Essential Tools for Potty Training
by Julie Anaya
Former Pull-Ups® Potty Training Partner and stay-at-home mom, Julie Anaya, offers real-life insights about creating an effective system for potty training. We talked with her 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 to 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 should:
- Start by being realistic in terms of expectations.
- Involve children in decision-making to motivate them to stick to the potty training system.
- Understand that successful training should be approached with consistency and patience.
- Know that every child is different and some children take longer than others.
- Know that it takes eight months on average to potty train a child.
- Identify those who will be a support system-spouse, family, and friends.
When she toilet trained her first child, Julie did some researched to find out everything she could about toilet training. She also suggests tapping into websites that give parents useful tips for every parenting stage, like www.Pull-Ups.com, which has useful sets of activities and resources, such as, Big Kid Beginnings or the Big Kid Prep List that help 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 do’s and don’ts.
“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.”