When you get ready to potty-train your little one, you may wonder about the “right” way to do it. The truth is, there isn’t only one “right” way. Potty-training is a learning process for both you and your child, and it takes time, effort and commitment. Some books or parenting gurus may promise you a step-by-step program for guaranteed success, but there is no easy or fool-proof way to do it. There will be accidents. It will take time, and that’s okay.
Potty-training is often different for each child and family, but here are a few tips that can help guide you along the way:
- First and foremost, although we all look forward to the diaper-free days, it is best to wait until the child is ready. What does ready look like? Signs include not wanting the diaper on, telling you when they went potty in the diaper, or showing an interest in going in a potty.
- There are several approaches from which you can choose. You can go cold turkey. This might involve putting underwear on your child and encouraging frequent potty breaks. You can do naked potty-training over a weekend (perhaps not the best idea if your home is carpeted) or you can use pull-ups. You have to do what is best for you and your child.
- Be consistent. When you start, everyone involved in caring for the child should be ready to put in the potty-training work. For example, daycare should be doing it during the day if you have started at home.
- If you meet resistance from your child, don’t push it. (This is really important!) If they don’t want to go, don’t force your child, or you could create a fear of the toilet and possibly prolong the process.
- Create a reward system for consistency. It can be a reward of your choosing. In my family, we rewarded our sons with M&M’s candy when they went on the potty, and they earned a bigger surprise when they went a whole week using the potty.
- Beware of automatically flushing toilets. They can scare the little ones and make them not want to use the potty anywhere other than their home.
And don’t forget, your pediatrician has helped many families make this journey through potty-training. Don’t be afraid to ask his or her advice before you start or if you encounter any difficulties along the way. We’re here to help!
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