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Parenting Tips For Potty Training

Chris Lowrey

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Potty training can be a difficult experience for both parent and child. When done correctly, it can be a moment in time that is looked at as a blessing. The child feels like a ‘big kid', the parent gets out of buying diapers! But, when rushed, it can be a disaster.

Therefore, before even considering the process, ask yourself these questions:

1. Is this a relatively stress-free time in the family?

Look carefully at your current family situation. Is there extra time? Are activities at the lowest possible point in time? No major changes coming soon? Job stress low? It is important to have the time and patience to successfully get through potty training with a smile on your face. So, if you have big projects at work or the distant relative is coming to stay with you for awhile, now may not be the greatest of times to get started. However, if everything is running smoothly, it may be the perfect time to begin.

2. Is your child ready?

It use to be that a child was pushed to be potty trained at the age of one. Those days are long gone, thank goodness. By nature, a child starts to become interested around the age of two. However, each child is different and the final decision as to when to try and use the potty is strictly between the parent and child.
When a child is ready, they will start to show signs.

Signs of readiness:

  • Child wanting to wear ‘big kid’ underwear

  • Keeping their diaper dry for 2 hours

  • Having predictable bowel movements

  • Telling you when they have to go

  • Uncomfortable wearing diapers

  • Able to pull their own pants up and down

    If they show the above signs, it might just be time to give it a shot.


  • Take your child to the store and let them pick out their own potty chair.

  • Encourage them to decorate it with stickers and drawings to make it feel more like their own.

  • Start by just letting them sit on it whenever they want, for whatever reason. They may want to read a book while sitting on their potty; they may also want to use the potty with their diaper on. Just sitting on it will help them be more comfortable.

  • Make “potty time" a routine. Set specific times your child sits on the potty for a few minutes, whether or not they actually use it doesn't matter.

  • At other then the designated times, if they show signs of need, rush them to the potty chair and reward them if they successfully used the chair.

  • Try NOT to get mad when they have an accident. This process takes time and practice and the children should be rewarded for successes. Not punished for failures.

  • When your child does a “poo-poo" in their diapers, help them take it to the potty chair. That will quietly tell them where the “poo-poo" goes.

    After several weeks of success, it may be time to ditch the diapers. Make this a big event. Let the child throw them away and let them know they are now a “big" boy or girl. This is a moment to be celebrated and remember. Maybe bake a cake and take pictures.

    If your child is still in need of night time cover, buy special pull-ups or night time trainers. They look and feel more like underwear and your child will not feel like they failed at night due to accidents. Don't even call them diapers. They are simply “Night Trainers. " It is perfectly normal for the nights to take a little longer for the child to gain control over.

    This can be a long and difficult process, but it is a huge part of growing up. Some children take longer than others. Try not to worry and do not to let anyone comment on the length of training. Keep in mind that this is equally as stressful for your child as it is for you.

    Children grow up so fast and unless unusual circumstances exist, there are no children walking down the aisle to graduate high school wearing diapers! So, relax! All things will come in time, including potty training.

    Chris Lowrey

    Author and Editor of Family Time Charm

    A truly unique family magazine. Family Time Charm is absolutely designed for the entire family.

    For more parenting articles, fun games for kids and educational activities for all,

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