Potty Training is quite the experience. It’s full of ups and downs (mostly downs in the beginning and by down’s I mean a down pour of accidents). Each child is different, and once you’ve been through it a few times, it does get easier. So I’d like to take today to share 5 Tips Every Parent Should Know Before Potty Training as part of the Pull-Ups® Potty Partnership.
5 Tips Every Parent Should Know Before Potty Training
Potty Training is an exciting developmental milestone in a child’s life that teaches responsibility, independence, and confidence. It can truly be an experience to remember but we all want it to be remembered as a happy and rewarding one. Without knowing where to begin, what to do, or how to do it, it can become overwhelming fairly quickly.
Through my own previous and current experience potty training my two sons I am here to help by sharing some tips that I believe every parent should know before potty training. So let’s start with my favorite 5:
- Be consistent – I am sure sometime in your life you’ve heard that “consistence is key”. It holds true when potty training. Toddlers thrive on consistency, which helps them practice and feel comfortable with their new skills. It’s especially important to make – and stick with – the transition to training pants like Pull-Ups®. Find out more from Pull-Ups partner and child development expert Dr. Heather Wittenberg on why potty training in both pants and diapers can be confusing for children.
- Give praise (and rewards) – Just like your child learned how to walk or say their first word, giving them praise for going potty and encouraging them for their potty successes is important. Clap, sing, dance, and cheer them on when they go potty. You can also offer rewards like putting a sticker on a reward chart, getting a quarter in their piggy bank, or even earning a popsicle. Those rewards can make great incentives to keep going! The Pull-Ups website has a potty training sticker chart that you can download and print for free. Just remember – stickers are most effective when used as an immediate positive reinforcement rather than a goal to save up to for later. But trust me, your kiddo will love showing off their potty progress with family members and friends!
- Make it fun – Things are easier to learn when they are fun. Don’t believe me? Just a play a learning game with a preschooler and they will have so much fun they won’t even know they are learning. Take that same concept and apply it to potty training. Turn the experience into a game and light up your child’s world. They will get the hang of potty training in no time! To help you get started, here are the top 5 potty training games.
- Be present – While your little one is on the potty trying to go, it can be easy to pick up your phone or tablet and browse Facebook or Pinterest but just remember your little one is looking for your guidance and support. You can’t give either of those when you are buried deep in social media. So put the phone down (unless you are capturing moments for the photo book) and be present in the moment. You and your toddler will build a partnership through the journey and you both will get to fully experience this moment in life that only happens once! ! It really will set the foundation for how you and your child tackle big challenges as a team.
- Have patience – It’s easy to get discouraged when potty training because accidents will happen a lot (especially in the beginning). Believe me, there are times I’ve thought to myself that diapers for a little longer would just be so much easier but I keep going. Most accidents are just the normal setbacks that naturally happen during the meandering journey of potty training. Just remember your child is learning and growing and they need your support more than ever. It’s also important to remember that going to the bathroom can be pretty scary for kids first learning to potty train, which can be a little frustrating and test your patience as a parent. When my son first started potty training, he had serious stage fright! Check out Dr. Heather Wittenberg’s advice on convincing your little one to go potty and use the bathroom like a big kid.
Parents Need Support Too
We’ve talked a lot about supporting your child along the way of potty training but when you think of it, parents need support too. Your spouse and other family members are great supporters but don’t you want all the support you can get? I know I do!
That is why I love Pull-Ups and their whole new way to potty train with the Pull-Ups® Potty Partnership. Not only do they make products that are designed specifically to teach potty training skills, but they also offer tips, tools and advice to guide and support you as your child learn together, including potty charts, stickers and games. They even have a potty personality quiz you can take to help find out how to teach your child potty training skills based on their unique personality because every child is different! I actually used the potty training charts with my oldest son. Then if he went 7 days doing really good at going potty, he got a sticker and 7 stickers = a toy from the dollar store. It was a great way to encourage him to keep going!
I consistently use Pull-Ups® Training Pants because they look and fit more like underwear, giving your child the independence to slide his pants on and off, while also providing consistency for any learning style throughout his potty training journey. They also help your child recognize potty training as a significant milestone in their development by providing independence, teaching physical and cognitive skills, and offering a consistent representation to your child of their potty training journey. That has to be a win-win, right?
Now that my youngest son is being potty trained, we are finding ways to make potty training fun and ways to encourage him as a family. We use the Pull-Ups® Learning Designs® during the day because they have designs that fade when they’re wet so kids see the difference between wet and dry. Then we use Pull-Ups® Night*Time Training Pants during the night because they have extra absorbency so we can stay consistent during potty training – even at night.
Both of those come in fun Cars designs for boys. My son LOVES cars and he is so excited when I put a pair of these. You would think it was Christmas (yes it’s that kind of excitement).
Want more Potty Training Help? Learn how to spot the 5 Signs of Potty Training Readiness!