Potty training often seems like an endless battle of the wills between parents and tots. If you are in the midst of potty training, don’t fret. In this guest article, Grayslake pediatrician Dr. Shelly Mann, creator of Potty Duck, shares her top 10 potty training tips with Little Lake County readers.
Potty Training Tips from a Pediatrician
- Employ Patience. Potty training takes patience. It is a developmental task just like walking. When your child took the first two steps and fell, you smiled and picked him back up. It’s much harder to laugh when he poops on the floor, but try to smile just the same!
- Start Early. You can wait until your child is three to three-and-a half years old and use the three-day method, but this creates a lot of diapers for the landfill and possibly a very resistant child. Start earlier, but be dedicated to finishing. Consistency with taking your child to the potty and incorporating it into your activities of daily living is important! Your child knows what the crib is, what the high chair is, teach them about the potty chair.
- Prepare. Use a tool like Potty Duck to help teach your child what a toilet is for and where pee belongs. Learning through imitation and play, your child can help the duck pee in the toilet and then practice sitting on their toilet with their duck buddy sitting nearby.
- Lead your child in the process. Readiness in a child for potty training is too often confused for willingness. Start when you notice your child has a dry diaper for several hours or shows interest by following you into the bathroom. Don’t wait until he’s perfected the word “no.”
- Pay attention to your child’s cues. Being attentive to your child’s cues when she is peeing or pooping is key. If you know your child’s signals its easier to catch them in the act, name it, and take them to the potty immediately.
- Make sure everybody’s on board. Once you start potty training its important that everyone around your child is committed to taking the child to the potty, including day-care providers and relatives. Mixed messages will thwart your best efforts.
- Purchase a potty chair. Potty chairs have the advantage of being mobile; you can move them to any room of the house for ease of use. Your child will become comfortable sitting on it with and without clothes.
- Use a potty seat for the toilet. Each child is different, and some children only want to sit on the toilet. If sitting on a toilet is important to your child, use a potty seat for the toilet and put a stool under the child’s feet to help with pooping.
- Consider the bare-bottom approach. I’m a believer in having the child go without bottoms whenever possible to help train. After being in a diaper since the moment the child is out of the womb, 24/7, anything next to the bottom signals to the child its ok to pee.
- Stock up on cleaning supplies. Proper supplies are necessary if you try the bare-bottom approach as accidents will happen! And when they do happen–remember to smile.
Use these tips to tailor potty training to your child’s (and family’s) preferences and needs, and you will be on your way to diaper freedom in no time! And be sure to check out Potty Duck, an essential training tool, and take advantage of the special exclusively for Little Lake County readers.
Disclosure: Potty Duck is our featured Locally Grown Business of the Month. This series of features is part of a paid partnership with Little Lake County. Contact sales[at]littlelakecounty[dot]com if you are interested in featuring your own locally-owned business in our series.