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Five Winning Potty Training Tips

Nov 18, 2007
So, it's time to enter the world of potty training. As a parent, you are likely looking forward to non-diaper days with great anticipation. Your little guy or girl may not feel the same way. Potty training can be easy for some kids, but for most of them, it is a difficult concept to understand. Until this point, they have been allowed to take care of that need whenever they must without a special trip to the bathroom. Potty training requires patience and sometimes a little education. Here are five tips you can use to teach your toddler how to use the potty.

First, make the potty training experience fun. Children do not respond well to pressure when it comes to toilet training. If you are constantly hounding them about going to the bathroom and punishing them when they make a mistake, they are going to struggle and feel anxious about the process.

One great way to make toilet training fun is to start the process with a new book or video. While you might feel silly reading a book about a child using the potty, it is a great way to show your child that other kids do the same thing and that it is what "big boys" and "big girls" do. This takes some of the anxiety away.

Another way to develop good toilet habits is to model the behavior yourself. Yes, it is sometimes uncomfortable to have a little audience when you are doing your duty, but if your children can see that you go potty in the bathroom, they will learn what they are supposed to do. Modeling is one of the best ways to teach a young child a new behavior.

When your child does use the potty correctly, immediately provide a reward, even if the action was involuntary. For example, if you are doing your routine of sitting your little guy on the potty when you think it is approaching the time for him to go and he does happen to go, provide a reward. This could be a small treat, like a chocolate chip, or it could be a special book or a special form of praise. This reinforces that going potty is a positive event.

If you begin the potty training process and find that it is not going well, take a break. There is no rule as to when your child has to be use the potty. Even if you think that she is too old for diapers, a short break is not going to hurt anything. Sometimes approaching the topic a few days later makes all of the difference in the world.

Finally, the best thing you can do to help your child learn how to use the potty is to establish a routine. Find the times that work best for you and your child, and take your child potty at those times every day whether or not she says she has to go. This will reinforce what you want her to do. When you feel that she has the hang of it, you can start waiting for her to tell you she needs to go. Remember, children need some time to learn about the potty, to get over their fears, and to respond to their bodies' signals. Have patience and a good sense of humor, and the potty training will eventually work!
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