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How to Potty Train Your Child

There's no perfect method to use when potty training your child; it's a lot of trial and error. The most effective way to potty train children is to create a specific plan with guidelines, and then to leave room for unseen issues. Remember, potty training can be a long process and you'll need patience and a positive attitude. Learn how to potty train first, get the tools to make it work, and then get started!

Get Ready, and Start to Potty Train

You may be ready for potty training long before your child – many parents want to eliminate the need for diapers as soon as possible. But, sometimes, your child is ready long before you are – you may not look forward to the inevitable accidents and public messes. What’s most important is that your child is developmentally ready to begin potty training. Follow these steps to effectively potty train your child:

  • Set an example. As you’ve probably noticed, kids learn a lot from what they see. If your child hasn’t already done so, allow her to follow you or their older potty-trained sibling into the bathroom. If they’re learning from you, be sure to put on an “act” before you use the bathroom. Show your child the signs of having to go to the bathroom, like jumping up and down, swaying side to side, etc.
  • Set up a potty-training chart. As your child accomplishes each potty training milestone, use a check or a star to mark the event. Set up some small rewards and make using the potty a fun and rewarding experience.
  • Get the right equipment. Buy your child her own potty chair so that she feels comfortable using the bathroom. Give her time to get used to the chair before you start potty training. Never force her to spend time on the chair.
  • Keep it simple. During the first few weeks keep your child in easily-removable pants. Every time you notice that your child makes a funny face or shows signs she has to use the bathroom, go with her to her potty chair. In addition to keeping track of signals, place your child on the potty chair as often as every hour or two.
  • Provide support. Be sure to stay with your child when she’s on the potty chair. If you read, sing or talk to her while she’s in the bathroom, she can relax and get down to business
  • Expect accidents. During the potty training process accidents are normal. Becoming discouraged or upset will only prolong the process.

Potty Training…After the Potty Chair

After your child has learned how to use the potty chair, she’ll be well on her way to becoming fully potty trained. When your child feels she’s ready, you can move her from the potty chair and begin using an over-the-toilet seat or a stepstool on the regular toilet.