Tips for Potty Training

Potty training is a big step, and often times a difficult one for both parents and children. As a daddy to six kids, between the ages 11 months and 26 years old, I’ve dealt with my fair share of potty training challenges. Here are a few tips I’ve put together to help new parents transition out of the diaper stage.

-Wait until the Time is Right: Every child is different, so just because your neighbor is potty training her 2-year-old son doesn’t mean you have to start with your child at the same time. Pay attention to how your child is developing mentally, socially, physically, etc. Ease into the transition, and always try to be positive about the experience with your child.

-Communicate, Communicate: You’re going to need to talk to your child about all the changes that will next place in the next phase. Keeping open lines of communication with your child is always important and should be a two-way street. In this case, they can share their feelings on the matter, which will help you determine if the timing is right to begin the potty training endeavor.

-Sweeten the Deal: I know it’s often considered “bad form” to bribe your child, but in the case of potty training go for it! Take your child to the store with you and let him pick out his favorite candy treat (small treats like M & M’s work best). Let him know that he will get his special treat every time he goes potty in the “big boy potty.” If you want to avoid candy, you can use stickers on a chart, special activities, or money in a piggy bank just as easily.

-Set Them up for Success: Much of the success will depend on you. First, be patient and have a good attitude. Purchase a potty for the bathroom, and explain to your child what it’s for. Give them ample opportunities throughout the day to try to “go.” And, if after a couple of weeks of trying, your child is getting frustrated with the process, take a break and return to trying again in a couple of weeks they simply might not be ready yet.

Potty training is different for every child, so pay attention to your own child, and do whatever seems right for both of you.

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