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One question we always get asked here at Little Scholars is about potty training . Parents are always anxious to know when to start and how to start this process. It can be an unknown but we are here to give you the best tips and tricks to obtain this important developmental milestone.
To start I will give this disclaimer: Although many programs will give the advice on getting the full potty training done in 3-4 days, which in some cases can be achieved many times children will not be able to grasp the entire concept of full blown potty skills. This is a great way to start the process, but you must go in with realistic expectations and lots of patience.
Know when they are ready
Know when your child is ready to take the leap to start training. Developmentally there is a large range of ages of when your child can start training. Typically the age starts at 18 months but some children may not be ready until they are 3.
Age is just one factor but you must also consider environment, independence skills developmental delays, special needs and cognitive maturity.
Do they show signs? Asking questions, about using the potty.
Can they understand and verbalize words about using the potty or even tell you or notice that they have gone or need to go.
Can they follow simple two part instructions? If they can that that means cognitively they are ready to understand simple concepts about using the potty.
Can they keep their diaper dry for at least 2-hours? In order to start training they must be able to recognize the concept of holding in and going pee. Ensuring allows the connection to be understood that they need to hold it until they are on the potty.
Do they exhibit copying behavior? If you notice that your child has become a copycat that is a great sign that you can train them by showing them yourself on how to use the potty correctly.
Does your child exhibit independence skills? If your child is starting to make the transition to self dress/undress, they should be able to easily learn how to pull their underwear up or down.
Grab The Gear
Now that you've made the decision to start let's talk about the gear you will need:
Pull Ups Easy Ups: For an easy start independence in using the potty.
Training Underwear: Thick lined underwear, best for those littles that want to wear underwear but still need extra protection against accidents.
Potty watch: This watch really does help by allowing kids to take an active roll on in the potty training process. It has timed intervals to choose from and will go off as a reminder to use the potty. A pretty simple and efficient way to get kids excited and be active participants.
The Potty: Obviously the most important item. In order to truly hammer down during this 3-4 day process your going to want pick a period of time when you can truly dedicate multiple back to back days in the house to focus on training. You can either go gong ho and have your little one wear no bottoms or give them underwear or pullups. Find an area in your home where you spend the most time and place your potty there (Preferably in a place with hardwood or laminate) This gives your child normalcy and ensures they can easily use the potty quickly . This is not for the squeamish! Accidents will happen during this time so remember to breathe and have lots of patience.( and maybe some wine as a backup lol)
This Baby Bjorn potty is simple yet effective. We love it because it does come with a pee guard for boys and the cup very easily comes out to be rinsed.
Potty Books: During this major transition your going to want to flood your child with positive references and images of the potty training process. You can search preschool potty videos on Youtube, but books are also a great effective way to clearly get the message across of what potty training is to your little one. Giving them a small pile of potty books to look at while they are on the potty is also a great distraction,to keep them sitting on the toilet.
Here are a list of a few of our favs:
Potty (Leslie Patricelli Board Books)
A Potty For Me by Little Simon
Paw Patrol Potty Time
by Phoenix International Publications, Inc.
Potty Superhero by Parragon Books
by Cartwheel Books
Reward Chart: The use of positive reinforcement can be a great incentive towards achieving potty training success. Here is a free reward chart to use:
To start as mentioned before notate the signs and follow your child's lead. If you determine they are ready then prep the environment.
Gather books, potty chair, watch, training diapers/underwear, reward chart and any other items in a visible area.
Initially, alot a 3-4 day stretch to begin.
Let your child be free range during this time or wear just underwear no pants for easy access to use the potty.
Make it fun and encourage independence. Allow them to pull down/up their underwear, and wash their hands
Allow your child to pick out a potty reward ahead of time so they can get excited.
Be Consistent in your efforts and hammer down a routine.
Have patience and remember that it ok if your child has setbacks or accidents during this time. Try not to get frustrated and support their efforts during this time.
We hope these tips will get you to potty training success!
Happy Potty Training :)