Friday, January 22, 2010

Potty Training 101

So I get alot of people asking me how to potty train, when to potty train, etc. I guess having done it 4 times doesn't really make me an expert, but I know a few tricks. So I thought I would do a post about potty training and the joys and eventually successes that will come from it.

Some things that you need to gather together before you get started:

1. A couple of months before you start, read potty training books to your kids and watch videos for potty training. Also, bring your child in with you while you use the potty and talk to them about what to do. Let them flush the potty for you to get used to the sound, so it won't scare them. (if your like me, I don't remember the last time I used the toilet without one of my children in their with me!)
(I kind of have to laugh at this picture, because that VHS is so old! We bought it when Trey was being potty trained, and all my kids have watched it. The picture didn't come out too good, but it is called "Once Upon A Potty")

2. You will know when your little one is ready to be potty trained. Some of the signs are pulling on their diaper; asking you to change their diaper when they are wet; hiding somewhere when they go pooh(and getting mad when you catch them doing that!); also if they are staying dry through their naptime.

3. So what to use when potty training. I have never and don't think you should use pull-ups on your child during the day. They don't help your child 'feel' the wetness. Even the ones that say they do. They are too much like a diaper. I buy the training pants that have a thicker material through the crotch area.(I hope you know what I am talking about, I don't have a picture of them)So when they have an accident, they definitely don't like the feeling, and you don't have to worry about a puddle of pee on your floor (win-win situation!)Once you start the potty training, DO NOT put another diaper on your child! At night use the pull-up.

4. You need some sort of bribe for your child to use the potty. With Trey, I got a roll of pennies and everytime he used the potty he got to put a penny in the jar on the back of the potty. Once he was completely potty trained, we took the money(plus some of our own)and when to the store and he bought a toy of his choice. With the rest of them, candy in a jar in the bathroom seemed to work. But they only got the candy if they 'told' me they had to use the potty and then were successful on the potty. For you child, you may want to go to the Dollar Store and get a handful of cheap toys, put them in a basket on the back of the toilet and when they use it, they get to pick out a toy, or if they stay dry all day with no accidents they get to pick a toy.

5. I almost will need a potty chair or seat for your toilet. I like to have both. In the beginning you can put your child on the potty chair in front of their favorite show and see if anything happens. Once they move on to using the toilet, transition to the potty seat that sits on top of the toilet seat.

So lets get started...You really should dedicate one whole week to this process, maybe longer. Find a week where you can just stay at home and let your child run around naked or in his training pants (less laundry to do!)

You have been watching the movies and reading the books and your child should be excited about being a 'big girl or boy' If your child has older siblings, you can enlist them in helping their sibling get excited for this new adventure.

Start with sitting your child on their potty chair while they watch their favorite episode of "Dora". If they use the potty, reward them in some way. The rest of the day, take your child to the potty every hour. I sometimes had to set a timer, because with other children in the house, I would easily get distracted and then my child would have an accident. DON'T scold your child when they have accidents. Try to stay calm, even when you are cleaning poop off the floor.

At night time, have your child use the potty before they go to bed, then put on the pull-up. If they wake up dry, reward them again. Usually by day 3, your child will be doing this...

all by themselves!
Success and happy potty training!

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