9 Expert Potty Training Tips For Success
You've watched for readiness signs and know it's time to introduce your little one to the toilet. Though it's an exciting milestone, it can also be a bit overwhelming. That’s why we’ve put together our best potty training tips to help you and your child through this new phase.
Are you ready? Let’s get started.
Expert Potty Training Tips
The strategies below will help make the transition go more smoothly so your child can master this new skill quickly. Before you know it, diapers will be a thing of the past, and you’ll have a big kid in your home!
1) Wait Until Your Child Is Ready
Make sure your child is ready before you begin. If you try to push potty training too soon, it’s likely to backfire. Your child needs to be physically and emotionally prepared before you start.
And though you've likely read them before, here's a quick refresher on the signs that your little one may be ready for potty training:
- Staying dry for at least two hours at a time
- Showing interest in the toilet or in other people using the restroom
- Asking to be changed when they’re wet or dirty
- Able to follow simple instructions
- Capable of pulling their pants up and down on their own
- Able to physically get to the bathroom without help
If your child meets these criteria, they may be ready to start potty training. If they don't, it's best to wait for a while. Otherwise, you might feel frustrated, and your child may become discouraged.
Remember that even if your child displays all of the readiness signs, it doesn't mean the potty training process will be easy. It’s a big change for them, so be prepared for some bumps in the road.
2) Talk About It Before You Start
While most of our potty training tips focus on the actual potty process, there’s something you should do first. Talk about potty training with your child before you begin. This allows them to ask questions and mentally prepare for the change.
Try reading books about potty training together, such as A Potty for Me! by Karen Katz or Poop! There It Is! by Xavier Finkley. You can also watch kid-friendly videos to introduce your child to the potty chair and what happens there.
If you feel comfortable, you can take them into the bathroom with you and explain what you’re doing while you go. This way, they can see that everyone uses the bathroom.
The more information they have, the less scared or intimidated they’ll be when it comes time to start potty training for real. It'll also help them to understand that this is a natural and exciting part of growing up.
3) Have Patience
Patience is key when potty training. Your little one is learning a new skill, and it will take some time for them to get the hang of things. There will be accidents, and that’s OK.
The best thing you can do is stay calm and relaxed. It’ll only make the process harder for both of you if you get upset. So take a deep breath and remember that this is all part of the journey.
Focusing on the positive can help, too. For example, when your child uses the potty successfully, praise them and make a big deal out of it. This will encourage them and help them feel proud of their accomplishment.
4) Be Prepared
Before you start potty training, make sure you have everything you need. In addition to a potty chair or seat, you’ll also need toilet paper or wipes, disposable or cloth training pants, underwear for your child, and a step stool to help your little one reach the toilet and sink.
It's also important to think about cleaning up. Accidents will happen, and if you're prepared for them, they're not as big of a deal.
Place mats or towels under your child’s potty seat in case they miss or don’t quite make it. You’ll also want to keep wipes and a change of clothes nearby, just in case.
In addition, make a plan for nighttime accidents. Are you going to keep your child in diapers at night for a bit longer? Or are you going to transition all at once and have them wear underwear all the time? Either method works, so you can do what’s best for your family.
If you have your child in underwear at night, you’ll want to keep extra mattress covers around so you can protect your little one’s bed during this time. For even more peace of mind, swap your child's twin-sized mattress for our 100% Washable Kids' Mattress.
You can wash the entire mattress, even the core. So if your child accidentally pees on it, it's simple to take it apart and clean it.
5) Make It Fun
Potty training is difficult no matter how you look at it. But you can make the process more pleasant for you and your child by adding a touch of fun.
For instance, let them pick out their potty chair or seat or choose their favorite character underwear. You can also buy small toys or books to keep them occupied while they sit on the potty.
And don’t forget about rewards! Positive reinforcement is a powerful tool, and it can go a long way in helping your child stay motivated.
Choose simple rewards your child will look forward to, like stickers or their favorite treat. These don’t have to cost a lot of money or be elaborate. The key is ensuring the rewards are something your child will actually want.
6) Encourage Your Child To Relax
Sitting on a potty chair can be stressful for some children. And if their body is tight, they’re much less likely to actually use the bathroom since their muscles will be too tense. If your child is having a hard time relaxing, you can do a few things to help.
First, as we mentioned above, sit on the potty yourself and model how it’s done. This will help your child understand that there’s nothing to be afraid of.
You can also have them sit on the potty with their clothes on so they can get used to the sensation. Doing this helps some kids overcome their fears.
Some children enjoy reading a book or singing a song while they sit on the potty. So keep a few favorite stories on hand for them to flip through while using the bathroom.
You can also try teaching them some deep breathing exercises to help them calm down. For example, remind them to breathe in through their nose and out through their mouth. This will help them relax their whole body.
7) Focus On One Transition At A Time
If these or any other big changes are happening in your child’s life, it’s best to wait until things have settled down before you start potty training.
They’re going through many changes already, and adding potty training into the mix can be overwhelming. Instead of trying it right now, wait until they’ve adjusted to their new routine before you begin.
8) Be Consistent
When it comes to potty training, consistency is key. Try to set a regular bathroom schedule and stick to it as much as possible.
It’s especially important to take your child to the potty first thing in the morning since most people have to go when they first wake up.
After that, take them every two hours or so. This will help prevent accidents while also giving them plenty of opportunities to practice using the potty. Of course, they might not go every time, but that's OK.
The important thing is that they're getting used to using the potty regularly. As the potty habit develops, they’ll focus more on their body’s signals and less on the clock.
9) Let Them Lead The Way
While it’s essential to be consistent, you must also be flexible. If your child tells you they have to go, don’t wait for the next scheduled potty break. Instead, take them right away.
If they seem to be having a hard day or are not interested in using the potty, that’s OK, too. Just put a diaper back on and try again later. Again, you want your child to feel a sense of control over the process.
The goal is to make going potty as easy and stress-free as possible. So, if that means taking a few steps back, don't worry. Your child will eventually get potty trained.
Success With Potty Training Tips
What are the best potty training tips for success? Again, it’s important to be patient and make sure your child is ready before you begin.
Once you know the time is right, use the tips above to help make the transition as smooth as possible. Remember to be prepared for accidents and use our 100% Washable Kids' Mattress to keep your child's bed fresh and clean no matter what.
Whether you’re in the midst of potty training your little one right now or are gearing up for the adventure ahead, Newton is here for you. You’ve got this!