Potty Training Essentials


Before you begin potty training there are a few essential items you will need. This is more a list of items you will need rather than waiting until your child is ready or waiting until you have the time dedicated to potty training because it can take time.

I guess the obvious item is a potty, or rather lots of them. Setting your child up to succeed is one of the best ways to ensure they grasp the concept of the potty quicker. Playing with toys, watching TV, playing games, reading books all of these things are interesting to a child and let’s face it they are fun. Going to the potty or toilet is not fun, and it takes them away from whatever it was they were doing beforehand. Therefore many toddlers will leave it until the very last second before they tell you they need to go, so when they say they need to go they mean now and not in 1 minute. Having as many potties as you can, or at the very least having them in the room your child is currently in means the chance of them actually going in the potty is a lot higher than if they have to leave the room to go. This increase chance of success means they can be praised more often for going on the potty and they then see this is a positive and rewarding situation. Which in turn makes them want to use it more and helps to speed up the potty training process.

Of course, some people prefer to skip the potty and go straight to the toilet. This is absolutely fine but just be aware that you may get a few more accidents if they cannot get to the toilet in time. If you do choose to go straight to the toilet consider a step, to help your child get up to the toilet and also a toilet seat. There are many different seats available. Some have handles on the side which can help them get onto the toilet, as they turn on the step and sit down. Others have cushioned seats and some even fold which makes them portable. This portability is also great as it adds familiarity to potty training when you are out and about.

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One of the most important aspects of successful potty training is working out which reward system to use. One of my children responded really well to high fives and lots of verbal praise yet another responded well to treats such as chocolate. The only time they could have chocolate was if they used the potty and it worked because they had and to this day still have a very sweet tooth. The key is finding what works for your child and sticking to it, consistency is key.

A rather clever product is my wee friend. I used these with all three of my children. They are stickers which stick inside the potty and when warm water hits them, [wee], they change from a black sticker to display a picture. We have farm animal ones but they do other designs. My kids just liked making the picture appear, and it encouraged them to use the potty more.

If you decide not to use potty training pants invest in lots of cheap pants, as accidents will and do happen. I took all my children to choose their own pants and each picked ones with their favourite characters on. They then had to try and not get the character on the front wet. You could always allow your child to go without underwear for the first few days as this removes a layer of clothing they have to remove and can make getting undressed for the potty quicker, again helping to prevent those accidents.

Finally, if you don’t already have old towels and bedsheets it is perhaps time to start saving them. If you cannot potty train outside and need to do so indoors it will really help you when cleaning up those accidents.

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