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The glorious time in a child’s life and of course the signal from baby to child. Potty Training! For some kids it comes rather easy. For others it’s may seem that they are going to go off to college still in diapers! Potty training is a test of patients and waiting! Quite literary!
So first step first, how do you know if your child is ready?? Is your child truly ready? Are you ready for your little baby to be out of diapers? There are all kinds of articles or pediatrician usually recommend between 2- 3 years old. You know your child better then anyone use your judgement! Best advise start whenever you think your child is ready!
My Little dude start saying “Mommy Poo poo’s coming out” or asking to be changed! He would go poo on the potty before he would pee. Usually the other way around but he definitely hated poo poo on him! He was about 2 1/2.
Start off with buying a free standing potty. Put it in your child’s playroom. Let them explore it, get to know it. Don’t ask them to sit on it. Just let them check it out. Give it a few weeks. Then move the potty into the bathroom. Put a basket of books next to it. Every evening before bath time have your child sit on the potty for a few minutes before getting into the tub. No pressure. Make sure to reinforce them for sitting on it. Little dude loved it! He would put his big teddy bear on the potty and “fix” it with his tools!
Reinforcement! Very important! Have something that is just for potty. That your child will not have any other time. Keep it small and easy. Little dude liked mini M & M’s, fruit snacks, gummies, etc. something your child loves. Keep some in a jar in the bathroom. Ask your child to sit on the potty and give them a reinforcer for sitting ( 1 or 2 fruit snacks, M & M’s, etc.). One day your child may actually go on the potty and if this happens make sure to reinforce it with a few more fruit snacks, M & M’s, etc and tons of verbal praise. No pressure.
At about 2 1/2 your child may have gone in the potty a few times. By this time they should have an understanding for what the potty is for. So change it up. Now only give them a reinforcer if they do pee pee or poo poo in the potty. If little dude went! We sang, danced & he loved getting his treat!
Take your child’s diaper off after dinner, put the potty on a bath mat in the family room or where ever you spend time after dinner. Let your child know that they do not have a diaper on and they need to go on the potty when they have to make pee pee or poo poo. Let them play or watch TV. Then every 15- 20 minutes have them sit on the potty for a few minutes.
You will probably have to change up the reinforcement. For example, my little dude earned a small lollipop for poo poo on the potty and earned either 2 fruit snacks or 2 mini M & M’s for pee pee on the potty. You may have a “potty miss” where your child pees or poos on the floor. It is all good. They just have to figure out what comes from where and it really helps them if the see it. Chances are it will only happen few times.
It’s game time! Plan a weekend to stay home and work on potty training. Plan this when your child is being successful with the evening potty and going in it more times then not. Make sure you are prepared! Check your calendar, look for a weekend that you have no plans. Have special treats, even a special toy and some new underwear! For little dude I had him come with me to pick out him “new” big boy underwear, special treats (he picked the gummies & M&M, big lollipops & chocolate kisses), and few toys (he picked book, movie, toy). I let him know that he would earn those when he went on the big boy potty! He got to pick the toy when he went all day in the potty.
As soon as your child wakes up in the morning take them to the potty and put on underwear. Have your child’s diaper off all day and put them in underwear expect for nap & bedtime. Remind them to let you know when they have to go potty and remind them of what they can earn for going potty. You can also start taking your child to the potty every 45 mins to 1 hour go sit & try. Continue for the entire weekend and chances are it will continue passed the end of the weekend!
Remember that your child will have accidents and it’s ok. It’s part of learning. Be patient, calm and supportive! Clap & cheer for them when they do it in the potty and don’t draw much attention to them when they have an accident. They will get it! And remember they aren’t going to go off to college in diapers!