Get Them Ready for Potty Training

There are several things you can do in the months leading up to potty training to encourage a child’s interest and increase their readiness.

  • Read About It – There are so many good children’s book on the market including Once Upon a Potty by Frankel, The Potty Book for Boys/Girls by Capucilli, What to Expect When You Use the Potty by Murkoff and Diapers Are Not Forever by Verdick among many others. The idea is to mix these in with your other read-alouds. There is a fuller list of potty related children’s books on my blog at https://parentingbydrrene.com/childrensbooks/#pottytraining.
  • Watch the Videos – There are also many helpful children’s videos including Potty Power, Once Upon a Potty, The Potty Movie and It’s Potty Time.
  • Play Potty – For introducing potty training through play you can purchase an inexpensive plastic baby doll, poke a small hole in the bottom and fill the body with water. Then you teach the doll baby to potty, and have your child teach the doll baby to potty. You can also buy just the bathroom set and doll from any dollhouse set, and let them play the potty process that way.
  • Let Them Observe – Young children learn best through observation and modeling. If you are at all comfortable, it can be helpful to take children in the bathroom with you and let them observe the process. It can be helpful for them to observe older siblings or others in the potty training process as well.
  • Talk them Through Your Process – If they are observing, it can be additionally helpful to talk them through your process of pulling down pants, sitting and waiting and wiping. I understand this is a lot of detail and can feel uncomfortable, but you are teaching them the language and the details of the process.
  • Change all Diapers in the Bathroom – This is helping them associate the sensation with being in a bathroom. If your bathroom is small, change on a mat just outside. Talk about how when people pee or poop, they need to be in a bathroom.

My full Potty Training audio class is available online at http://www.parentingbydrrene.com.

Travel Potty Training Tips

Before you start potty training, it is beneficial to consider what you are going to do about the process when you are away from home. The first is to consider the potty itself. There are folding seats that fit on potties, folding stand-alone options, blow-up options and full-size floor potties available. Whatever you choose, it’s good to have your child use it a few times at home before taking it on the road.

In the weeks leading up to potty training, it can be helpful to start pointing out potties when you are out. Show them that there are potties at Target, or take a tour of bathrooms at Grandma’s house. This lets them know there are potties everywhere and people use them.

If you are planning a big trip in the next month, it may be best to wait until after to dive into potty training. The more consistent you can be the better, and it’s tough to expect a newly trained child to be successful at DisneyLand.

To be safe, carry a full change of clothes with you for a year after potty training. There will be accidents. We actually carried a change of clothes for each child in the car for several years. You never know when a big mud puddle will be the best playground entertainment.

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