Parent Tips: Potty Training Tips and Tricks

Teaching your child to use the potty is  the next huge step in growing up. Your child talks and walks and plays and eats all by himself now. He will also be dressing with much less help, and very often tells you specifically what he needs or doesn’t need. But now it’s time to teach him to communicate when he has to “go”, and that doesn’t seem to come as easily!

Tips and Tricks for Potty training

Avoid potty training before or in the midst important events. Preparing to travel on vacation? Or move? Or leaving the kids with granny and grandpa? Then no matter how ready your children are, wait at least a week or even two before you begin or revisit potty training. The success you’ll have as a result is definitely worth the wait.

toilet paperStart slowly:
Put a step in the bathroom so your child can reach the toilet. Many find that a  potty chair helps a lot.  (Some kids become frightened by flushing).  Let your child contribute help in choosing it. He will be a lot of  more motivated to use a chair that he likes. Just remember: the key is to make the set up comfortable so that there are positive feelings toward potty training.

Pre-potty train:

Let your child  bring a  favorite stuffed animal or doll to the bathroom. Practice going potty initially with the doll so that your child won’t be too nervous.  Make sure the toy can’t fit down the toilet though.  It helps to see the same sex parent us the bathroom as well.  What, didn’t they tell you dignity and privacy flies out the window with parenthood?

Incorporate books, DVDs, rewards, and calendars into your potty coaching. A number of favorites mentioned by many parents are  the DVD “Sesame Street Elmo’s Potty Time DVD,” and also the book by Karen Katz, A Potty for Me!: A Lift-the-Flap Handbook. And children  love, “Everybody Goes Poo.”

Always make use of positive reinforcement for every step in potty training from teaching them to pull down off their pants and attempting to really going potty, flushing to washing hands. Songs are a great way of making potty training fun!

Other positive reinforcements are getting to share successes–telling daddy about them once he comes home from work, phoning the grandparents. Don’t only stress that just you are pleased with them about this. (However they must feel proud too.)  And NEVER punish accidents.  Really, NEVER.

During potty training:

Reward your child!

Whichever reward system works for your family is great.  Some parents like potty charts and calendars, or rewards like  M&M’s, stickers, or even presents  toward the end of  each week of successful potty-ing.

Place books within the lavatory.

Very often youngsters do not want to “go potty” as a result of the fact that they aren’t having enough fun or feel pressure . The key is to make potty training feel relaxed, simply another part of a regular day.

To this end make your child feel as if it’s time to go on an adventure to the potty, rather than “tasking” them with it! . That means giving them the choice of whether or not to go to the potty today, especially if they really aren’t up to it.

Try to make it worthwhile! For instance,  with boys you may try putting a small amount  of Cheerios or Fruit Loops in the potty for “target practice.” It helps their aim and that will save you cleaning.  (Also, it  makes going potty sort of a big deal. Boys will see it as way more fun.)

Parents keep this in mind:

Potty training will take time. The major factor to keep in mind  is to encourage, not discourage. Give your child ample opportunities to make a success (and as many mistakes as they need to)

Recommended products for potty training:

A Sturdy potty – if you have more than one child learning at one time, its best to buy a potty for each of them. Potty chairs are tough to share and will prevent accidents and tantrums.

Disposable seat covers for traveling. These provide your kid with comfort and sanitation.

The debate rages on over disposable underclothing. Some claim they delay potty training success. Others say they cannot live without them.  We have found that a mix is best.  Disposable pull up style diapers when you are out and about- shopping for example.  But at home and child care cloth underwear helps the process because there is discomfort when wet.  Diapers are so well engineered these days that there is no discomfort at all when there is an accident.  Cloth helps the child remember it’s better to take a minute to use the toilet than to keep playing!


Thomas Learning Centers provides NECPA accredited preschool and childcare at the most affordable rates in the Denver Metro Area.  Check us out at , click on the offers below, drop in for a visit to get to know more about us. We’d love to meet you!

Call  877-938-1442 for general info

Lakewood 303-237-0917 or Westminster 303-427-8831


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