Pick up Your Potty-Training Plan

Pottytraining 001

There are certain universal rules relating to potty training that can enhance your family’s experience no matter what method you choose. These tried-and-true rules can help you on your way to potty perfection.

Be positive.
Children learn better when they are praised for their progress rather than punished for their mistakes. Do what you can to help your child succeed as often as possible, which often means learning gradually, one tiny step at a time. When she progresses, give her a hug, some praise, and perhaps even a small tangible reward (sticker charts are great). When she fails, tell her you’re sure she’ll do better next time.

Be consistent. 
Create reasonable expectations according to your child’s abilities, express them clearly and frequently, and expect your child to at least try to follow them every time. Keep her bathroom routine as consistent as possible, with her potty in the same place every day and the sequence of actions-including wiping and hand-washing-the same every time. While she is toilet training, praise her for each success, and provide predictable, nonpunitive consequences (such as helping to clean up) for each failure. Make sure that your approach to toilet training is consistent with those of your child’s other caregivers as well, and keep an eye on the clock. Gentle reminders every hour or so for her to try using the potty can help curb accidents.

Stay involved and observe. 
Very young children’s needs, behaviors and abilities change frequently and, to some extent, are unpredictable. Toilet-training approaches that worked two weeks ago may not work today, and skills that your child mastered in the past may temporarily disappear in the face of new challenges. Continue to monitor your child’s bathroom behavior throughout toilet training and afterward so that you can quickly identify and resolve any new problems that arise. Don’t get discouraged if during a developmental change, she regresses on her potty progress, but keep up the consistency and next thing you know, she’ll be going on her own.

Yes really! Toilet training is a necessary chore, but it can also be fun at times. Don’t take your child’s hesitations, passing fears or resistance too seriously. Do what you can to occasionally take your eye off the long-term goal and enjoy the charming, funny moments along the way.

Source: Healthychildren.org from American Academy of Pediatrics