Potty Training Success Tips

You feel your child is ready to take the diapers off and start using a potty? Saying “farewell” to diapers is an important phase for both parents and a child. For successful potty training, prepare yourself by reading these 4 tips.

1. Wait Until the Kid is Ready

Paediatricians disagree when it comes to perfect time for potty training. Some claim that the earlier you start, the more successful a transition will be. Others, on the other hand, believe that children who got used to using a potty during the first year of their life later tend to refuse it. In a word, they keep peeing and pooping into the bed for a long time.

Like in many other segments of parenthood, after consulting various books written on the subject, the best thing to do is to observe your child and adjust what you’ve read to your kid’s personality. Your child is ready for a potty if:

  • is between 2-2 ½  years old
  • understands that he “has done something”
  • yells or shows in different ways that it got wet

2. Pick the Right Moment

In order to have a successful potty training it is crucial to pick the right moment. It is best to do it in the summer, especially if you are on a vacation and don’t plan to travel. Don’t start the training if there is a change in child’s routine; for example you moved to another house, have a new babysitter, you’ve just had another baby, etc… Potty training is likely to succeed if the kid doesn’t have to adjust to too many things at the same time.

3. Ready… Set… Go!

Girl Sitting on the Potty

Step No 1.

Start the training by showing the potty and explaining its purpose. Give a kid a week to get used to it, teach him to sit in it without taking the diapers and the clothes off. If a child refuses to sit on it for more than a few seconds, don’t force it. Don’t rush your child; wait for as long as it is necessary.

Be positive, enthusiastic and supportive.  Show that you are certain in your child’s success.

Step No 2.

By this time you probably know when your child is about to poop.

The best time to put your child on a potty is right after it got out of bed or after breakfast. Take the diapers off and sit the child on the potty. Try to make your child stay put for about 10 to 15 minutes by keeping it amused with a game or a story. If it manages to poop, show your satisfaction with praise, but don’t be too thrilled.  Repeat the ritual daily for approximately one week.

Step No 3.

During the second week, do the same ritual 2-3 times a day; after a meal or a drink, after the afternoon nap.

Remind you child of what it should do. Don’t forget to praise your child if it asks for a potty.

If you feel that your kid is ready for a next step, take the diapers off and leave it to play to for a while with a potty at hand. Occasionally remind your child why you’ve left the potty there.

After 2-3 days of successful potty training, take the diapers off during the afternoon nap.  Place a waterproof fabric under the sheets, and don’t get upset if the child wets the bed.

4. Overcome the Difficulties

Not many parents had a smooth transition from diapers to potty.  For a while it seemed that you’ve succeeded but then, suddenly, your child refuses to use the potty. Why does it happen and how to solve the problem?

Sometimes children have a hard, painful stool or are constipated. They avoid the potty because they associate it with pain. To help the child, put it on a high- fibre diet for a few days and let it eat more fruits. Don’t force your child to use the potty until the problem is solved.

Second common problem, according to famous paediatrician Dr. Spock, is a child’s unpreparedness to “separate” itself from the poop.  The explanation is quite simple. Child is proud of what it has done the same way it is proud of its nose or arms. Child thinks of its poop as an integral part of its body and seeing it being taken away can be traumatising. So, don’t let the kid see it being flushed away.

If you don’t succeed in potty training in two weeks, don’t get frustrated and blame yourself or your child.  Wait for a while and then try again. Potty trained child is not more intelligent or successful than a child of the same age that still refuses to potty. With time and patience you and your child will soon succeed.

About the author


I am a devoted hedonist who enjoys nice things – food, wine, fine arts, spending time with friends and family. Teaching mandarin Chinese is my life vocation, but my dream is to open a small restaurant and a patisserie. My life's motto: "Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”

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