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10 Helpful Tips for Potty-Training Success

Updated on March 14, 2013

Teaching your child to use the toilet is a process that is more complex than many people realize. This process involves showing a child the proper way to use the bathroom, and represents a pivotal learning step in the development of a child into a mature and well-functioning young person. Though this process may seem quite simple and straightforward, it is actually something that must be timed correctly, and imposed on a child thoroughly to avoid any confusion about the proper way to use the bathroom. In this article, ten helpful tips for potty-training success will be introduced and discussed briefly, for the benefit of parents and caregivers everywhere.

- 1 - Preparation

Teaching a child to become potty-trained is a process that requires energy and time from a parent or caregiver. One important thing to note when embarking on a potty-training regimen is that warmer months generally promote a more convenient training process. This is because children typically wear less clothing during these times, making the potty-training process less intensive since there is less hassle associated with removing a child's clothing to use the bathroom.

- 2 - Experimenting With Different Approaches

When beginning to potty-train your child, there are many different products and procedural approaches associated with this age-old process. There are a wide variety of training pants that a child can wear for the purpose of safeguarding against accidents, and many of these products offer a wetness sealing liner to keep from leaking and embarrassing a child.

- 3 - Introduction of the Potty Chair

Introducing the potty chair to your child at an early stage is an important component to making sure they are comfortable with the whole process. One way to increase success with use of a potty chair is to make it a special gift for a child (to make them excited about using it), and to personalize it by letting the child decorate or customize their very own potty chair.

- 4 - Things for Your Child to Practice While Potty Training

Familiarizing your child with all of the necessary elements of potty training is an important part of acclimating them to this new way of going to the bathroom. Training pants, potty chairs, and more, are all examples of equipment that should be practiced with by the child and trainer (parent, guardian, caregiver, etc.). Practicing washing hands and staying clean is also a big part of potty-training practice.

- 5 - Remain Positive and Patient

Positively reinforcing your child's progress is a huge part of making sure that no regression takes place, or reversion to old potty behaviors. This involves being very patient with a child as they are learning, and remembering to always treat them with kindness and understanding during this learning process. Getting angry or upset at your child while they're trying to learn can prove to be one of the biggest set-backs a child can experience while potty-training.

- 6 - Stay Consistent

Consistency is a factor in being successful with potty-training your child, and in this way it is a bad idea to continue alternating between diapers and training pants. Once the diapers are gone, they should never be reintroduced to a child for any reason. As with many learning processes, regressive techniques can prove to be disastrous for the solidification of new information and knowledge. Failing to maintain consistency in your potty-training process can severely disrupt a child's progress, and jeopardize their potty-training success as a whole.

- 7 - Interactivity

Keeping the potty-training process enjoyable and entertaining for a child (this is the best way to ensure success), can be achieved through the use of interactive approaches to learning. Games, songs, videos, and books are just a few options for products that are available for the purpose of getting a child involved in the process of potty-training. While some of these interactive products may be more effective than others, they all have the capacity and the potential to make any child's potty-training process a simpler and more comfortable one.

- 8 - Teamwork

Teamwork is a sure way to make sure your child's potty-training goal is re-enforced in all areas of their life. This involves notifying grandparents, day-care professionals, other relatives, and any other people in a child's life, that they should be aware of the fact that the child is in the midst of learning to be potty-trained. When the people in a child's life are notified of this, then they can provide a teamwork structure that is capable of sufficiently motivating a child and keeping them on track to reach their goal.

- 9 - Potty-Training Reminders

Some things to be reminded of when potty-training your child have to do with the fact that you will not always be at home when the urge to go might strike. This means being always prepared for any circumstances or conditions, and always having the necessary equipment on hand in the event of a sudden bathroom emergency. Being equipped with a child's potty chair, a good book or piece of entertainment to occupy a child's mind, a sanitizer, and other familiar supplies for potty-training can prove to be critical in maintaining a consistent potty-training schedule.

- 10 - Motivation Through Rewards

Rewarding your child's efforts while potty-training can be another important re-enforcer of progress. Every time your child successfully completes using their potty-chair (or eventually, the toilet), it is a good idea to present them with some kind of nominal award that commends them for their efforts and progress. Stickers, toys, clothing, and other items all represent little tokens or trinkets that a child will usually interpret as being signs of their good effort and progress in learning to use the toilet.

Even though these tips cover a large expanse of what to do and what to expect during potty-training, there is no amount of tips or suggestions in the world that can make up for experience. Potty-training tends to be slightly different for everyone, and so it is up to each individual parent to make sure that the right steps are being taken to insure a child's potty-training success. When done correctly, this is a process that can be painless and even enjoyable for both parent and child.

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