Aligning with Your Partner on Potty Training Methods
2/1/1985 | by Dave HaglerYou and your spouse may have different approaches to parenting from time to time. In general, presenting a united and consistent front to your child is a good idea. This is especially true when it comes to potty training. Before beginning the potty training process, you and your partner might want to talk through some of the following questions:
When will you start potty training? Even though it's really up to your child to determine when they are ready to start, there is definitely some wiggle room in how long you, as parents, wait to follow through on your child’s sign of readiness. Some important signs of readiness include your child letting you know when it’s time to go or staying dry for longer than two hours at a time. Talk to your partner about the signs of readiness you’ve both noticed, and when you plan to start the potty training process.
How will you reward your child? Some parents reward their kids with candy or other food treats, others opt for a non-food related rewards like stickers. Rewards can be a great motivator and can help keep your child excited about potty training.
What will you do if your child refuses to use the potty? Will you wait until your child lets you know they are ready to try again, or will you push them a bit? Make sure you and your partner approach potty training with consistency to avoid confusing your child.
Will you encourage your child wear Pull-Ups® training pants or go straight from diapers to underwear? Either approach is your choice, but if you go with underwear both parents need to be on board for lots of clean up duties and extra laundry. Maybe you'll chose to skip the clothes altogether and let your child walk around the house with no pants. It's been known to work, but you and your partner need to be on the same page and ready to clean up messy accidents.
What about when you leave the house? Make sure you and your partner work together to make potty training a part of family activities, so your child doesn’t lose their potty training momentum.
How patient are you and your partner willing to be? Do you want to jump right in, rip the band-aid right off so to speak and have a marathon weekend of intense potty training? Maybe you'd rather introduce your child to the potty slowly over time and let them get comfortable before getting started.
Is there one partner who will be taking the lead? If one of you is a stay-at-home parent, and spends more time with your child, you will likely be the one doing most of the potty training. In these cases, it's important for the other parent to understand how exhausting potty training can be, and offer support as best they can. Both parents still need to be involved in the potty training process to help maintain a consistent approach.
Talk through all these scenarios with your partner and come to an agreement before starting to potty train. It's better if you discuss scenarios and approaches outside of your child’s presence – the last thing you want to do is set a negative or confusing tone when potty training is a big milestone and should be celebrated. If it looks like you and your partner are having fun, your child will likely be more excited!