If your child is feeling confident, regularly making it to the potty before the arrival of the poop or pee, and often has dry, clean Pull-Ups® training pants, it’s time for the next big step (drumroll, please): Big Kid underpants. Your eager-to-please toddler will respond positively to the change if they feel like their learning process and timetable are being respected, in partnership with Mom and Dad. Here’s how to handle this transition.
When your child is ready, remember to make them a part of the process, knowing the time you spend working on this together will be an important bonding experience. The emotional connection you develop now with your eager-to-please toddler will be helpful in later stages and challenges of life. “Today we are going to go on a special shopping trip. You are working so hard in your potty training, let’s get you some underwear so you can be a big kid!”
- “Where should we keep your special new underwear? I keep mine in my drawer. Let’s find a spot for yours....”
- “Would you like to try on a pair now and test them out?”
- “Wow! You’re wearing Big Kid underpants! Can you show me how they work? How do they help you go to the bathroom?”
- “You can continue to use your Pull-Ups whenever you’d like, especially if we are going out for a long time, but your underwear is another choice for you. I think you can handle it, and if you need to use your Pull-Ups again that is OK.”
- “New underpants are for kids who have learned a lot about potty training already. Keep up the good work and remember to try to feel what your body is telling you so you can get to the toilet in time to keep your new undies dry.”
- “Anytime you think that your body is telling you to go, even if it’s just a little feeling, go try to use the potty. Even if nothing comes out, it’s good to try.”
- “Let’s see how long you can keep these new pants dry. Any time I have to go to the bathroom, I will check if you want to come with me, too.”
You can also model language and self-talk when you need to use the potty. You may not think that your agreeable toddler is listening, but they are. (Eager-to-please children are always listening!) "Hmm. I feel my tummy getting tight, I think I need to use the potty. Wow, I feel so much better now that I used the potty! Now, we can getback to playing/reading/watching TV."
With potty training, your child is mastering a whole new skill set, so foster that joy of learning. At this stage, potty time is still a special time you have together.