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'Tis the Season For Potty Training

June 09 2014

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Many moms told me that they kick started toilet training in the summer months when they could let their little ones roam diaper free in their backyards or at cottages. The idea being that the kids could learn what it felt like to be without a diaper and parents could worry less about accidents if they happened outdoors rather than inside.

If you are thinking about potty training your child, I can share some tips I’ve learned from my own experience and from other moms I’ve talked to over the years. We are not experts, but this may help you or at least give you something to think about.

  • Bring your child shopping for “big girl” or “big boy” underwear so that they can start to get excited about potty training. 

  • Show your child their new potty or get them used to sitting on the toilet. I used a small seat cover that went over the toilet, as my kids didn’t like potties. But some kids are scared of getting flushed down the toilet, so potties may be less intimidating.

  • Provide an incentive for successful use of the potty or toilet. Some kids will sit just to get a treat, so I recommend only providing the reward when they actually make a deposit!

  • In terms of incentives, people told me they used small treats such as a smartie, a piece of chocolate, sticker or a small toy from the dollar store. Others let their child collect stickers and when a certain number of stickers or stars were collected, the child could pick out a reward.

  • Remind your child to go to the potty/toilet as this is a new experience and they are used to going in a diaper wherever and whenever they want. Some kids may get caught up in whatever they are doing (such as playing with toys or watching a good show) and they won’t’ want to leave it, so accidents may happen. Reminders may help.

Success seems to vary. Some kids learn at 2 or earlier, others at 3 or older. From what I heard, it took some kids a day or two and others several days to weeks. Some kids will pee in the potty but won’t poop or vice versa. Kids are funny little creatures.

Personally, I think you should see the desire in your child to want to succeed. I started one of my little guys before he was ready and he constantly had accidents. He just wasn’t that interested. I decided to put him back in pull-ups and try again at another time. Then one day it happened. I asked him if he wanted to try again and he said yes. He didn’t need any stickers, treats or rewards. He was just ready.

So good luck out there, have patience, and most importantly, have an excellent summer!


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