If you have an infant at home who’s old enough to be moving on from diapers, you’ll understand how difficult learning how to potty train your toddler can be.

Every child is different, and discerning parents tend to have a lot of questions about the “right way” to do it when they start potty training.

7 Essential Tips on How to Potty Train Your Toddler

I’m a late in life mom. I was blessed to experience a miracle birth when I was 50. (That is not a typo!)

I am also a research geek. So I researched everything there was about how best to deal with potty training.

What’s important to note is that it takes time and consistency more than any specific trick. That said, in today’s article, we’ll be bringing you seven of our favorite tips for potty training. Combined with a consistent schedule, these have been proven to work.

Ready? Then let’s get started.

1. Catch Them Up To Speed

As a parent, it can be easy for your child’s potty training to become a “you” thing. You want them out of diapers so you don’t have to change them anymore because you have to put them in daycare, soon. But this is a them moment, and you should prepare your child before the potty training begins.

Once you’ve decided when to start potty training (parents sometimes start at around 2 and a half), start involving your child right away. A good way to kickstart the process is to bring the child along with you when you go shopping for the pot in question. Show them two you are deciding between and get them curious about what the big deal is.

Spend some time teaching them toilet-related words, as well. “Pee”. “Poo”. “Potty”. The basics. Once you’ve shown them “the right” way to go to the bathroom, they’re going to want to do it “like the big kids do”. When it comes time to use the toilet, they’ll be looking for the words to describe to you what they need. If you’ve trained them properly, they’ll be able to connect the dots, let you know, and feel pride at having gotten it right.

2. Motivate Them

The answer to the question “How to start potty training” can differ depending on the child, but one thing translates no matter who your toddler is. Motivation. It’s the key to starting the ending of your potty training and can make or break the process from early on. Get them excited enough, and they’ll chase that fulfillment and use it to go to the potty whenever they need to.

You can turn to the old classics: toys, stickers, pens, books, and treats. Try to keep it exciting enough to keep them hooked but inexpensive enough that you can keep it up for the multiple trips to the potty they’ll be making in a day.

3. Be Consistent (And Set Reminders)

Training your toddler to use the potty is a chore and should be treated as such. You have to do it consistently or it’s not going to be effective, for you or the child.

In the beginning, place your toddler on the toilet relatively frequently. Start with 15-minute intervals. Then, over time, gradually increase this time to 30 minutes. Then up to an hour. The end result will be them understanding you’re prompting them to do something in the potty. Then, once they begin to figure out the pieces of the puzzle they’re building, repeated visits will turn into an innate understanding. They’ll associate the toilet with pees, poops, and anything else they get a reward for during this time, and your consistent work will have paid off.

This is one of the biggest reasons why travel potty seats are the secret to potty training success: because you never have to break your schedule.

4. Forgive Accidents

You know what they say: “Adults who yell at children every time they do something wrong don’t raise better children. They raise more convincing liars.” This may not always be true, but when it comes to reinforcing learning behavior, you can’t afford to blow your top every time your toddler has an accident. Especially because they’re probably going to do it a lot more before you’re done.

Communicate with them, gently, that they did the wrong thing by not making it to the toilet. Then clean up, put them on the potty to reinforce your point, and forgive and forget.

And yes, it repeated accidents can be frustrating. Just remember, though, that if you lose your cool at this point in time, you’re also giving up your control over the situation. Stop and take stock of the situation. Then continue training with as positive an attitude as you can.

5. Training Pants

Modern diapers are a wonder of technology, leaving baby bums feeling largely dry, even when your little man or woman has had an accident. Training pants go in the opposite direction, leaving a distinct feeling of wetness when something is in them that shouldn’t be. The end result of these is that they make the child more aware of their waste becoming wet and clinging to them in an uncomfortable manner.

Baby already knows the potty is the right way to go pee or poo. Now, it’s in their best interests to make it happen, as their training pants are now soaked through.

One proviso: these items do require frequent washing, so you’ll want to purchase multiple pairs and cycle them out.

6. Limited Drinks Before Bedtime

Learning how to potty train a young child means putting a stop to bedwetting, which can be a huge task all on its own. A simple approach to curbing bedwetting is to control how much liquid your child ingests ahead of bedtime, and how far in advance they get it. Stop any drinks or food an hour ahead of bedtime for a much lower risk of a wet bed.

7. Have Fun With It

Every kid loves a good game, and all kids love to be involved in something. Add a few creative elements to your training and you’ll be a hero to them:

  • sing a funny song every time they walk over to the toilet and use it
  • show them their favorite books while they’re on the potty
  • color the water with food coloring or use neon lights to make it look interesting

How To Potty Train Your Toddler: Now You Know

Learning how to potty train your toddler can feel like more work for you than it is for them. They’ve had an entire lifetime of peeing and pooping into diapers and having someone else clean it up for them. Now, it’s becoming their problem, and that can be a challenge to make clear to them.

Hopefully, with some of today’s expert potty training tips, you’ll have the tools you need to set them on the right path, once and for all.

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