Potty training can be a simple task or it can be a major challenge depending on the child’s temperament and attention span. To successfully move your toddler from diapers to big-kid underwear, you will need to identify your child’s strengths and work with them. Here are some ideas to keep your child motivated while learning to use the potty.
Make the Switch
If your child wants to be like the big kids, let him. In fact, one of the first steps to getting your child motivated is by giving them big-kid underwear. The Mayo Clinic suggests giving toddlers underpants to wear after a couple weeks of progress. You can use this as an incentive to go potty. At the beginning of potty training, take your tot to the store and let them pick out a pack of cartoon-themed underwear or panties. Tell them if they learn to keep their diaper dry they will get to wear the new underpants soon. After every successful potty time, remind your child of the special big-kid underpants.
Be a Role Model
If your child loves to imitate mommy and daddy, take advantage of it. Take advantage of this and take your toddler to the bathroom with you and then have them go potty (or at least try) after you do. Make sure to give your child lots of praise such as, “Look! You went potty just like Daddy!”
Adjust to Potty Needs
Sometime a kid just needs the potty set up their way to achieve success. For example, if your child hates being up high on a regular toilet, get her a potty chair. On the other hand, if your child hates using a “fake” potty, get a potty seat that fits onto the “real” potty and make sure he has a step-stool for easy access to the toilet.
If your toddler loves getting things for good behavior, try taping a piece of colorful paper to a wall in the bathroom. After each potty trip, give your toddler a sticker to add to the paper, which you call his “sticker collection.”
A toddler that is full of energy may have a hard time concentrating on using the toilet. Unrolling toilet paper and bouncing on and off the toilet may seem like more fun. To focus your toddler’s attention on the task at hand, make up a potty song for her to sing. For example (to the tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”), “First, I pull my pants down, and then my pull-ups, too. Then, I sit on the potty and then do my business soon. Last, I wipe with tissue and pull my pants back up. Being a big girl makes me want to jump.”