Wednesday, April 3, 2013

5 Tips for Potty Training Success

Potty training your child may seem daunting, however it should be a time to celebrate your child's independence and confidence.  

Here are a few tips to help potty training be successful: 

1. Kids will potty train when they are ready
No amount of persuasion, bribery, or force will convince a head-strong child to do something they don't want to.  Kids need to be ready for potty training: they need the mental and physical maturity to be successful.  You can help encourage your child to train by continuing to use cloth diapers that allow them to feel when they are wet, giving them diaper-free time, and illustrating that using the potty is part of life.  You may also consider purchasing a small-sized potty chair for children who are physically too small to use the adult-sized potty.

2. Select the correct clothing
Onesies and complicated clothing will only inhibit the potty training process.  Make sure your child has clothing that they can easily remove themselves.  Select pants with elastic waist bands and avoid jeans that have buttons or snaps.  Avoid one-piece pajamas; again keeping in mind that clothing may need to be removed quickly.

3. Treats aren't always necessary
While it's OK to offer the occasional sticker or treat in reward for using the potty, many kids don't need rewards to be successful.  Use treats sparingly, and offer verbal praise instead of treats.  Kids are learning that using the potty is part of life and being successful is reward enough.

4.  Have confidence in your child
Sometimes parents can be the inhibiting factor in their child's potty training success.  Children aren't going to be perfectly potty trained on day one, but if we don't let them practice they will never learn.  If you are worried about potential damage to expensive rugs or furniture, move those items (or play in another area of the house).  If your child says they want to wear underwear to bed, go for it - but have a waterproof mattress cover on the bed just in case.

5. Be patient and forgiving
Patience and a calm attitude during the potty training process are critical.  If there is an accident don't overreact or your may frighten your child. You may inadvertently make them regress or completely give-up on potty training for weeks or months.  I recall one night at 2am when our potty training two-year-old got out of bed, and Dad went to see what was going on.  She said she had wet her bed, and his response was, "That's OK, it happens".  Everyone quietly got it cleaned up, and she went back to bed as if nothing had happened.

Using the potty is part of life and potty training is not something to be feared.  Potty training should be child-driven with positive encouragement from the parents.

Ready to ditch the diapers?  Make sure your child is ready and encourage him if he is.


2 comments:

  1. What diapers do you feature in your picture above? I really like the ones with the circle design! I can always use more in my collection ;] Thanks!

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    1. The circle designs are Blueberry One-size diapers (http://www.kellyscloset.com/product.asp?itemid=4407&affid=649), but they are an older print that has been discontinued. Blueberry diapers always have the cutest prints: it looks like they've added an adorable elephant and monster print since the last time I looked!

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