Once your child shows signs of readiness and has “practiced” (see Part I or Part II), you can begin toilet training, knowing that it may take 3 or 4 weeks before your child is mostly dry during the day. For some children the process takes several months.
Here are the steps:
- Keep track of the times during the day when your child usually wets or passes bowel movements and begin to sit your child on the potty during these times “to try.”
- Let your child pick out underwear. Reserve diapers for when your child is sleeping (the feeling of wet underwear may help your child develop more awareness of his need to use the potty).
- Dress your child in loose clothing that he can pull up and down by himself.
- Set aside a day to begin. Choose a time when your family is at home and relaxed.
- Make sure your child has plenty to drink to increase the chance that she will want to use the potty.
- Place your child on the potty close to the time he usually urinates or has a bowel movement (10 to 15 minutes after a meal or just before bath time may be a good time).
- Stay with your child while she sits on the potty but don’t have her sit too long. Five minutes is plenty.
- If your child urinates or has a bowel movement while on the potty give positive attention in the the form of hugs, high fives, kisses, verbal compliments, positive reinforcement; but don’t go overboard. Approach potty training “matter of factly” — this is just another skill you are helping your child to learn. If you child does not urinate or have a BM on the potty, give praise for trying, and say “ok, we’ll try again later.” Let your child pull his underwear and pants up on his own, and wash and dry his hands.
- Occasionally remind your child that the potty is there when she is ready.
- If your child asks you to use the potty, make sure to drop everything and get your child to the potty. Always give praise for trying plus positive reinforcement when successful. Many parents use a sticker chart – 1 sticker for trying and 2 stickers for success. Parents need to continue to be excited about each small step towards independent toileting even if not accompanied by actual success.
For help with potty training or any other early childhood issues feel free to contact us at 323-655-5580 or firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a consultation. We are here and glad to help!