Before You Start
Once you're ready to start to potty train, take your child into the bathroom with you, and talk about what you're doing.
If possible, have your child go to the bathroom with the same-gender parent, so he or she can see and learn the proper mechanics of toileting.
Use consistent words associated with potty training. Whether you say "poop" and "pee" or "urinate" and "defecate," choose words that are not offensive or embarrassing or that describe toileting functions in a negative way.
After your child understands what to do on the toilet, these steps to potty train can be encouraging:
• Provide your child with a potty chair that is low to the ground so that the feet touch the floor.
• Place your child on the potty seat at the same time each day so this becomes a regular part of his daily routine.
• Ask your child regularly to go to the bathroom, and encourage them to tell you when they need to go.
• When your child does go in the potty, be sure to reward, should your child fail to go in the potty, don't scold or punish him or her.
• Once your child has been successful at toileting a few times, consider dressing them in cotton underwear so that they become aware of being wet or dry.
• Continue toilet training even if you go on outings.
• When your child has learned to use the toilet consistently during the day, you may be able to take off the diapers at night.
• Your child may be ready to begin when the diaper stays dry more and more often overnight.
• Your child will begin to notice the potty and want to sit on the toilet.
• The child may express displeasure with a wet or dirty diaper, or may not want to wear a diaper anymore.
The Fears Of Falling. Some children have a fear of falling into the toilet, or of just hearing it flush. Although a potty chair is generally placed in the bathroom, you could also put it in the playroom or child's bedroom, where she/he will become comfortable with its presence.
You may want to try this first thing in the morning, but other times of the day may work better for your child. Leave your child in his potty chair for a few minutes and see if he or she goes.
Rewarding Your Child When Potty Training. Hugs, praise, or small rewards all help to reinforce the behavior. And if an accident happens, simply clean up and encourage to keep trying. Then move on to another activity without making a fuss. Some parents prefer to put their kids in disposable training pants until they're fully trained. Disposable training pants are still absorbent enough that they may delay the potty training process.
Matter-Of-Fact. Avoid giving too many fluids before bedtime, and make sure he or she uses the toilet so that they will not wet the bed. Above all else, remain calm about the entire process. Keeping in mind that accidents will happen, and when they do, avoid making a fuss or criticizing your child.
This article was produced by Potty Training Solutions. Copyright 1998-2004