Potty training steps to success
When you're starting to toilet train, be positive and encouraging. Praise successes.
Keep these steps in mind:
- Help your child sit on the potty without a diaper so she'll get used to sitting on it.
- Take your child to the potty when you feel enough time has passed that she probably should have to go, or if you recognize the signs that she needs to go. Let her sit on the potty for several minutes. If she doesn't go, try again later.
- Take her to the potty often throughout the day. You might even try taking her every hour. Offer her a book to make it less of a task and more interesting. Boys will sit while they learn to use the toilet—standing comes later.
- Once your child goes, be sure to teach the whole toilet routine, from wiping to flushing to hand-washing.
Make the switch
When you think your child has the hang of it, gradually switch from regular diapers to pull-up diapers or training pants. Allow your child to choose the underwear or find ones with recognizable cartoons or action figure designs. Dress your toddler in clothes that are easy to pull down such as pants with an elastic waist.
Remember, accidents are bound to happen. Reassure your child when this happens and show lots of excitement when there's success. For some toddlers a tangible reward, such as stickers, is a big motivator.
As eager as you are to complete the training, you can't rush it. It is a learning process. Children do master this skill—but at their own pace.