In a world where everyone is moving at a fast pace, it often becomes frustrating for parents to devote so much time to potty training.
Repeatedly failing can discourage them further and they might show this disappointment to their child.
A new training method that helps children to get trained in three days has been tried successfully by a lot of parents.
The Preparation for 3-day Potty Training
You will need entire three days for this training so devote all your time to the child during this period. Therefore this training is best suited to weekends and is also called as “weekend training”.
Do not make any plans for the training weekend and cancel all the appointments you have for the weekend until and unless it is absolutely necessary.
This step might appear as challenging to some parents, especially the ones with a very active social and professional circle but these three days are worth it.
There are few materials that will be required for the training. These materials should be available at all the times to make the training more efficient.
- Quite a number of freestanding potty chairs. Do not just buy one chair.
There should be enough chairs to cover all the important areas of the house.
- Lots of cleaning supplies. There should be plenty of rugs, mops and other cleaning supplies with a good amount of cleaning detergent.
- Fluids like juices and shakes and food items like watermelons or popsicles. Basically anything that increases the fluid intake of your child.
- Salty snacks like crackers and nuts, which will make your child, feel thirsty, hence more fluid consumption.
- Several sets of loose fitting pants since there will be a lot of accidents at the first day of the training.
Make a potty dance routine that will involve enthusiastically singing and cheering someone whenever they use the toilet. Involve other family members in the dance routine.
It can be anything from a simple clap and jump routine to a more lyrical act. The song should have motivational and encouraging gestures.
It should not be random in nature and do not change it every time. This is like a group motto song that will be required a lot during these three days.
The preparation for the three-day training starts two to three weeks before the actual training. During this period you have to make your child observe potty routine closely.
Take them to the toilet when you need to relieve yourself. If you are uncomfortable peeing in front of your child you can just act like it and not do it in real.
Speak aloud every step you take from pulling down your pants to using the toilet paper.
Do not tell your child to do anything.
This is just a preparatory phase and here you are creating a base for the real training. When you use the toilet, your partner and other family members can sing the potty song.
Every time you go to the toilet, sing this song and your child will connect potty time to a fun and celebration time. Every family member should try to follow this step whenever possible so that the child gets accustomed to the potty celebration situation.
Place all the potty chairs in the areas most visited by your child.
Do not instruct them to use it right away.
Just let the chairs lie around and out of curiosity your child will try to sit on it. You have to depict the potty chair more like a normal toy chair and your child will start to get comfortable around them.
A week before the training, start disposing the diaper stack in front of your child. The reason this training is so effective is it is no-diaper training.
For three days your child will not wear any kind of diaper, training pants or underwear. They are only allowed to wear loose cotton pants if they have to be taken outside.
Children dislike wearing diapers a lot. Use this fact to your advantage. During this period keep telling your child that you will play a game in the coming weekend during which they can roam around absolutely naked.
Nothing brings more comfort to children than the thought of running around naked without any obstruction. Feed daily this information to your child and they will get really enthusiastic for the training by the end of the week.
The point here is to lure the child into training but not bribe them with treats or gifts as they might get spoiled in future.
Is Your Child Ready for Potty Training?
One of the first things you have to access is whether or not your child is ready for potty training. There’s nothing more frustrating than going to all the trouble of getting ready for potty training and then having a child that just isn’t ready.
The child won’t understand what you are trying to teach them and both of you will end up frustrated with the each other.
The end result can even set the child further back in potty training, because they will become scared of using the toilet or hate the idea of using it.
The following things will help you know whether or not your child is physically and mentally ready for potty training.
Some of these things might take time. You might need to put off potty training for a month or two in order to make sure your child is ready.
Remember it’s more important to ensure your child is ready than rushing into it.
Take notes, use a calendar if necessary or teach your child certain things all before rushing into potty training too early.
- Your child can walk without help.
- Has bowel movements at predictable times – if you haven’t been paying attention to this before start keeping track for a week or two.
- Stays dry for a couple hours a time, like during naps or while playing – this shows that the child’s bladder muscle is developed and actually holding urine for periods of time.
- Will sit for short periods of time – five minutes is long enough.
- Will put pants up and down – these can be easy pants, like sweat pants or shorts with an elastic band; you also may need to teach your child how to do this.
- Dislikes wearing a diaper or when it’s wet or dirty – the child may ask you to change it before you realize it’s dirty.
- Is curious about the bathroom – may want to watch you or others go to the bathroom.
- May tell you when he/she is going or has gone to the bathroom in their diaper.
- Will follow instructions – these don’t need to be bathroom related, just an instruction from you like “go get your shoes”.
- Knows the words for the bathroom – “potty, poop, pee, etc.” whatever words you want to use are fine, again you may need to teach your child these words and become familiar with them.
These are the signs your child is ready for potty training. It’s not essential that your child is ready with all ten; however, if you feel that your child is showing seven or eight of the signs then he/she is probably ready for potty training. Only you can be the judge of whether your child is ready.
There are some other factors that will push you, like preschool or daycare, which is completely understandable. In those situations when you need to push your child before he/she may be completely ready, do everything you can to help your child be ready.
Encourage curiosity about the bathroom. Make the potty training experience a positive one.
Gather Up Supplies for Potty Training
The first step on the road to potty independence is making sure you have the right supplies to get you there. You can find nearly anything for potty training these days – from germ blocking potty gloves to baby urinals.
But, you don’t really need all those frills; in fact your life will be much easier if you stick to the basics.
1 – Baby’s First Potty
First things first, you’re going to need a potty for baby. Now, this can be a standalone potty just for your little one or an attachment seat for your own grown-up size potty.
The choice is yours, though if you go with the potty seat attachment, be sure you have a step stool for your little one to easily get on and off.
Some parent-trusted potties are: the Summer Infant Lil’ Loo Potty – it’s very comfortable and looks very stylish, which can blends pretty well with your bathroom decor. An easy to remove pot and high splash guard for boys make clean up quick and simple. The high back seat provides additional comfort and support for your little one.
The Safety 1st Talkin’ Tunes Potty (which includes a handle that makes a flushing sound and plays a specific encouragement message that you can record yourself)…
And the Munchkin Arm & Hammer 3-in-1 Potty Seat (which can be used as a standalone toddler potty or you can remove the top seat and use it on an adult toilet – also this potty comes with a built-in wipes dispenser and deodorizing disk to keep the stink level down).
2 – Training Pants/Underwear
To help things go smoother and to make things more fun, take your little one with you and let them pick out their own “big kid” undies! Pull-Up diapers (which have less absorbency than normal diapers) are a great solution for nighttime, especially when first starting out.
They may help avoid multiple nighttime sheet changes.
3 – Easy On/Off Clothes
It’s time to put away those adorable overalls and tight baby leggings. Your little one will need clothes (especially pants) that are easy to get off in order to avoid accidents.
Look for loose-fitting pants with elastic waists and avoid belts or clips which may be hard for rushed little fingers to get undone in time. For nighttime, use two-piece pajamas instead of the footed “onesie” kind.
You should be sure to have an assortment of potty-training books (for parents and child) on hand as visual aids and tension easers. Some great ones to look for are: “The Potty Book” (there are editions specific to boys and girls), “P is for Potty” (Sesame Street themed), or “Potty Time” (complete with ‘flush’ sound effect button).
You can also look for potty training videos like: Go Potty Go or even episodes of some of their favorite shows like Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood that highlight potty training.
5 – Rewards
Nothing promotes good, consistent behavior like rewards! Try giving your child a fun snack or candy to keep them motivated. If you’d like to avoid food-related treats, a sticker chart can be a great idea – let them add one of their favorite stickers each time they go.
Another idea is to buy your child a poster they really want for their room and cover the image with post-it notes. When they use the potty, they get to remove a post-it and when all the notes are gone, they can enjoy the poster!
6 – Fun Soap/Washcloths
One of the most important things to teach along with potty training is good hygiene after you go. To make hand-washing feel like less of a chore, opt for fun foamy soaps or cute washcloths in all different colors.
On a related note, you may want to consider picking up a pack of flushable wipes. These are similar to baby wipes, but break down in the sewer. They clean a little easier and more thoroughly than toilet paper alone.
7 – Mattress Protector and Extra Sheets
Your little one will inevitably wet the bed during this time so it’s a good idea to invest in some extra sheets and a good cover for their bed. Sheets and clothes can be easily washed, but once an accident soaks into the mattress it is much more difficult to clean up.
One tried-and-true tip is to double layer your child’s bed–protector over the mattress, followed by one fitted sheet, and then a second layer of protector and sheet.
That way, if your little one has an accident in the middle of the night, just peel off the top sheet and protector and send them back to bed–no rummaging in the closet and fighting with the mattress at two o’clock in the morning.
8 – Cleaning Supplies
Accidents WILL happen, so make sure you have plenty of paper towels, clean-up rags, and appropriate disinfecting sprays to deal with them. A good stain-removing spray and laundry detergent is also essential.
Setting the Stage for Potty Training Success
The right age for your child to start potty training can range from anywhere between eighteen months to two years old, so it can be difficult for you to figure out exactly when to set the stage.
However, experts recommend that you begin talking to your child about potty training right after the first birthday.
This will spark the child’s interest, as well as make him aware and comfortable with the whole idea of going to the potty.
Here are the six steps to helping your child have develop the right mind-set about potty training:
- Get Your Child Accustomed to the Potty As Soon As Possible
This initial step is crucial before your child is ready to be potty trained.
Once he is ready, the potty will no longer appear strange to him. One way of getting him comfortable with the potty is to let him spend some time sitting on the toilet while you take a shower or get dressed.
- Put Pottying in a Positive Light
It helps to play up the benefits of going to the potty for your child’s benefit, especially before you attempt getting rid of his diapers. You could exclaim that it’s fun to go diaper-free and start wearing underwear instead.
You might also say in an encouraging way that it would be great when he soon flushes the toilet the way his parents do.
The important thing is to refrain from saying it’s babyish to keep wearing diapers, which might lead him to develop an attitude of resistance towards you and potty training.
- Get Your Child Comfortable with Bathroom Talk
You may choose to use slang or babyish terms when introducing the potty to your child, or you may decide on using formal words instead. Either way, it is important that you consistently use the choice of words you have decided on so that your child becomes comfortable with bathroom talk.
It also helps if you avoid saying things like “yucky” or “smelly” around your child when handling his used diapers. This way, he will view toileting and removing his bowels as a completely natural thing to do.
- Recognize Your Child’s Grown-Up Behavior In General
You should not use potty training as an overall marker of your child’s development. Show your support for his grown-up behavior in general without pressuring him to act older.
For example, you could praise him for sharing his toys with his friends and for drinking from a glass without spilling the contents.
- Read All About Potty Training
By the time he is 18 months old, you could start introducing your child to potty training through books that will teach him about it.
It helps if the books you choose are written in a way that your child can easily understand, and if they have familiar characters.
However, don’t compare him to the characters; just let them help him warm up to the idea of going to the potty.
- Be Realistic in Your Expectations
Each child has a unique timetable when it comes to potty training. It does not mean that your second child will be potty training on his first birthday, simply because his older brother or sister did the same thing.
Going to the potty is a natural process that you cannot force. You should just allow it to happen on your child’s terms; doing otherwise will only make your child frustrated with potty training, and may delay the whole process.
Choosing the Perfect Potty Seat for Your Child
Once your child is ready to be potty trained, it is time for you to purchase the perfect potty seat for him to use. It would be better to take your child along with you when you shop.
This will help you see which potty features work best for your child and help you make the best decision. It also helps to keep the following things in mind when choosing a potty seat for your child:
- Make Sure to Plan for Potty Storage Space
The best way to plan for storage space is to consider which type of potty training seat you want to purchase. You may choose between a stand-alone potty and a seat reducer.
- Stand-Alone Potty
A stand-alone potty allows your child to get on and off without your help. In cases when he takes a long time before being able to go, the stand-alone potty also helps prevent him from hogging the family toilet to himself.
Letting your child have a stand-alone potty for himself also enables you to have a demonstration in potty training.
Choose a stand-alone potty that meets your size (its seat must accommodate your child’s bottom comfortably), safety (the seat should be stable), and simplicity (it should be easy to use and clean) requirements.
- Seat Reducer
A seat reducer is a toilet device you place on top of your regular toilet seat. It is a great way of reducing the seat’s ring size so that your child can sit comfortably.
You may opt for a seat reducer if you are looking for a less expensive way of potty training your child, and if lack of extra floor space is an issue for you.
Your child will have the advantage of getting used to the regular toilet, while you also gain the benefit of having less mess to clean after each use.
- Choose the Potty with a Good Fit
It can be daunting to buy a potty when you have various heights and rim sizes to choose from. Just keep in mind that a good fit is important, one that lets your child’s bottom sit comfortably.
Pass up on potty models that has your child’s bottom almost going through the inside rim or spilling over the seat. Choose the potty that has your child sitting solidly on its seat while letting his feet planted firmly on the floor.
- Consider Choosing a Potty Seat with a Splash Guard
A splash guard is especially helpful in potty training your child if he is a boy. Using one will help reduce your time in cleaning up afterwards.
It is important to select a splash guard that keeps the pee in the potty by being high enough, but not so high that your child will have a difficult time trying to sit down on it.
- Make Room for Additional Fun Features
A potty that comes with magical wand reward song or a race car flushing noise might just help increase your child’s willingness to be potty trained, so it helps to pick one that has extra fun features like a theme, song, or light and sound effects.
However, keep in mind that no light show or fancy song can take the place of your praise for your child’s efforts. You will be better off giving your child a big hug or a special song and dance routine than by going for electronic extras.
- Check How Easy or Difficult It Is to Empty the Potty
This tip is particularly important when choosing a stand-alone potty. Make sure you have checked the number of steps you are required to take in cleaning and emptying a potty.
Potty training your child may become difficult simply because you have disassemble your child’s potty afterwards every time he uses it.
The Three days of Potty Training
After you have successfully completed the preparations for the three-day training, get started with it on the weekend!
One of the most important things that you will do today is to wake up as soon as you know your child is awake. If your child stays and plays quietly in their room and you usually go back to sleep, this is no longer an option. We want to start the day off with the actions that we want your child to begin to take.
We want to begin teaching the habit of using the bathroom as soon as the child wakes up. The only way that can happen is if you get up as soon as you hear your child.
If you are a deep sleeper and you know the average time your child usually wakes up, then you should set an alarm for before that time. You need to be awake and ready from the moment your child wakes up.
If your body and your child’s body can handle it, this needs to be a day of salty foods and pushing lots of liquids. Simply stated, we must create the urge to pee as often as possible.
You and your partner need to do the same thing. You can use your child’s favorite beverage or simply push drinking a lot of water.
Be careful not to have your child drink so much that they get a tummy ache. The goal is to do this with as little frustration and stress as possible.
Your child should be taken to the potty every 15 – 30 minutes to try and pee or poop during the day. This is the reason why it is important that you clear your schedule.
If you have a smart phone, you can use your timer to remind you or you can download a free potty training app to remind you when it is time to go to the potty.
Anytime you or your partner need to use the bathroom, the child needs to go along into the bathroom. This allows them to continue to learn the steps of using the bathroom. It also helps if you verbalize the steps involved.
- Step One
“Oh! I need to go pee or poop. It is time to go into the bathroom.”
- Step Two
Pull down my pants.
- Step Three
Pull down my underwear next.
- Step Four
Now, sit on the potty to use it.
- Step Five
Do you hear that sound? It is pee or poop coming out of my body!?
- Step Six
Time to wipe.
- Step Seven
Time to pull up my underwear.
- Step Eight
Pull up my pants.
- Step Nine
Time to flush the potty.
- Step Ten
Now it is time to wash my hands with warm water and soap.
It’s important that you use the proper words to explain what your body is doing. They need to know and understand that these things are normal.
Any time your child successfully pees or poops in the potty, even if it is very little, it is a time to be celebrated. Use your special potty dance and reward your child with a sticker or whatever reward you’ve decided to use.
Remember that the goal isn’t necessarily that a child learns to associate a reward with using the bathroom.
The goal is to condition your child into using the toilet instead of needing a diaper. Other rewards that aren’t dependent on physical gains (such as candy or stickers) include high fives and verbal praise.
Verbal praise can be as simple as saying what a good job they did by using the potty. You can reinforce it by telling them how smart and “big” they are because they used the potty.
Statistics have shown that around ten successful times of using the potty, children start to associate what they are doing (peeing or pooping) with the potty. It’s important to stick with it even if there are accidents. Children, floors, furniture, and clothing can be washed.
If an accident happens , it’s okay. Just clean it up and keep going. However, if your child has an accident you should note tell them that what they did is okay.
You should, of course, give a feeling of reassurance that although they made a mistake , they are still loved and accepted . Remind them in a kind but firm way that pee and poop must be done on the potty.
It is important that you do not yell at your child or try to shame your child when accidents happen. This is a big adjustment for your child. Your child can and should help clean up any accidents that occur.
They do not and should not do it alone. Put your hand over their head as the mess is cleaned up.
It is perfectly acceptable to use a diaper or a pull up during nap time and at bed time. Take them to use the potty before nap time or bed time.
This builds the habit of using the toilet before bed. As time goes on, this will reduce the number of wetting while asleep. Once your child wakes up dry on a very regular basis, you might begin the process of letting them sleep without a diaper.
Useful Tips For Day 1
- Tip #1: Remember That This Is A New Experience For You Both
This is a new experience for both of you. They will get the hang of it with time. Rome was not built in a single day. Although the goal is to potty train in three days, the key to this is repetition and consistency.
- Tip #2: Always Use Positive Reinforcement
Reward your child when they do use the potty. The goal is to begin to build the connection between the body’s actions and using the toilet.
- Tip #3: Let Your Child Know When It Is Time To Go Potty
Do not ask your child if they need to go potty. You are the parent. You should make it a short command. “It is time to go potty.” You could also say, “Let’s go use the potty.”
This is not something that they have a choice to do. This is new to them.
Your child may still be associating the feelings the body sends to the brain into the proper actions. You facilitate this by giving them an instruction to go use the potty.
- Tip #4: Make Sure That You Use Words
Use your words. When they pee or poop or when they see you pee or poop, tell them what is going on. Use the proper words. This action helps reinforce that they are doing the right thing and that nothing is wrong.
Today, we are going to add something new to the routine that we followed on Day 1. We are also going to inject a little bit of fun into the day. We’re sure that you and your child are probably tired of being in the house all day.
After your complete your morning routine, begin to go about your day as normal while sticking to the schedule from yesterday. You can increase the time between mandatory trips to the potty , but keep it relatively short since the connection is still being built with the actions and using the potty.
At some point during the day directly after they’ve used the potty, make an announcement that since they’ve used the potty it is time to go outside and play. If you have inclement weather , think of a fun indoor activity.
You can use going outside to play or the fun indoor activity as a reward today for using the potty. Get your child dressed. Use underwear and not a diaper.
Stay close to home and have extra clothing with you since accidents happen. Play outside or participate in your indoor activity for an hour.
The goal is to help teach your child to use the bathroom when they are told to use the bathroom. This is just like when we were children and our parents would tell us to use the bathroom before we left for a car trip.
If your child indicates during play time that they need to use the toilet, immediately stop the activity and take them in to the bathroom. If you are playing outside in your back yard and you have a privacy fence then you can take one of your training potties outside with you.
Of course, you should only do that if the weather is appropriately warm and there is enough privacy for your child. However, your child may not tell you if they need to use the potty.
Watch for signs that they need to use the bathroom. A few signs that your child may show to indicate that they need to use the potty:
- Watch for changes in your child’s facial expressions. This is particularly true if your child needs to poop. You can look for signs of strain.
- Your child may grab at their genitals if they need to pee. Anytime your child grabs their genitals.
Say, “Let’s go use the potty.” Stop what you are doing and take them to use the potty.
They may get upset that the activity must be paused. Reassure them that it’s okay and that they can continue their activity after they use the potty. Then, make sure that you follow through.
After they use the toilet, allow them to resume their previous activity.Remember to keep things stress free. Don’t use negative words or blame during the second day.
If there is an accident, follow the advice given for day one. Work with your child to clean it up and remind them that pee and poop belongs only in the potty.
Useful Tips For Day 2
Congratulations! You’ve made it to the middle of the potty training program. That is an amazing and exciting point. If your child is still struggling, don’t worry.
Sometimes it just takes a little longer. It’s hard to really know how much our children associate and understand since we can’t read their minds. This is one reason why repetition is key.
- Tip #1: Go Outside
When you take your trip outside, do not go too far away from the house. The goal is to keep them dry and successful. Children have small bladders.
They also may not have total control over their ability to hold their bladder. To help keep them successful, stay close to home so that you can get them to a potty as soon as possible.
- Tip #2: If There Is An Accident, It Is Ok
If they have an accident and you are too far away from home to make it to the potty in time, it’s okay. You should reassure them and let them know that sometimes accidents happen.
Remind them that we always want to do our best to make it to the potty in time. This is also why you should keep an extra set of dry clothes with you.
- Tip #3: Do Not Drive Anywhere!
Don’t set out on a drive. You don’t want to keep your child away from the potty or away from home where all of their potties are located.
It might be a little confusing for them to be in a place where they see no potties. This three day training is all about building the connection.
This is your third and final day of intensive potty training. You and your child have done a lot of hard work the past two days. Today will be no different, but now you are continuing to build a habit in their mind to use the potty.
Clearly, you want to continue your routine from day one. Today is different because you will go outside more than once. Schedule your outside time according to the weather and around your daily activities.
Before you go outside each time, let your child know about the plan and take them to use the potty first. Remember, you can use going outside as the reward for using the potty.
Both times that you go outside, you want to full dress them. Part of learning to use the potty includes pulling down pants and underwear as well as pulling them up. The only way to really learn that action is to do it first-hand. It also builds independence.
If you have a travel potty for children, use it for day two and day three. If you have a private yard, you can just use one of the training potties from inside your home.
Today is simply a day where you are reinforcing and continuing the use of the potty at regular intervals. You tell your child to use the potty. It’s okay to take them and help them with their clothing and get them seated, too.
Since you are venturing out twice today, you are continuing to reinforce that we need to hold our urge to pee or poop until we can get to the potty.
Again, that is something that can take time to learn. Some children simply can’t hold it as long as others.
This is why it is still important that you don’t go too far away from home or the potty. You want to foster a feeling of independence and capability. You want to set them up for success.
Useful Tips For Day 3
- Tip #1: Keep Rewarding Your Child
Remember that you should still be rewarding every use of the potty. It can be anything from the potty dance to high fives to a small treat. It really does depend on your child’s needs.
- Tip #2: If You Drive…
If you plan on taking a car trip anywhere, remember to keep it short.
- Tip #3: Don’t Be Afraid To Brag About Your Child
Brag on your child’s successes in front of your child. This helps your child know that they are doing the right thing. It makes them feel good.
- Tip #4: In Case Of An Accident…
Accidents will always happen. If it does, it is ok and this is just a normal part about being a child.
- Tip #5: Invest In Some Toddler Tops
If you’ve been using the training potties, get one of the toddler potty tops for regular toilets. You can put it in your old diaper bag or get a new tote bag. Then, you can take it with you on trips to the store and your child will be able to use any potty.
- Tip #6: Take Your Child Into The Bathroom With You
Continue to take your child to the bathroom with you. It’s important that they realize that using the potty is something that everyone does.
The Follow-Up Plan
The success of the three day potty training lies in preparation and follow up as much as the actual training. After three days, your child will be comfortable to use potty-chair and will be able tell you when they feel like peeing or pooping.
But accidents might happen sometimes and during these times you have to behave exactly the way you behaved during the training. Do not scold the child by assuming that they should have mastered everything at the end of the training.
After the training, make sure they are bottom naked for at least three months inside the house. It is observed that if trained children are made to wear diapers again, they get too relaxed and lazy.
They consider diapers a kind of a substitute and will start peeing and pooping in them, defeating the purpose of the training. When outside, make them wear loose pants with no undergarments and no diapers.
Carry a portable chair with you if you have to take them for a long drive.
In case your child is unsuccessful in the training, do not get demoralized. There are various reasons for failure like wrong age of training, stressful environment, improper follow-up etc.
Sometimes every factor is perfect and even then the child can be unsuccessful, although that doesn’t happen frequently.
Do not talk about the training in front of the child for at least six to eight weeks. After this duration the training can be started again.
Precautions for 3 Days Training Method
It is hard for parents to devote three full days to the training, especially if both the parents are working. So, make sure to clear your schedule before you take this training.
Absenteeism even for a single day can ruin the training. The follow-up also becomes difficult and it is better to have help ready on hand for the follow-up process.
Some parents feel that it is better to have three days of hectic schedule than to have countless restless days and nights, others beg to differ. The conditions required for the training make it more difficult.
Talk before hand to the day care or pre-school owner of the child to check if they would allow your child to stay only with pants and no undergarment.
Explain them clearly and sort every matter before hand or the child might face unnecessary embarrassment in front of a large crowd.
If you live in a cold area, better reschedule the training to the summers. Keeping your child cold is not a good idea during winters.
Potty Training – What to Do & What Not to Do
In any kind of training, it is important that everything you do aims for progress and results. And because potty training is different for every child, you must figure out what works best for your child.
You already know the basic steps of potty training your child, now let’s tackle a list of “do’s” that you may follow throughout your training period.
What To Do
- DO make sure that your child is a hundred percent ready to embark on the potty training journey. This means that the child should have mental, physical and emotional preparedness as discussed above.
- DO plan things ahead of time. Things are always easier when done in an organized fashion. Decide when you want to start potty training and carefully plan how you want to achieve your goal.
Consider all variables that may impact your child’s learning. This includes your child’s readiness, your schedule, equipment that you may need and other tools that may reinforce learning.
- DO take note of your child’s natural elimination routine. Observe what time your child usually pees or poops during the day and write it down.
Do this at least a week before you start potty training, this will help you in planning a potty schedule for your child.
- DO get people involved in the potty training process. You see, potty training a child can be a daunting task. Thus, it’s not a job for a one-man team. Both parents need to be hands-on in training the child.
In fact, all members of the family can play a role in the training process. Constant reminders, encouragements and praises will have a more positive effect on the child if everyone is consistent.
If your child goes to a daycare and/or a preschool, it would be for the best if you inform the caregivers and/or teachers that you are potty training. Inform them of the strategies that you are using so that they may do the same whenever your child is with them.
- DO make a potty schedule for your child. Based on the natural elimination routine that you have written down, decide which parts of the day are best for potty training your child. This can be every morning, after naps, after eating and so on.
It really depends on your child’s default routine. Why? Because it will be easier to potty train your child in times of the day when they usually pees or poops rather than forcing them to sit on the potty randomly during the day.
- DO break the process into simple steps. This is essential, especially if your child is responding negatively, resisting, or is scared of the toilet.
Do things one step at a time. Just like in the steps discussed above, sit your child on the potty or on the toilet with clothes on first.
Once they are used to it, then you can try sitting them on the potty or on the toilet with bare bottoms. Always introduce new steps in a gradual manner. This way, you can avoid overwhelming your child or making them feel pressured.
- DO remind your child to use the potty at constant intervals. Once your child is comfortable sitting on the potty chair following their potty schedule, you may start increasing their potty chair time. This can be every 15 minutes, every 30 minutes, or every hour, whichever is closer to your child’s regular eliminating routine.
Many parents use alarms to make sure that they stick to their schedule. Some even give their kids watches with alarms that buzz. This way the kids can be more involved and they can take the initiative to stop what they are doing because it’s time to sit on the potty chair.
- DO make it fun. Potty training or toilet training can be a long and exhausting process for you and your child. And just like at work or at school, the difficulty of any task triples if you are not enjoying what you are doing.
And so, find simple ways to make potty training enjoyable for you and your child. Try watching a movie while having potty time!
- DO use motivating tools. Read a story or sing a song about potty training. You may also use pictures or posters. Be innovative in motivating your child to use the potty!
Positive reinforcement always goes a long way. Simple rewards like a piece of chocolate or a cookie each time your child uses the potty will keep him/her motivated.
- DO praise your child for his/her efforts. Aside from physical rewards, verbal praises can do magic in keeping your child motivated.
Children are always proud when they accomplish something and this is how they will feel every time you acknowledge their efforts. Not only will verbal praises motivate your child to stick to his/her potty training routine, it will also boost their confidence and sense of independence.
- DO accept that “accidents” will happen. Since your child is undergoing training, you can’t exactly expect dryness 24/7. Accidents are bound to happen.
These are just temporary setbacks and having an “accident” doesn’t mean that your potty training is a failure. Acknowledge your child’s efforts and encourage him/her to get to the potty faster next time. As the saying goes, try and try until you succeed.
- DO let your child be involved in cleaning up. Give your child simple tasks when cleaning up after an “accident”. Maybe just putting his/her clothes in the hamper or handing you a rug. In doing this, your child will feel independent and all grown up.
He/she becomes aware that it’s not easy to clean up, thus, he/she will be more careful to avoid accidents next time. By practicing this, you are also teaching your child to be responsible and neat.
- DO stay calm when potty training your child. It is perfectly understandable if at some point you feel frustrated about the progress in your child’s potty training. Breathe in! Breathe out! Always keep in mind that each child’s potty training timetable is different.
Avoid comparing your child’s progress with those of other children’s, you will only feel pressured. Don’t be hard on yourself and on your child! Look at potty training as a unique journey for you and your child, savor every moment of it and just enjoy witnessing your child’s progress. Remember, patience is a virtue.
- DO ask older kids to be an example for your child in training. If you haven’t noticed, toddlers love to copy older kids. And so if you ask an older kid (preferably 4 or 5 years old) to demonstrate the proper use of the potty, copying them will be second nature to your toddler.
- DO bring a portable potty whenever you leave the house. As your kid has not mastered bladder control yet, he/she may make sudden announcements about the need to go in the middle of your trip.
You wouldn’t want to be caught off guard, now would you? You see, even if your destination has a restroom, sometimes it’s just too far to avoid accidents!
- DO celebrate once your child is completely potty trained. After all the hard work that you and your child have put into potty training, a celebration is in order! Make sure to acknowledge your child’s achievement and don’t forget to give yourself a pat on the back too!
You can go out for ice cream, or make a special treat at home to reward your child. You can have a lunch out or dinner out with the whole family. There are plenty of ways to celebrate the milestone that you and your child just conquered! It doesn’t have to be grand, but it needs to be fun!
If there are things that are highly recommended when potty training a child, of course there are also things that are highly discouraged. No matter how daunting and frustrating the potty training process is, it is highly advised for you, the trainer, not to get carried away with your emotions.
Your child needs you to complete this major milestone, thus you need to keep your head in the game! To keep you guided, here are some of the don’ts when potty training a child:
What Not To Do
- DON’T start potty training if your child is not ready. As discussed above, mental, physical and emotional preparedness must be attained by the child before you start potty training.
This means that they can recognize when they need to pee, they can walk, sit and stand on their own, and so on. Forcing your child to learn something that they are not ready for may only upset them and cause delays in the learning process.
- DON’T pressure your child or yourself. Allow your child to follow their natural pace and just let them ease in to your potty training routine. There is no standard timetable for potty training and as pointed out above this is a unique journey for each child.
And so, to keep from pressuring your child or yourself, just let things flow naturally and avoid comparing your child’s progress with those of other kid’s. Your kid’s pace is different from theirs, and that’s not a bad thing!
- DON’T shoulder the burden all by yourself. It may seem easy at first but when the exhaustion and frustration kicks in, you’ll need someone by your side. Even superheroes need help sometimes!
Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. Rather, it’s a sign of strength! It shows that your family can work as a team to achieve a common goal!
- DON’T turn potty training into a battle of wills. You and your child are on the same team although you may not feel this, especially when your child throws tantrums. Major changes tend to overwhelm and upset children in the beginning but they’ll eventually ease into the change.
If ever your child is upset, just remain calm but be firm in giving instructions. Make sure that they follow through with your request even after throwing tantrums. Remind them of the rewards, if you prepared any, like a piece of chocolate or a cookie if they complete the task.
- DON’T let your child wear pants that are too tight or difficult to remove. As a part of potty training, you want your child to be able to pull their pants down or up all on their own.
However, this task can be close to impossible if your child is wearing clothes that are too tight or have too many buttons, zippers, etc.
- DON’T overreact. Yes, you need to give your child positive reinforcements and constant praises, but don’t overdo it!
You don’t need to have a parade or throw a party every time your kid uses the potty. You may do a dance or sing songs if these are part of your techniques. Sometimes, a simple acknowledgement like “Good job! You are really growing up!” will do.
- DON’T scold your child whenever he/she has “accidents” or refuses to follow your potty training routine. Getting angry will not accomplish anything.
If anything, it will only turn potty training into a negative experience for your child and lessen their interest to continue training. And so, whenever you encounter setbacks, try your best to address it calmly.
- DON’T give in to tantrums. In the middle of potty training some kids regress and suddenly feel overwhelmed by the changes. During this period, the child is very likely to throw tantrums and demand diapers back as it is easier for them that way.
Don’t give in! We know that sometimes it is dead hard to resist those teary eyes, rounded cheeks, and pouted lips, but get a hold of yourself! Giving in to the cuteness won’t help either. If you do give in, you will only nurture the negative behavior, start an endless cycle of tantrums, and cause further setbacks in your potty training.
The incessant crying, kicking on the floor and probable throwing of things can be unbearable at times, however, keep in mind that this is just a phase. When your child calms down, remind them why they need to use the potty.
Reinforce this by relating their experience with those in potty training story books or remind them of the reward that you promised once they are completely potty trained.
- DON’T expect your child to meet a deadline. Yes, some children can get the job done in just a matter of days but it doesn’t mean that your child can do it just the same. Each child follows a unique timetable.
This means that your child too can get the job done in their own time. Besides, if you set a deadline, you will only be putting pressure on you and your child. And putting pressure can only result in frustration and exhaustion.
- DON’T stick to one technique only. Potty training can be a trial and error process because each child is unique. In the beginning it may be tricky for some parents to figure out the best technique/s for their child.
You see, in teaching or training, there is no “one” perfect technique to ensure learning. This is why you may always try one, two, three or more techniques simultaneously until you find the right mix of techniques for your child’s unique journey.
It won’t hurt to explore other options if your child’s progress in potty training is taking a long time, or if the new technique that you found can boost your child’s learning.
In the end, make sure to be consistent in implementing rules on the techniques that you have chosen because no matter how great the techniques are, if you cannot deliver them properly it will be difficult to get positive results.
- DON’T be afraid to innovate. There are plenty of tricks to make potty training fun, but if you can’t find the right trick for your child, it’s okay. Maybe the perfect technique for your child is hiding in plain sight.
Perhaps it has something to do with your pet dog, their favorite food, or favorite movie. If you are still not satisfied, try mixing a few tricks together and coming up with a unique trick which is fit with your child’s learning style.
- DON’T make the child wait when he/she tells you that he needs to go. Young kids don’t have full bladder control. Therefore when your child tells you that they need to go, it means that they need to go right away!
Delays may only result in “accidents”. Also, if your child gets used to holding their pee or poop in, the risks of urinary tract infection and constipation become real.
This is why you should always keep a portable potty near your child’s area at home and you should also have one with you when you are leaving the house with your toddler.
- DON’T broadcast your child’s mishaps. This is especially true if your child is within earshot. Hearing you joke off with your friends about their “accidents” may affect their motivation and interest in potty training.
Besides, if your child is in their talkative phase, they will likely tell stories of funny incidents.
- DON’T go back to diapers! Once you have introduced big kid undies and once your child is used to it, that’s it! Even if they occasionally wet themselves, don’t go back to diapers! Clean up the “accident” and go about your normal routine.
Yes, it can be frustrating to clean up after pee puddles just when you thought your kid was finally potty trained, and during such scenarios it is very tempting to grab a diaper and put it on your child. However, doing this will only confuse your child and may even cause regression.
Don’t let all your efforts go to waste by giving in to the comfort that the diaper offers. Stays focused and just keep reinforcing the potty habit that your child is slowly developing.
- DON’T panic whenever you encounter setbacks. Even after a few days or weeks of total dryness, there can still be occasional “accidents”. This is okay. Just because your little one accidentally wets themselves doesn’t mean you have to go back to square one.
Take a deep breath! There’s no need to panic. Perhaps your child is just so engrossed with their activity that they forgot to go to the potty.
As discussed above, handle accidents with grace. Calmly remind your child to go to the potty next time and then because they are already a “big kid” ask them to help you out in cleaning. Kids love to be involved in grown up activities, plus helping cleanup will remind them to be more careful next time.
Teach Your Child How to Keep Clean
Keeping clean is an important lesson that your child needs to learn during potty training. Tell your child to make sure to wipe from front to back, to flush the toilet, and to wash his hands immediately after.
Get him interested to wash up by letting him use a colorful or sparkly soap.
You can also teach your child the following strategies to make him more excited about keeping himself clean:
- Wash Hands Often
Teach your child that washing his hands is a way of defending himself against germs.
Make him understand that it is important for him to wash his hands not only before eating meals, but also after using the potty or toilet, sneezing or coughing, playing outside the house, and touching his pets.
- Be Thorough with Washing
Tell your child to wash his hands using water and soap, and to make sure to remove the disease-causing germs by scrubbing every surface of his hands as well as under his nails.
- Use Regular Soap
There is no need to make your child wash his hands using antibacterial soap – let your child use plain old regular soap.
Studies showed that antibacterial soaps are no more effective than regular soaps when it comes to eliminating germs.
- Dry Hands Thoroughly
Any moisture that remains on your child’s hands after washing them can cause them to harbor germs, so it helps to encourage him to dry his hands thoroughly.
- Encourage Thorough Washing
To encourage your child to wash long enough, you can sing the Alphabet Song along with him as he washes up.
- Do Not Share Hand Towels
Sharing one’s hand towel makes it possible to put dirt and germs back into one’s hands after washing them. Instruct your child to use his own hand towel, and to use a freshly laundered one to dry his hands.
- Prevent the Spread of Disease
Germs in freshly laundered hand towels can still survive, so it helps to use disposable towels to protect your child from disease.
Essential Last-Minute Potty Training Tips
To make it easier for your child to learn to use the potty by himself, it is important to make his experience a pleasant one.
It helps to avoid letting him see you disapproving when he does not get your instruction right the first time – letting you down is your child’s worst fear.
- Say No to Comparisons
Never compare your children with one another. Kids do not follow the same potty training schedule, so stop comparing one child’s progress with another child’s failure.
It helps if you just do your best to cheer your child’s efforts, since potty training is his milestone, not yours.
- Be Prepared for Emergencies
It is important to be ready for those times when you and your child are away from the house and he needs to go.
It is possible that your child may have accidents, and letting him go in public bathrooms can result in things getting a bit messy, so it helps to carry a bag where you can stash your potty training essentials.
Always carry a change of underwear and clothes, training pants, plastic bags, wet wipes, and potty seat covers that you can easily dispose of after use.
- Avoid Being Too Generous with Rewards
Although giving rewards to your child is always better than punishing him, it helps to avoid going overboard with the former.
It’s okay to sometimes give him a candy or award him a couple of stickers, but rewarding him with an action figure or a trip abroad is not.
Your child will only end up believing that he should receive a reward each time he uses the potty.
- Consult Your Pediatrician
Potty training is a subject that pediatricians have a vast knowledge on, so you and your child can rest that his tips on potty training are reliable.
However, a visit to your child’s pediatrician often ends up with you talking about other more important issues regarding your child’s health, so it’s easy for him to let the issue of potty training slip his mind.
It is up to you to bring up the subject and to ask for his advice on techniques and other concerns.
- Be Thoroughly Patient
Potty training your child during daytime is not a guarantee that he will be able to keep himself from wetting the bed at night or while he naps.
Children do not follow the same schedule for nighttime potty training in the same way that they have different schedules for daytime potty training.
Don’t stress yourself over the fact that your child still wets the bed, which is normal for most kids. In fact, many children also take years before they can go to bed without their potty training pants on.
Potty training can be time consuming. So, it’s important that it’s as stress and frustration free for both the parent and the child. One of the easiest ways to accomplish a stress and frustration free potty training experience is to devote three full days to potty training.
It’s important that the time truly is devoted to this experience. Turn away from the time spent on social media and spend all of your time to this session. That guarantees that you will receive the best results possible for your child. It’s important to stick with the process.
There will be accidents. You had accidents when you were learning to use the potty, too. Let your child know that accidents happen and that they are still loved.
Take your child to the bathroom with you when you go. If your partner is the child’s other natural parent, they should also go with partner is the child’s other natural parent, they should also go with your partner to the bathroom as well.
The goal is to see that everyone uses the bathroom. Make sure that you use your words and explain what is going on.
If possible, have multiple potties in the house for convenience. Put them in the rooms that your child will frequently be in. This makes using the toilet as easy as it can be.
Ditch the diapers. Either allow your child to wear underwear or let them go partially or fully naked during the three days you are in the house. Celebrate each and every successful use of the potty no matter how small it is.
Stay close to home when you get to days two and three. You want to make success as easy as possible . Talk to your daycare provider or baby sitter about how you are working to potty train your child. Make sure they are on the same page.
Ultimately, this shouldn’t be a burden, of course, and certainly not a bad experience as many parents make it. Let this be a monumental experience for you and your child, together.
All The Best to you in this time of your child’s life and beyond!