My Patients’ Top Potty Training Concern
5/5/2008 | by Dr. Jennifer ShuI’m often asked by my patients about the best way to make potty training successful. While all children are different and there are many ways to approach potty training, several common themes come into play when it comes to achieving success.
Ready or not? So you’ve decided that you’re ready to start training. Most likely you’ve noticed some signs that your child is ready, too. Maybe your child is staying dry all night or trying to take off his or her diaper. If you’re lucky, he or she has also taken an interest in the potty and likes to sit on it or flush it. Other signs of readiness include being around 2 ½ years old (give or take several months!), asking for a wet diaper to be changed, and wanting to wear Big Kid® underpants or Pull-Ups® training pants. If you’re seeing some of these signals, then yes, your child is ready!
Get started. You can stack the deck by putting everything you’ll need in the bathroom. Portable potty? Check. Stepstool for getting onto the potty or washing hands? Check. Don’t forget fun toys and books (washable bath books and toys are perfect) that your child can enjoy whenever he’s on the potty and you’re all set.
Time to go. When it comes time to actually sit on the potty and go, the odds are in your favor if you try to make it coincide with when your child usually urinates. The highest yield times may include first thing in the morning, after naps and dinner, and before bed.
Keep it going. Since using the potty will be a new habit for your child, it can be helpful to reinforce his or her Big Kid® skills by giving praise and simple rewards, such as a sticker or pencil.
Expect setbacks. Despite some programs that teach your child to potty train in a day, most children don’t get it right overnight. Try not to put any pressure on your child to perform. Remember also that it can take more time to learn how to poop in the potty as well as figure out how to go to the potty in the middle of the night. With consistency and a positive environment, you and your child will soon succeed!