Learning to use the toilet is often a huge turning point for most kids. The following 7 tips on potty training your child might give you some ideas on ways to go about this sometimes tedious process. There are also a couple of tips on what not to do as well. I wish you much success with your potty training endeavor. I know what a chore it can be at times!
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If you show some excitement about using the toilet, then sometimes kids think of it as a game. You can do a happy dance for them or try to make it fun in some way. Sometimes simply sitting on the toilet and using it on accident is enough for kids to realize that it is much better than sitting in a dirty diaper.
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Don’t you get bored sitting on the toilet? Adults have containers of magazines to flip through, so why not offer the kids something too. Set a basket of favorite books next to the toilet for your child to enjoy. Drawing on a chalkboard or a pad of paper can take his mind off of the fact that he is unable to get up and run around for a while.
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Sometimes listening to music can be a treat. There are tons of children’s cassettes and CDs available with fun songs made especially for kids. Playing music your child enjoys might keep him on the toilet long enough for him to be relaxed enough to use it. If you don’t have a radio that can easily be placed in the bathroom, then you could always try your hand at singing some kids’ songs and get him to join in with the singing.
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Offering treats might work well with puppies, but it can go severely wrong if used on children. I once babysat for a family who tried using M&M candies to get their little boy to use the toilet. He wanted candy so badly that he strained hard enough to give himself a hernia. After this happened they realized rewarding toilet use with candy wasn’t such a good idea. I’m sure a few parents have been successful with offering candy as a reward, but after this fiasco I never wanted to try it on my son.
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An incentive that tends to work with a lot of children is getting to wear underwear like the big kids. They do make pull-ups that have the absorbent quality of diapers, but are able to be pulled up and down like underwear. However, these still have a similar feel to diapers. A lot of kids like the idea of putting on a pair of cool underwear that has a favorite cartoon character on them.
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I know my youngest sister was potty trained much quicker than other children in our neighborhood, thanks to my younger sister. The littlest one was all about following her older sibling around and would go to the bathroom whenever her sister did. If there is an older sibling who is willing to help out with potty training in this manner, then by all means use this technique. If not, then try to take your child to use the bathroom whenever you have to go.
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It can be overwhelming for some children who aren’t quite ready for the whole potty training experience. If you are able to get your child to use the toilet first thing in the morning, right after nap time, and then right before bedtime, this is a good start. Sometimes easing into something new won’t make it seem like a chore and kids will actually want to do it.
I think an important thing to remember is that these 7 tips on potty training your child might work for some children and not for others. Also, boys and girls are very different when it comes to potty training. It takes boys longer to gain the bladder control necessary for keeping their pants dry, whereas girls usually have strong bladder muscles before they are a year and a half. What other potty training tips have you come across over the years? Have you found one to be more successful than all the rest?
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