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Tackling Potty Training

You might be just about ready to tackle the task of potty training with your child. You're prepared for battle- you've read the books, you've developed a system- but you're probably lacking something that comes in handy when you begin potty training; creativity. You might have thought that was the last thing you needed and were planning on sticking to a solid plan. Keep your plan in mind but be prepared to stray from it and when you do, creativity will be key in getting you through this time in your child's life successfully.

Before You Begin Potty Training

You need to realize that potty training is a partnership, you will have to be there every step of the way with your child. Each of you will have a role and yours is to lead and be supportive. You never want to make your child dread the act of learning how to use the toilet. Therefore, approach the task with an exciting and positive attitude and your child will follow suit. Our expert potty training video will give you some great tips. Below are some tips that you should take into consideration when your child is ready to begin the task of potty training:

  • Don't make your child sit on the potty against his/her will. If they tell you they don't want to sit there any longer then trust them enough to let them get up. Remember, you don't want them to have anxiety over potty training.
  • When your child is trying to go to the bathroom offer encouraging advice. Tell them you know how hard it is and it may be easier if they just relax, read a book, etc. Also, make sure you come up with well-established names for bathroom acts and the body parts involved.
  • Try establishing a routine. After they eat a meal or drink a lot of fluid, go to the toilet with them. This will let them know they should expect to use the bathroom at certain times (it's the body natural inclination to have to go to the bathroom after eating, called gastro-colic reflex). However, never force them to sit there for an hour, give them a couple of minutes several times a day.
  • Use a positive reward system. Consider printing a potty training chart with your child to show them how their hard work is paying off. Every time they successfully use the toilet they get a sticker on the chart and some sort of prize, like additional playtime or a favorite snack. After a couple of successful attempts let them pick out some "big kid's" underwear.
  • Keep everyone who is involved informed of the routine and the names of the bathroom acts. This way everyone is on the same page and your child can feel comfortable going to the bathroom with someone else besides you.

Like many trials and tribulations that you embark upon with your child, potty training is a process. It's important to remember to stay patient, calm and understanding. You want your child to be excited to learn how to use the toilet like a "big person." Having them dread the training will just result in a longer and more drawn out process.