Three Steps to Potty Success!

Are you ready to take on potty training? Is your toddler ready to learn? If you can answer these two questions with a resounding yes, then it’s potty time!

Not sure if you should answer yes? Well, you are ready to go if you are prepared to be patient, stick with it, and deal with a few messes along the way. More important than your readiness, you need to be sure your little one has the ability to use the potty. Your toddler should be capable of recognizing when she has soiled her diaper, and should ask to be changed. She should also be able to pull her own pants down and up again, and should understand what the potty is for and how it works. Finally, it’s important that she is able to stay dry for a few hours at a time.

When you are sure it’s the right time to give it a try, there are a few easy steps you can follow to maximize your chances of success.

Step One: Get Ready!

Take your prospective big kid out with you to select the tools you will need. Let her have a say in choosing a potty. Start out with a potty chair rather than a training seat that fits over the toilet, as toddlers are more comfortable when their feet can touch the ground. You will want a potty that is easy to clean, offers a large splash guard if you have a boy, and is sturdy and comfortable. You can also let your toddler pick out her first big kid underwear. Use the shopping trip as a chance to get her excited about using the potty! Talk it up, and show her you are excited too!

Step Two: Let the Diapers Go

While it may seem like a good idea to let your toddler wear a diaper for long outings to avoid accidents, it unfortunately won’t be good for the learning process. Unless he sees the results of an accident, your toddler won’t learn anything from it. The best way to achieve faster potty success is to go cold turkey on the diapers and let him learn from each mistake, no matter how many there may be at first. The same rule applies to training pants. They are useful at naps and overnight as night training often takes longer, but don’t be tempted to use them during the day. By holding in those accidents, they will hold your child back from progress. Put the big kid underwear on right away from day one, and don’t look back.

Step Three: Try, Try Again!

It will take a while for your child to start recognizing the signs of needing to go, and telling you about it in time to make it to the potty. The best way for him to learn is to spend as much time on the potty as possible. This may mean putting him on the potty every 15-20 minutes the first day, and letting him sit there as long as he is willing. Try reading books or singing songs to keep him occupied. Every time you have a success, celebrate! Let him know what he did was a very good thing indeed, and you are proud of him. Eventually, he will make the connection, and start using the potty on command. When he has mastered this, you are in the home stretch.

These three simple steps are the keys to potty training success. Remember, it might take a while for your toddler to catch on, but it will happen if you are consistent and keep at it. And the trade-off for cleaning up a few accidents is a big one – never having to change a diaper again!

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