There seems to be a widely held impression, past down from generation to generation, that potty training toddlers is arduous.
Follow this practical plan and you will be able to go from all those diapers to dry in days. But only if you are prepared not to be side-tracked by other distractions during this period and able to give your focus to toilet training.
1. Evaluating Your Child’s Readiness
Does your toddler have the required verbal understanding? This includes being able to understand and carry out simple instructions.
Does your toddler show signs of wanting to do more things for themselves such as pulling up their own pants?
Is your child’s bladder and bowel control adequately developed? For instance, can he or she go for two or three hours before wetting their diaper?
You really must not go on to item 2 until you are confident your toddler can handle being toilet trained.
2. Let’s Go Shopping
You want to make this trip to the shops as much fun as possible for your toddler. So what’s on that shopping list?
You should get:
- An anatomically correct doll (a boy doll if you have a son, a girl doll if you have a daughter);
- Potties (yes it’s best to have two or three around the home so there is always one close at hand when it’s wanted);
- Underpants, preferably vibrantly colored. It’s even better if there’s a picture of one of their favorite cartoon characters on them. Diaper or training underpants can be a practical solution for any trips out but make sure you treat them as real pants not diapers;
- a wall chart and stickers.
Remember to let your toddler have a say in the purchase choice.
3. Toilet Train The Doll
Silly as it may seem, you potty train the doll. The doll is a great teaching tool, it should not be seen as a toy. You will be using the doll to model correct behavior.
4. Celebrate The Doll’s Success
Each time the doll correctly uses the potty it is praised and a sticker is placed on the wall chart that records the doll’s progress. And when the doll has been potty trained it gets a party.
You want your toddler to realize that being potty trained is a happy, fun experience.
5. It’s Farewell to Diapers
Put your toddler in pants. There’s no retreating back to diapers even if there are two or three accidents along the way.
6. Give Your Toddler Plenty Of Fluids
The more your toddler drinks the more they will need to urinate. So they should get plenty of practice in using a potty.
7. Ask Your Toddler If They Need the Potty
If they say no that’s fine. With all those drinks they’ll soon need to go. Quiz them again a little later.
If they have a little accident you must not let your child see you are angry or disappointed. Just tell them they’ll do better next time. Take them to the potty and have them sit on it for two or three minutes. Give them fresh pants to put on. At short intervals take them back to the potty for a total of ten times. This will help to build muscle memory. Very soon they will urinate in the potty.
A little food for thought. It is not just what you say, it’s how you say it. This is certainly true when it comes to teaching a toddler new skills.