Potty training your toddler is a big step in the upbringing of your child. The goal of raising a child is ‘them becoming independent’. Therefore, potty training is an important part of the upbringing of your child. At school I get a lot of questions about this: My child is almost four but still not potty trained, what am I doing wrong? Or: my toddler is not potty trained yet at night, should I leave off the diaper or not? Should I wake it up to go to the toilet, or not? There is no easy answer to all these questions, but I have collected some valuable advices for you, which I will mention now.
How do you know that your toddler is ready for potty training?
- Is your toddler able to walk to the toilet and to sit on it?
- Can your toddler pull down its own pants?
- Can your toddler stay dry for about two hours?
- Can your toddler understand and perform small tasks?
- Can your toddler tell you when he needs to use the potty?
If you answer is yes to all these questions, then you can start with potty training. However, when changes are about to happen at home, a new baby will be born, you are planning to move houses or if there are other far-reaching circumstances, it is better to wait 2-3 months until everybody and everything is back in their rhythm. The advices below will help you with potty training.
The 20 best potty-training advice
- Buy a potty before you start the training. Then, the potty will be a usual part of potty training already. I am very enthusiastic about this child toilet. The toilet even makes a flush sound:
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This convenient potty has different functions, it can also be used as a step stool for the regular toilet.
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- In the summer, your toddler can just walk around in his underwear. When it gets colder, it is best to use slacks. Make sure the child can take it off itself when it wants to use the potty.
- Always make sure you have sufficient clean underwear etc. on hand.
- Put your child on the potty regularly, for example in the morning after waking up, after dinner, before leaving the house and after returning.
- At a certain age most children don’t like walking around with pee or poop in their diaper anymore. This is the perfect moment to start with potty training.
- Observe your child. In that way you can get to know its behavior when it needs to go to the toilet. A lot of children do this during the meal or just after it.
- Give your child a lot of compliments when it sweetly sits on the potty and especially when it uses it.
- Don’t put your toddler on the potty for too long.
- Stay near your child when it is sitting on the potty or the toilet.
- You can decorate the potty with stickers or something like that.
- Sometimes it helps to give your child a reward, for example putting a sticker on a card and giving the child a small gift when the card is full. https://www.amazon.com/Reward-Punch-Cards-Teachers-Students/dp/B07CY2BV96 /ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1545727786&sr=8-5&keywords=reward+card
- If the child pees or poops in the potty it is important to stay calm but happy. Sometimes a toddler may get scared by a too enthusiastic mother, that takes a picture of the potty first, before taking care of her toddler. You can always take a picture for dad or grandma later.
- Take your toddler with you when you go the toilet yourself or show them how their brother or sister goes to the toilet. Then you can show it beforehand how it works and how you flush.
- Buy a device to narrow the toilet seat for your child and a step stool, ensuring that it can easily climb on the toilet. This is a great invention. You will notice that your toddlers loves to use it. It is adjustable and safe to use.
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- There are nice and good picture books for sale. Your toddler will get interested in becoming potty training when you read to it from them.
- A great book for kids is the following book with heroes:
- A book with a lot of humor:
- It stimulates your child when you compliment it when it does something well, for example when it has told you that it needs to go to the toilet.
- Some children are afraid of pooping, because it can splash or because they are afraid of flushing the toilet. Explain to your child what happens when you flush the poo or pee.
- In the beginning it is better to use a diaper when you go out with your child. In this way you can avoid uncomfortable situations.
- Remain calm and friendly when your toddler wets itself. Punishing and getting mad does not help. Compliments however, do.
- Remain calm and friendly when your toddlers has accidents for a while, even though it was actually potty trained. It will all work out again eventually.
- When the potty training is not working, it is better to suspend it for a few months and to then try it again, perhaps with a different approach.
- Becoming potty trained at night usually happens by itself after about six months.
Three-day potty training
I want to share this specific training with you. I regularly hear success stories about it from parents who have applied it.
The three-day potty training is an intensive training taking three days on average. Your child will get potty trained in those three days. It is intensive because you constantly have to observe your toddler. During these three days you will give your toddler extra fluids to drink and it will not wear a diaper. Put your toddler on the potty every two hours, making it comfortable and fun with a book or a story. Praise it when it ‘accidently’ pees on the potty. Don’t get angry or punish it when it keeps having accidents. You will probably notice a rhythm with your child and a certain behavior of your child when it needs to pee or poo. Put it on its potty when you recognize that your child needs to go and reward it when it uses the potty. In many cases your child will be potty trained after three intensive days, but sometimes you cause the child to resist it or you demotivate your child. In that case it is better to stop and to start again after some time, perhaps with a different approach.