Potty training is incredibly difficult. Before attempting to potty train, make sure your child is ready, or else it will lead to frustration without any progress. To tell if your child is ready, answer these questions:
- Can your child walk to and sit on a toilet?
- Can your child pull down their pants and pull them up again?
- Can your child stay dry for up to two hours?
- Can your child understand and follow basic directions?
- Can your child communicate when they need to go?
Does your child seem interested in using the toilet or wearing “big-kid” underwear?
If you answered “yes” to most (not necessarily all) of these questions, your child is likely ready for potty training.
When preparing to potty train, show your child all of the equipment that you will use (e.g., potty chair) so that they get used to it. Teach them how everything works (e.g., how a potty chair is emptied), so that they understand the whole process.
Importantly, make sure you stress good hygiene. Wash your hands with your child so that it becomes part of their potty routine. For girls, make sure they learn to wipe front to back, because wiping back to front can bring poop to the vagina and urethra, leading to infections.
When accidents happen (when, not if!), teach your child how to clean up and have them help. At the same time, don’t scold them, because it takes lots of practice for them to learn how their body feels before they need to go to the bathroom.
For more information:
- Potty training: How To Get The Job Done – Mayo Clinic
- Oh Crap! Potty Training by Jamie Glowacki
- Once Upon a Potty by Alona Frankel: Boy version
- Once Upon a Potty by Alona Frankel: Girl version
- Everyone Poops by Taro Gomi
- Let’s Go to the Potty! by Allison Jandu
- The New Potty by Mercer Mayer and Gina Mayer
- Potty Training in 3 Days by Brandi Brucks
- The No-Cry Potty Training Solution by Elizabeth Pantley
- Stress-Free Potty Training by Sara Au and Peter Stavinoha, PhD