Potty Training Preparation

potty-training-preparation1. Be sure that your toddler is ready to train.
Look for common signs of potty training readiness. Is your child able to pull their pants down on their own? Does your child communicate after soiling their diaper? It’s especially helpful if your toddler tells you before he or she is going to go in the diaper. This demonstrates the body function awareness that will be essential to potty training. Does your child show interest in the toilet? He or she might ask questions about the potty process, want to accompany you to restrooms at restaurants or stores, or may want to check out the bathrooms and friends or relatives houses.

2. Go Shopping
If you think your tot is ready, then it’s time to shop. Let your child select fun underwear, and talk about how they will wear it when they start using the potty. Decide weather you will use a child-sized potty or have him go directly to a small seat connected to your regular toilet. I personally prefer the latter, as cleaning up a tiny toilet several times per day does not exactly appeal to me, but you know your tot best and what will work for your family. If your budget allows, I would also recommend the toilet seat lids that come with a smaller toddler seat inserted inside. It may be worth the investment as your little one might feel more comfortable with the smaller seat for years to come. I would also note that oftentimes the more inexpensive character seats do not always latch well to toilet seats, leaving your toddler to worry about falling in. Beware of this, as one bad experience can be pretty harmful to the overall process.

3. Get your equipment in order.
Set everything up about 24 hours in advanced so that your child can get used to seeing the toilets, underwear all ready and washed, if you plan to use treats or rewards, be sure that these are ready to go. (I’m not using any reward system to start because my daughter is very motivated by clapping, singing, and praise, but depending on your child’s personality stickers, stamps, and small candies are popular options.)

4. Talk it up.
Since you would have shopped already, the talking it up phase should go rather smoothly. Just talk about how diapers are going away, and it’s really exciting to get to pee and poop in the potty!

5. Set a date.
Be sure to choose a week or weekend where very little is going on. The last thing you want to do is have to leave the house with several errands to do, only to have a potty accident seven minutes into your Target trip. You also wouldn’t want company when your tot has just pooped all over the floor.

6. Stay off Social Media
Resist the urge to post anything about your child’s potty training attempts. It is not anyone else’s business how quickly or slowly your child learns about the potty, and by opening up to the world you put a lot of undo stress on yourself (and your child by proxy) rather than keeping it a private process. Plus, I know for a FACT that nobody wants to see potty pictures. You will avoid unsolicited advice, and the wrath of your child in a few years, if you get bathroom moments to yourself.

7. Go for it.
You’ll need a little luck, lots of wine, a good friend to call and tons of patience.

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About This Blogger

Erica Davis

Erica Davis is a new stay-at-home mom to her active toddler, Claire. Erica and her husband are hoping to adopt and are eagerly waiting for an opportunity to arise. Erica enjoys summer sunshine, hilarious conversation, creative restaurants, adventurous new recipes, being a mommy, celebrating with champagne and curling up with a good book.