Don’t let the idea of potty training intimidate you. If you are prepared with the right tools, education, and patient, positive attitude, it’ll go smoother than you think! Just like diapers, potty training is not one-size-fits-all. We have some preparation techniques to help guide you through the process from beginning to end. Let’s get started.
Step One: Pre-Potty Training Preparation
Before you even begin thinking about toilet training, you can begin helping your toddler make a positive association with using the restroom.
1. When you’re changing little one’s diaper, create a fun Potty Song or chant. Elmo has his own version of this song, and you can find many other songs online. This will help your little one start to associate potty time with this song, and help him/her transition to toilet time through music.
2. You are your child’s first and favorite role model. Let your child join you on restroom trips, and he/she will want to try using the toilet like mommy and daddy!
3. Let your child have some toilet time. Let your little one practice just sitting on the toilet several times a day, and create a schedule for it. Make it fun! Sometimes having a favorite doll or toy join them on the toilet helps with learning!
Step Two: Determining When Your Child is Ready to Try
Many parents begin potty training between the ages of 2½ or 3 years old; however, kids develop at their own rates! Your kids will start to show signs of readiness, so keep a lookout for:
1. Your child starting to notice dirty diapers and wanting to be changed. Your child may tug on their diaper or seem uncomfortable. This is a perfect time to take them to the toilet!
2. Your child starting to engage with the toilet process. They may follow you into the bathroom, ask what you’re doing, or try to flush the toilet. Let them!
3. Your child making noticeable facial expressions or noises when going to the bathroom in his/her diaper. If you can tell they’re going, you can encourage the toilet!
Step Three: Make Toilet Time Fun and Easy to Understand
Try not to get impatient if your child makes a mess or has trouble remembering to use the toilet. If you act stressed or upset, your child may make a negative association with potty training. Here are some tips for keeping toilet training fun and simple for your child.
Use your chosen Potty Song to help your child learn the process of using the toilet and remember when he/she needs to go!
Keep a chart by the toilet so they have a visual connection with how many times they’ve successfully used the potty.
Some parents choose to give a reward or small toy or candy when a child successfully uses the toilet. Whether or not you give a reward, definitely cheer and make a big deal about their success! Your child is making a big step towards being more independent.
Switch from diapers to trainers, so your child can easily pull up and pull down their own undergarments. This transition helps remind your little one when to use the bathroom, and allows the freedom to go try the toilet.
Step Four: Be Prepared with the Right Tools
Potty training is an exciting transition, and it comes with lots of other opportunities for growth and development -- and a few uh-ohs. Be prepared!
1. Potty training is also a great time to practice handwashing! Have your Handwashing Song ready right after the Potty Song, and go to the sink. Be sure you have a step-stool to make handwashing easy for your child.
2. Be sure to have lots of wet wipes on hand for easy clean-up.
3. Dress your child in stretchy, easy pull-down and pull-up pants.
4. Use fun, no-leak training pants with your child’s favorite designs, like ComfeesTM Training Pants! Potty training should be a fun introduction into a more independent phase of childhood. Make sure your kids feel excited and proud of their accomplishments!