Potty training is an exciting and stressful time for parents. You’re excited at the thought of being done with diapers or pull ups, but you know that it’s not going to be an easy journey getting your child to listen to their body and make it to the potty when they have to go to the bathroom.
There are plenty of people out there who will offer you advice on the right way to potty train your child, but no matter which approach you take, there are four easy things that you can do to start the potty training process, and here they are.
1. Read your child books about the potty.
Invest in a few potty training books for your child to enjoy, such as Once Upon a Potty or Potty Time Toilet Training Book. These books have stories made for your children to teach them about how to listen to their bodies and how to use the potty the right way. When your child sees the characters in the book using the potty and not being scared, it will entice them to try and use the potty on their own and have a basic understanding of what to do when using it.
2. Introduce them to the potty.
Before you start potty training, you should buy a potty training potty and simply have it out in the room for your child to explore. Tell them what it’s used for and explain it to them as best as you can. Then allow their curiosity to kick in and let them open and close the lid, hit the flusher or do whatever they need to do to get a feel for it. Kids may be scared of the potty at first, and having the potty in the room and allowing them to explore it can remove any fears they may have or make them curious enough to use it on their own.
3. Show them how you go to the bathroom.
Another great thing to do before starting to potty train your child is to show them how you go to the bathroom. Make a big deal about having to go to the bathroom. You should even do a little dance or hold yourself to show them that you’re having certain feelings that tell you that you need to go. Then allow your child to go into the bathroom with you and see how you use the bathroom. Since most children enjoy mimicking their parents, this may be just the thing they need to get them to want to go on their own.
4. Let them pick out their own underwear.
Some kids don’t like making the transition from diapers or pull ups to underwear, but a great way to alleviate this fear is to give them the opportunity to pick out their own underwear. Talk about how they’re going to be a big kid and use the potty and wear underwear, and then take them to store and allow them to pick out the ones that they want. By having a choice in the process, they may be more willing and more excited to try out the underwear and ditch the diapers or pull ups.
Caroline Jones is a journalist and mother of three. She enjoys blogging about parenting tips for new and expecting parents.