• Mary Carlson Pap

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Potty Training Tips and Basics:

Potty training is a big step for kids and parents alike. Successful and happy potty training is crucial to the development of a child. The secret to success? Patience — perhaps more patience than you ever imagined. Incentives and positive rewards can also motivate some kids.


How do you know when its time?

Potty training success depends on physical and emotional readiness, not a specific age. Potty training success can also depend on what is happening in the family. Be sensitive to the child’s needs and what other stressors might be occurring at the time you decide to potty train. For example, a new baby in the family can cause some delay in the readiness of the 2 or 3-year-old child. There really is no rush.


Some signs that your child may be ready to try:

One of the most obvious ways to know if your child is ready is that they are interested in the potty chair and in wearing underwear. They are aware about when they need to go potty and can tell you. Another sign is that your child can follow basic directions about other activities. When your child stays dry for 2 hours or more during the day, they can try wearing underwear. If your child does not like to be wet or messy and communicates with you that they need a change of diapers or clothes, it may be a good time to start working on potty training. Being able to dress themselves and can take clothes on and off, will make potty training much easier for you and them. Your child likes to sit on the potty chair and can stay there for a period of time.



Give it a try!

When you decide it’s time to begin potty training, set your child up for success. Start by maintaining a sense of humor and a positive attitude — and recruiting all of your child’s caregivers to do the same. Potty Fairy incentives can help the process! Children love to play and imaginative things. Include the Potty Fairy stories, song, and fun underwear to make the process fun. Read the Potty Fairy story so the magic can begin. When your child is willing to start going potty on the potty chair, let the fairies deliver the special underwear in the night and let them use them the next day.  Children love the undies and typically do not want them to get soiled or wet.  More than anything, celebrate small (and big!) successes with them in the way that they love the most.


Pull out the equipment Place a potty chair in the bathroom. You might want to try a model with a removable top that can be placed directly on the toilet when your child is ready. Help your child understand how to talk about the bathroom using simple, correct terms. You might want siblings or a parent show the child what the potty chair is for. Give yourself a long weekend to focus on the process and make it memorable and special.  3 days is a reasonable amount of time for success.  Most families that I have worked with have found success over the weekend.  





Celebrate ... or keep going!

Did your child potty train easily? Congrats to you to be out of diapers. However, some kids need more than a few days to really get the hang of it. Even if they do great for a while, you will likely have accidents to deal with. Just keep going. I tried potty training my second child too early and she had so many accidents. We stopped for a month or so and decided to try again. She was much more ready and potty trained in just a couple days. Sometimes it's best to step back and take the stress off, and then start fresh when everyone's had some more time.





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