Do's and Don'ts of Potty Training
Updated: Sep 15, 2021
Potty training seems to be every mom's dreaded list of checked items to accomplish in your child's development. It is also the most feared when it comes to the expectations of your child not meeting the pre-determined standards of when a child should be fully potty trained.
Both my children had their own unique difficulties with potty training. My eldest potty trained quickly but still struggles with the overnight process, while my youngest potty trained past the required timeline but did excellent with overnight training.
I too attended seminars, read books, etc. to get the information needed. But at the end of the day, the best advice was to let it go and just let it happen. Each child is different.
So here is what I think about potty training and I can tell you some of the DO'S and DON'TS of the potty training process to kind of help you to stress less about it.
Are you currently potty training? How is it going for you? Please feel free to ask questions or express your views in the FORUM section as well. I would love to hear from you.
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“Here's to the do's and dont's of potty training that I have figured out.”
1. Do have an open expectation that not everything will go perfectly according to your plans but adjust as you go. Yes, you may want to get on the potty training developmental goal as quickly as possible to check that off your to-do list...but guess what?
Just be reminded that it all depends on your little one's readiness for the process. Instead of fussing about it and maybe throwing some adult temper tantrums around, just let it happen naturally when your child is ready to be trained.
There are ways to check for readiness in your child such as bladder control (whether they are able to remain dry throughout the day), physical (showing interest in going to the bathroom), and instructional readiness (ability to listen to instructions and follow them) that can help you to know just when the moment is right. But until then, chill momma. You are going to be just fine.
2. Do make sure that you and your spouse or your family are ready for the process as well. Many times there may be differences in the expectations for each child in both parents.
I was "the relax, no fuss let it happen naturally”, while my husband was “ready to get it off his list so that his diaper bills would be less”. You have to both be on the same page in the process when your child is in fact ready.
Have the conversation and clear any unmet expectations prior to starting the process. You do not want a child that is ready but then there are differences in how to actually carry out the process. Make it a priority to both be on board for a smoother transition.
3. Do create time in your schedule to facilitate the potty training process. That would mean maybe taking a weekend off, or some weekdays if possible.
Try not to plan any outdoor vacation or activities unless you are trying to do outdoor potty training, which is another training manual all to itself. The less busy you are to facilitate the process, the quickest you can get it accomplished. Be readily available and attentive to your child during those days of potty training.
4. Do have the items that you need for potty training ready and available before you start. That would mean having your potty chair or toilet covers, a variety of snacks, toys, loose-fitting underwear, cleaning supplies, step stool, waterproof mattress pad, stickers, timers, etc.
When you have everything you need, there is no rush to get something once you have started. Preparation is key!
5. Do allow flexibility throughout the days of the potty training process and also after the process. Accidents will happen and it is perfectly normal. It may not be the time to schedule an important business meeting in the middle of potty training (Yikes!).
Yes, that will not be pleasant. You have to be fully available to run around and clean up any mishaps when you're flexible especially if the process continues a little longer than a three-day weekend etc.
6. Do have fun in the process. Better yet throw a potty training party to get your child excited and ready. Let them also go shopping to pick out their favorite underwear. Make the experience happy and pleasant for the child.
You can also read books with them as well or watch youtube fun cartoon videos about potty training. The more excited you are as a parent to undergo the process, the more ready and excited your child will be as well.
7. Do praise or reward your child for successful potty training (yeah!). It's ok to celebrate after a big accomplishment. It can definitely boost their self-esteem especially when it comes to continuing the process after the training is complete.
1. Do not get upset at all during the process. Try to remain as FUN, COOL, and SUPER CALM as possible. You're going to have lots of accidents, spills, clean-up, etc. But try to let your child see the happy side and the not-so-annoying side of having to clean up the mess. Try momma you can do it.
2. Do not compare your child with others. I will repeat it again! DO NOT COMPARE YOUR CHILD WITH OTHERS! It will leave you frustrated and second-guessing your parenting skills. Remember each child is different in every stage of development.
There are also other indicators as well for readiness, that was mentioned earlier, which include, bladder control, physical readiness, instructional readiness, and family readiness. They have to be fully ready and you have to be fully ready.
3. Do not get advice from every family member. Keep it as private as you possibly can. Everyone will have a say as to when to do it, how long to do it, how grandma did it, how their great grandfather did it, and so on. You can do your own research about how to potty train but try to stay away from the many suggestions from everyone.
Find one way and stick to it. It will reduce the stress and frustration of trying to figure out which way works best. Better yet, get one source from an expert and follow that source. Whenever questions arise, try to get them answered from that source as well. There are so many support groups and resources available for potty training online. Just find the one that is right for you and stick to that plan.
3. Do not get frustrated with accidents that will happen once you start the process. It will take some time depending on your child's comfortability and adaptation to getting it done. Some kids progress quickly while for others it may take numerous accidents to transition completely. So be patient with the process and also be reminded that the progress of each child is different for potty training.
For overnight potty training be sure to order a nighttime bed pad to ease into the nighttime routine. The bed pad will prevent you from having to change everything each time an accident occurs. You can order the disposable bed pads, or you can get the washable bed pads. If you do get the washables, be sure to order more than one, at least 3 to reduce the washing load.
4. Do stay away from pull-ups if you can, especially the overnight process. You want the child to be fully aware that he or she is ready to wear big kids' underwear. Pull-ups are still like diapers and the child will not be aware of the process.
My suggestion is to go bare bottom or with underwear if the naked bottom is scary for you. Be reminded that for overnight potty training, you can get waterproof pads, blankets, or sheets to help with that process.
Please check out my blog post as well on the DO'S AND DONT'S OF OVERNIGHT POTTY TRAINING
to help with that process.
Overall I do hope that these tips and tricks will help you to overcome the dreaded potty training routine.
Here is a FREE TASK CHECKLIST download that you and your child can use to help track the process for potty training success. (It can also be used to track other activities such as bedtime, reading time, etc. by writing the activity in the columns below).
Did you find the strategies listed in this article helpful? What were some of your favorite tips? How have they worked for you? Leave a comment below, I’d love to know what you think.
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