Potty-training your child is a BIG step! When you make a decision to potty-train your child you must have patience, and you must have a plan in place to ensure you and your child's potty training success.

You can figure out whether your child is ready for this next step by asking yourself a few simple questions.

  1. Does your child show interest in the potty chair, toilet, or wearing underwear?

  2. Can your child understand and follow basic directions?

  3. Can your child tell you through words, gestures, or facial expressions that they have to go?

  4. Does your child stay dry for at least two hours or longer throughout the day?

  5. Does your child complain about wet or dirty diapers on their body?

  6. Can your child pull down their pants and pull them up again?

  7. Can your child sit on and rise up from a potty chair?

If you've answered "Yes" to majority of the above questions - your child is ready for the potty and you're about to save money!

Here are some simple steps to help you get started on this new adventure.

Tip One: Pull Out The Potty-Chair. It's a good idea to place the potty-chair in the bathroom. Show your child the potty-chair and give them ownership to their new special chair. Encourage your child to sit on the potty-chair and talk to your child about the purpose of the potty-chair. Remember, use simple terms, so your child will understand and connect to the purpose of the potty-chair.

Tip Two: Schedule Potty Breaks. I've found that it's a good idea pay attention to the times that you need to change your child. I recommend creating a chart of the time that you typically have to change your child. Once you have an idea of bathroom patterns, you can schedule times to sit your child on the potty-chair. I recommend placing your child on the potty chair as soon as they wake up and several times throughout the day. It's also best to start boys sitting on the potty-chair rather than standing up. Remember, stay with your child while they are sitting on the potty-chair and offer praise for potty participation.

Tip Three: Pay Attention. It is important for you to pay attention to your child's behavior before its potty time. If you notice potty signs such as holding the genital area, squirming, or squatting in the corner - take your child to the potty-chair quickly. It is important that you teach your child how to become familiar with bathroom body signals and how to head to the potty-chair when they feel the body signals.

Tip Four: Teach Your Child Proper Cleaning. This tip is very important. You must teach your child how to wipe correctly to prevent germs. Take your time with this step and keep showing your child until they have this step down to a science. I have found myself repeating this teaching well beyond the potty-training stage. Let your child flush and make sure your child washes their hands.

Tip Five: Incentives Are Fun. Children love rewards when they've done well. You can set up some incentives such as a star chart or prize box. Try a few things and stick with the incentive that yields the best response.

Tip Six: Get Rid Of The Diapers. Once you've had several weeks of successful potty-training, you get rid of the diapers and move to training pants or underwear. It's a good idea to celebrate the transition from diapers to training pants or underwear. Take a special trip with your child and let them help you pick out their new transition undergarmets. Once your child starts wearing the new training pants or underwear, do not set your child up for failure by putting clothes on them that are hard to take off. For examples, belts, overalls, leotards, etc.

Remember, accidents will happen, remain patient, and be prepared for anything.

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