Start by introducing your Squirrel to the potty with the “Time to Go Potty Race.” This game is designed to teach Squirrels how to use the potty and also give them a cue phrase for when they really need to go. Should you use a toddler-size potty chair or the regular toilet with a kid-friendly seat insert? It’s up to you and what works best for your Squirrel, but you may find that Squirrels prefer potties because they can pop on and off of them more quickly (and get back to playing sooner). If you’re using the toilet, you can still play the Time to Go Potty race, but you’ll just race to the bathroom.
- Place the potty chair in the middle of the room. Say, “Here’s the potty. When I say, ‘Time to go potty!’ you and I race to the potty and see who can sit down on the potty first. Whoever sits on the potty first wins.”
- Once he gets the hang of the game with the potty in the middle of the room, try moving it to other spots in the room or elsewhere in the house.
- Make the game more sporting by having your Squirrel gallop or hop to the potty, or hide the potty in another room and have her go and find it.
- Time him to see how fast he can find the potty chair and encourage him to keep beating his last time. “Wow, 25 seconds! You’re fast like a cheetah!”
- Have your child practice pulling her Pull-Ups® down before she sits on the potty. Once she’s mastered pulling her Pull-Ups down, add some loose pants with an elastic waistband.
- Introduce actually going pee or poop into the potty as a part of the game, saying something like “New silly rules! This time, to win the game, try going to the potty, pulling down your Pull-Ups and putting some pee pee into the potty. When you do that, you win.”
- Sing a potty jingle for your child when he is successful.
- Keep a Sticker Chart in the bathroom and have your Squirrel add to it for each potty success.
The minute Squirrels have peed or pooped, they’re going to want to zoom out of the bathroom, so it will take a little savvy to teach them to flush and to wash their hands. Try turning the flushing into a “superpower,” or a magic act (“I shall now make this poop disappear!”). Hand washing is more fun with foamy soap, or bubble blowing contests.
The key to start potty training the Squirrel personality is to keep them moving and allow them to make choices that help them feel like they’re in control.
If your Squirrel wants to check out the poop or pee, welcome her interest and talk about attributes such as color, size, volume and smell. This will help your Squirrel learn that pee and poop are natural aspects of being a person, instead of something to hide.
Kids also learn from watching grown-ups use the toilet, so don’t be shy about giving a demo. If you’re a dad, uncle, grandfather or other male caregiver working with a little boy, it’s best to do the play-by-play while sitting down. Standing to pee is an advanced skill best left for later in the potty training process.
The Bottom Line (Pardon the Potty Pun)
Your Squirrel needs to keep moving. By keeping your child engaged and focused, you’ll help him or her slow down long enough to get the hang of this potty training thing. Your child will feel in control, which is super important for a sense of accomplishment and pride.
- How to Get Started Potty Training Your Squirrel >
- Introducing Pull-Ups® Training Pants to Your Squirrel >
- Helping Your Squirrel Know When to Go to the Bathroom >
- Transitioning Your Squirrel to Big Kid Underwear >
- Potty Training Your Squirrel Away from Home >
- Nighttime Potty Training with Your Squirrel >
- Potty Training Games to Play With Squirrel >