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Gearing up to go potty

You’re eager to get them to the potty. But is it the right time? Here’s some expert advice on how to figure out if your child’s ready to tackle the toilet.
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  1. Acknowledging the potty

    The very first step toward potty-training is having your child understand when he's going to the bathroom. He'll start telling you when he's going or has gone. He'll want his diaper changed immediately because he recognizes that he's uncomfortable. Then you can start introducing the concept of the potty. For example, after he's gone in his diaper, discard it in the toilet and help him flush!

  2. Well, hello potty

    Before you bring your child in contact with the toilet, it may be useful to think about getting a child's potty seat. One idea is to draw a colorful, fun potty out of construction paper and post it next to the actual potty, so that she can associate the drawing with the real thing. Ask her if she would like to use the potty before bath time or after a nap. If she refuses, remain positive and say, "Okay, maybe next time!" If she is excited, follow through with the process.

  3. Big kids go potty

    Once your child sits on the toilet — or even if he just tries — praise him enthusiastically. If he actually goes, giving him a reward such as a piece of candy is one approach but also encourage him after he's done by clapping and saying things like "Good job!" and "Big boys go on the potty!"

  4. Signs of readiness

    Potty training could take about, on average, eight weeks — but this is highly individual. What's just as important as waiting for your child to show readiness is that you pick up on behavior demonstrating that your child might not be ready. Once she sits on the potty, if she doesn't get down to business and starts fiddling with the toilet paper, whining or even crying, for example, then it's time to wait a few more weeks before you start again.

  5. Ditching the diapers

    As the concept of using the toilet becomes more prominent, set your watch every hour and encourage your child to go frequently. Associate certain times of day with going to the bathroom — first thing in the morning, before and after nap/rest time, after lunch, before bed and so forth. And make sure that as a parent, you're frequently and noticeably using the bathroom as well.

  6. Potty pointers

    Don't succumb to pressure, and don't pass pressure on. Although your friends may be potty training their children or have a child who, they say, "self-trained at 18 months," don't feel as if your child is not as advanced because he lacks the physical readiness to use the potty. Remember, your child must be physically independent in addition to being emotionally ready. Some kids, too, need to decide that the benefits of being a "big kid" and wearing underwear outweigh the convenience of diapers.

The best advice overall is to stay positive and enthusiastic — both for you and for your child — and remember what parents who have been there say: "Don't worry — she's not going to go to college in diapers!"

Learn more at PullUps.com

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  • Rated 0 out of 5 by 1173reviewers.
    Rated 0 out of 5 by My son is 2, he doesn't like it if his diaper is wet so he will come get me when he needs to be changed. We have worked with him sitting on the potty and flushing it, but he so far has no interest in going on the potty. July 10, 2014
    Rated 0 out of 5 by I like how this gives you some good pointers and helps if things do not go well the first time around... it is not a failer just child was not ready yet! July 8, 2014
    Rated 0 out of 5 by these are all very good pointers and reminders...especially the succumbing to pressure one. our son can count and speak in full sentences, but sometimes he just does NOT want to stop what he's doing to use the potty...He's 2. I know I shouldn't feel rushed, but i do. June 20, 2014
    Rated 0 out of 5 by As a mother of three, ages 5, 7, and now 9 months, I encourage every mom, no matter how many times they've potty trained, to read read read! Trust me. I've had two in diapers at the same time, I know how difficult it can be. Every Child is different, each time, finally potty training one of the girls has been the crowning achievement as their mum, up to that point. Some children are rather agreeable about potty training, and take right off from the beginning, but each of mine have been A LOT of work A LOT of patience, and has taken a lot of love. Good luck all mommies coming upon this stage. June 14, 2014
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