Potty training is one of those parenting topics. And today at 1C13P, we are going PRACTICAL! Everyone has a story and most have had issues with toilet training in one way or another. There is little consistency in techniques because every child is different. What works with one little one may not even enter into the equation for another.
Potty training takes into account social, emotional, physical, verbal, and psychological aspects of child development. Lots of pieces need to come together for a child to be trained, so watch for readiness on all fronts. When your little one is ready to try, let him have a go…literally.
If you’re dealing with potty training at your house, here are a few tips to try.
• Choose times to work on potty training when your child is rested, feeling well, and you have time.
• If your child is dry after a nap, give the child a chance to use the toilet. It’s a good readiness cue and your child will most likely need to go.
• Take your child on a special shopping trip to pick out “big kid” underpants. My boys couldn’t bear the though of having an accident and getting Spiderman wet or worse. Plus there is the benefit of having a super hero or princess back you up!
• Try dedicating a day for potty training. Feed your child salty foods so he’s good and thirsty. Let him drink all he wants. He will spend a lot of time “practicing” with that much liquid in his system! Give a small treat when the child is successful. M&Ms worked like a charm for my oldest, one per potty success.
• Fear can set in after a bout of constipation. Yogurt and high fiber foods help soften the stool and take the pain out of the experience. A warm bath will help too. Keep your child’s mind otherwise occupied with a basket of books in the bathroom. He can read while he takes care of business!
• Sticker charts work well for some kids. When the child is successful, award a sticker. When 10 stickers (or any predetermined amount) are earned, reward the child. The reward doesn’t have to something store bought. Extra reading time with Mom or Dad, making cookies, or a trip to the park are great rewards. Increase the number of times the child is dry, then proceed to the number of days he can stay dry. Have your child contact Grandma or a special friend to report on the potty progress.
• Purchase a doll that wets so your child can see how the body works… in one end and out the other. Some children are frightened by the thought of something coming out of their body and being flushed away. Using a doll to demonstrate bodily functions can sometimes help.
• A mom in one of my classes used a novel technique. She gave her son Cheerios to float in the toilet to aim at to keep things neat AND to provide incentive to use the potty.
Most importantly, don’t be discouraged! Every kid learns to use the toilet in his own time. All children determine their own timetable. Potty training success is really up to the child. When he’s ready, willing, and able, it will get done!
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity,
but of power, love, and self-discipline.
2 Timothy 1:7 NLT
What novel ideas have you used to help your child become successful in using the toilet?
By Becky Danielson
Wife to Scott
Mom of two
Licensed Parent & Family Educator
Co-founder of 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting
Co-author of The 1 Corinthians 13 Parent
(Soon to be released!)