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10 Helpful Steps to Potty Training Your Child in One Weekend
*We found that putting the potty out a couple months in advance made our daughter more comfortable when it came time to buckle down and train. She was used to it and already familiar with how to sit on it.
1. Plan to stay home for the entire weekend
Do not make any plans to leave the house. Purchase whatever items you may need during the week (have your child pick out their big girl/boy underwear, pick out reward treats, buy lots of juice). Do not make any playdates or schedule any outings during this time.
2. Lose the diapers and DO NOT go back
Once you have committed a weekend to potty training, lose the diapers and DO NOT go back. This only confuses the child even more. I personally recommend going straight to underwear. Only use pull-ups overnight until your child is able to sleep through the night without getting wet. This can usually be done by cutting off liquids after dinner time and going potty right before bed.
3. Have a Potty Party
Explain to you trainee that every time they successfully go in the potty, there will be a potty party. Go all out with party hats, music, treats etc. We also had a potty chart with stickers. Every time our daughter went potty she got to put a sticker on her chart. When she got to 10 there was a bigger reward.
4. Involve their favorite stuffed animals
Gather up your child’s favorite stuffed animals and involve them in the training process. Use them as an example of how to successfully use the potty. Have one of the animals sit on the potty and “try”. While your child isn’t looking, quickly pour a tiny bit of water into the potty then ask your child to check and see if their animal went potty. When they discover the stuffed animals success, put on all your party hats and have a celebration for the animal. Pretend the animal gets a treat etc. The same can be done when teaching your child about going poop on the potty. Have some instant chocolate pudding made up ahead of time and again while your child isn’t looking slip some pudding into the potty. Continue to use the animals as examples until your child starts to understand.
5. Give your child lots and lots and lots of liquids
The more they drink, the more they will need to go potty and the more opportunities they will have to learn. If you give them juice they will drink more.
6. Keep them naked from the waist down or just in their underwear
The faster they are able to get to the potty and go the less accidents they will have.
7. Ask your child to sit on the potty and try every 15-30 mins
Once they have gone potty you can wait another hour before beginning the 15-30 min interval again.
8. Do not punish
If your child happens to have an accident (which they will), be sure to stay calm. Assure them that it’s alright; they are still learning and clean it up without making a big deal out of it.
9. Focus a lot of your play time on potty-type activities
Watch DVD’s and read books about going potty. Encourage them to role play with their stuffed animals/dolls about how to go potty.
10. Give constant encouragement and positive reinforcement
Find every opportunity you can to praise your child. If they have done a great job sitting patiently on the potty “trying”, then reward them with an M&M or other small treat. If they get really good at practicing pulling down and pulling up their underwear, praise them. Make this a fun and enjoyable experience for them!
*I also recommend having someone else there with you during these few days (spouse, grandparent, friend etc). Depending on how your child responds, this could be very trying on your patience. Parents are human and in order to keep this a positive experience, sometimes parents need to “tap out” and give themselves a little “time out”. This is coming from a parent of a very strong willed child. Hope this helps!