When it comes to potty training, many parents and toddlers don’t see eye to eye. This developmental milestone often causes anxiety and distress in both parties. You may feel bombarded by conflicting advice from well-meaning friends and relatives, making you wonder what method to use with your little guy. As with many learning experiences, the way you teach your child affects the outcome of this lesson. Successful potty training requires plenty of patience on your part, as well as friendly encouragement.
Look for signs of readiness in your toddler. Notice how long she stays dry and the way she acts when she wets or soils her diaper. A toddler that stays dry for several hours at a time or wakes up from a nap with a dry diaper shows an ability to control this body function. Other signals that your toddler may be ready for training include her dislike of messy diapers, showing an interest in the potty chair or trying to change her own diaper.
Write down the times your toddler has his regular bowel movements. Keep a log of his bathroom habits for about a week. This will help you determine what times he usually feels the urge to produce a bowel movement. These are the times to encourage the use of his potty chair.
Introduce the potty chair. Talk about the big toilet, explaining how adults and older siblings use this device. Tell her that she gets her own, special potty chair to use until she gets big enough to use the large toilet. Take her shopping for her new chair, making a big production over the excitement of this new item. Let her carry it from room to room, allowing her to sit on it with her pants on or off.
Encourage your toddler to try to use his potty chair every hour or two, as well as after meals and drinks. Use your written log to determine the best times to encourage him to sit and wait for a bowel movement. Make this an enjoyable time by singing songs or reading special books. When he gets tired of sitting, allow him to get off his chair.
Drop the stool from a soiled diaper into the bowl of her potty chair. Tell her this is where it goes, encouraging her to relieve herself in the potty next time she feels the urge. Empty the contents from her potty chair into the toilet, letting her flush.
Praise your little guy for a job well done. Show your excitement and pride when he uses his potty chair. Focus on his achievements, encouraging him to keep using his chair and avoid wetting or soiling his diapers. Reward his efforts by buying him big-boy pants that he can wear instead of diapers.