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Friday, December 01, 2006

Top 10 Potty-Training Tips

Steve of Inside Fatherhood has asked for potty-training tips. I promise I am not going to end up turning this into a series like I did with my style tips! *grin*

  1. Be sure your child is ready - starting too soon (unless you are into infant potty training) can actually delay potty-training success. The average age to begin potty-training is 18-24 months. There are signs that indicate that your child is physically ready to learn to potty.
  2. Do your research - particularly if this is your first child. Ask people about their potty-training methods; read books; watch videos; sign up for a potty-training incentive program. A book I recommend is Toilet Training in Less Than a Day by Nathan H. Azrin and Richard M. Foxx. Pampers has a program called Kandoo that features products geared toward potty-training and even offers a personalized toilet chart that you create on-line and print off.
  3. Let your child observe others (of the same gender) using the restroom. Unfortunately, this has meant I don't get any privacy, even in the bathroom. LOL
  4. Give a lot of praise. My kids beam with pride when I celebrate their accomplishments.
  5. Realize that there are going to be accidents. Don't let yourself get angry - it's a part of the learning process.
  6. Put them in regular underwear - if you are like me, you usually forget to take your child to the bathroom when they are wearing pull-ups. Believe me, this is a huge incentive for me to take them potty! Wearing regular underwear has the added benefit of helping the child feel when he is wet or dirty. (If you are able to use the pull-ups, go for that option first!)
  7. Use your timer. This helps a lot in the beginning stage when the child does not recognize the need to go potty. Set the timer and take your child at regular intervals - maybe 15-30 minutes in the beginning.
  8. Begin with a child-sized toilet. My children rapidly advanced to the topper for the adult toilet and then to the adult toilet seat alone, but giving them their own child-sized toilet in the beginning can help allay their fears of falling into the toilet.
  9. Use rewards. This is not always necessary, but some children respond to stickers, candy, or other rewards better than they do to praise alone.
  10. Be patient. Normally, children will not be wearing diapers or pull-ups at age 18. Sooner or later, your little angel will "get it," even if it is at age 5 or 6. :)