Potty Training 101

How is it going in Your house?

Just the two words “potty training” can send parents into a tizzy. There are countless books, methods and ideas passed on from family members as to how you should go about the process. Many parents are concerned with how to know when to start or are they already too late? Will their child be in diapers in middle school? What I tell parents when these anxieties arise is that potty training is actually a natural process. All children are at some point innately motivated to stop wearing diapers and use the potty. Your child will not go to middle school wearing diapers.

Here are some tips for getting started:

Learn About The Potty

It is the first step to take even before your child is “ready” to begin wearing underwear. Read books, purchase a small potty for your child to explore, talk about how one day in the future they will wear underwear and use the potty, practice pulling pants up and down independently.

Talking About the Potty

If your child starts to tell you when they have peed or pooped, has less frequent wet diapers especially after waking from nap and shows interest in using the potty it may be time to begin the potty training process.

Shopping for the Potty

Involve your child in the whole process. Take them shopping and let them choose the underwear they would like to buy. Whether your little one loves Elsa or Thomas you want them to feel excited, confident and happy to wear their underwear.

Don't Look Back

When you begin only go back to diapers for sleeping/long car rides/flights. Putting your child in underwear for training one day and a diaper the next can be confusing to the child.

Don't ask them, Tell them

Do not ask them if they need to use the potty. Instead, monitor their food and liquid intake and TELL them it is time to use the potty after. Asking if they need to will most likely result in them saying “no” and result in a power struggle (and probably an accident).

Keep Your Cool

Accidents are going to happen. Try not to become over anxious and over accommodating while the child is potty training. They are learning the sensations of their body, and it is a process. NEVER reprimand a child for having an accident. Instead say, “It’s okay you had an accident, but next time let’s remember to get to the potty in time.”

Remember potty training is a natural process. Although, it can be difficult and try your patience at times it is most important to remain calm and positive. If your child associates potty training with negative emotions, it will make the process much more difficult.

Mary Yengle is a Hoboken resident and the owner of Little Bee Learning Studio. To learn more about Mary and the Little Bee Learning Studio, visit her website or stop by one of the studios!