Potty training dos and don'ts

Every body poops – fact of life! It wasn’t until I had children that this fact was right under my nose several times a day. I’m sure everyone that has had babies has a funny poop story. From exploding diapers, accidents in very public places, and funny encounters of the “turd kind”! I was lucky enough that both my boys potty trained just before their second birthday, after a weeklong diaperless stint in the garden. This saved me a fortune in diapers, and having to deal with poopy diapers. I have had many friends who were not so lucky – some had their kids in diapers at age three and beyond, which is pretty common.

However, below are some potty training tips to help you, if you are think you are ready to potty train your little one:

Tip No.1: About 20% of children are out of diapers by two and a half while 88% are out of them by three and a half. Every child is different, but potty training is easier when your child can stay dry for more than two hours or dry during nap times. Other indications that they are ready include when they start to tell you that they need to go or want to be changed shortly afterwards.

Tip No. 2: If your child has more than 10 accidents during potty training they may not be ready. Wait a few months and try again later, no need to rush it and cause them distress.

Tip No. 3: Get rid of all the diapers and let them go commando for a week. This includes at
nighttime too. (You may just need to bite the bullet and do it). Spend a lot of time in the garden so accidents are easier to clean up. Once they master using the potty naked start to add clothes.

Tip No. 4: Read books about little ones using the potty to help prepare your child and or read books while they are on the potty to encourage them to stay sitting.

Tip No. 5: For nighttime training, sheets can get soiled easily. To prevent this from being a hassle at night line your child’s bed with several sheets and plastic sheets or trash bags in between. If your child has an accident at night you can remove the top sheet throw away the trash liner and have a fresh bed. Waking up your child before you go to bed and taking your child to the potty to pee will also help prevent night accidents.

Tip No. 6: Focus on the positive, encourage your child when they manage to use the potty and do not get discouraged with accidents, it is how they learn. If your child likes stickers, sticker away!

Tip No. 7: Using a potty seat that sits on the regular toilet avoids cleaning out a potty and helps your little one model your toilet using habits.

Tip No. 8: To wipe their bottoms clean get them to go in a downward dog position. This is fun for them and a great way to make sure you get them nice and clean easily. (Just make sure the floor is clean).

Good luck!

(This is an amended version of a potty training article published in issue 10).

Image Credit: Brittany Marie Vann

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