Essential Tools for Potty Training
6/2/2008 | by Julie Anaya, Colorado
Julie, former PULL-UPS® Potty Training Partner and stay-at-home mom with a four-year-old daughter and a seven-year-old son offers real-life insights.
We talked with Julie about toilet training and the steps she took to ensure her toddler felt like a Big Kid®.
Having a System Makes Potty Training Easier
Every parent knows that the potty training process is not something you can approach blindly or with the expectation that your child will be toilet trained in a week. Potty training involves having a system in place before you begin that includes finding the right tools, researching information on the topic, obtaining support from family and friends and being prepared as a parent to hang in there for the eight - ten months it will most likely take.
"When my kids expressed interest and showed readiness skills like sitting on the potty and wanting to wear Big Kid® underwear, I went to friends who had recently toilet trained their children for advice," said Julie. "They helped me realize there were steps I needed to take to prepare myself and my kids to potty train, and their understanding and support really meant a lot."
Julie suggests that parents start by being realistic in terms of expectations and understand that successful potty training should be approached with consistency and patience. Every child is different and some children take longer than others. Research conducted by the Medical College of Wisconsin shows that it takes eight months on average to potty train a child.
Julie also suggests that parents identify those who will be a support system-spouse, family, and friends. They'll be there to help find some humor in those difficult days and to help maintain consistency in the process if they're helping out. For Julie, that meant leaning on her best friend.
When she toilet trained her first child, Julie researched information, reading magazines and books to find out everything she could about toilet training. She also suggests tapping into Web sites that give parents useful tips for every parenting stage, and www.PULL-UPS.com which has useful tools such as the Big Kid® Tracker that helps parents identify what potty training stage their child is at. Books, magazines and advice from other moms also help give you guidelines on potty training dos and don'ts.
Julie also found that involving her children in decision-making motivated them to stick to the potty training system.
"For both my son and daughter, we made going to the store to pick out a potty seat and their own disposable training pants big events," said Julie. "We really wanted to signal to them that they weren't babies anymore, so we moved them into PULL-UPS® training pants and started talking to them about what it meant to be a Big Kid®."
Throughout the process it's important to coach children with praise and hugs, as well as other rewards. Julie and her husband rewarded their kids with stickers and small toys. However, every child is different, so choose rewards that relate to and motivate your child.
"As a parent, you'll learn that you can't push or get frustrated. Each child will train when he or she is ready," Julie concluded. "Hang in there…it's two steps forward and one step back, but once you find a system that works with your child, stick with it. They'll be using the potty by themselves in no time."
Make sure you have these essential tools when potty training your child.
- Support from family and friends
- General information from resources like books, magazines or your pediatrician
- Potty seat
- PULL-UPS® JUST FOR KIDS Flushable Moist Wipes
- PULL-UPS® disposable training pants
- Reward system
- Easy access to www.PULL-UPS.com.