Hopefully you're following along in this potty training mayhem of a journey! Whether you're wondering what is the normal age for a child to be potty trained or what's the easiest way to potty train (is there one?), I'm trying to get all my toilet training ideas out in this potty training series! This “episode,” I just share some general tips. Check out the earlier installment for Is my child ready to potty train! And bookmark this page to see the next set of ideas!
General Potty Training Tips
- Involve the child in decisions: underwear choices, what potty, where to put potty, what rewards.
- Poop usually happens after a meal.
- BM training takes longer! Reinforce even the itty-bitty poopies. Have special reinforcers for BMs. Be mindful of medical complications
- Be factual and use real name for body parts and functions when appropriate.
- Carry a portable potty in public early on in case public bathrooms are scary.
- Decide if you want to worry about sleep (nap and night) at the same time or later. It’s OK to just do day training for a while!
- When you’re ready to go for it, go all the way! Get rid of those diapers or at least make them out-of-sight. Don’t go back! It’ll be that much harder later when you try again.
- Must. Be. Consistent. No loosey-goosey with potty training!
- Don't sit longer than 10 minutes. Come back and try again if no success.
- If the weather is nice, consider outside training with NO pants. Use a small potty, spend the day in the backyard. Same process, but the child may make a connection to the body easier without any clothing!
- For little boys, might be easiest to start with sitting, even for pee, AND consider having them sit backwards on the toilet. Helps with “aim” when sitting.
- Warm water on lower abdomen may help stimulate urination.
Potty Training Accident Prevention Tips
- When they wake up, immediate stop by toilet.
- Go at every transition and before/after sleep to set some good habits.
- Stay inside and near the toilet and rewards for 1-3 days until successes are more frequent than accidents.
- Share your vocabulary words and where you are in the process with other adults who may spend time with child so you’re all using the same verbiage.
Response Tips to your Toilet Training Triumphs (and woes)
- Avoid emotionally charged language; use “you peed in the toilet! That’s where pee pee goes!” and “Uh-oh, looks like you had an accident/peed on the floor. Remember, pee pee goes in the toilet. Let’s get this cleaned up.”
- Use the amount of “celebration” that YOUR child responds to.
- Stay positive! Mistakes will happen, and that’s OK. It's unlikely they will be going to college still in diapers. Remember the long game.
- Be neutral during mistakes and clean ups; minimize attention.
- Carry several changes of clothes in public for a while.