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  • Writer's pictureAnneliese Schlachter

How to prepare your kid for potty training

Updated: Feb 3, 2022

Before the first day of potty training arrives, you need to prepare your little one, and yourself, for the big change that is about to occur.

Preparing your child:

  • Introduce the potty to your child as soon as possible: include them on some of your own trips to the toilet, and talk to them about all the things involved with going potty. Decide whether to use a floor potty, or toilet insert, and allow them to casually sit on it to get used to the idea.

  • Read books: there are a lot of kid's books that talk about the potty. Most libraries have a potty training section so you can check out all different types of books and see which ones your child is responding to best. Here is a list of my favorites.

  • Watch videos: there are also a lot of videos and/or apps relating to the potty that are sure to engage and excite your child.

  • Role play: Children learn best through play, so include your child's favorite doll or stuffed animal in the potty prepping process. Walking through all of the potty steps with a doll or animal will be a fun game to get your child excited about using the potty themselves.

  • Count down: 3-5 days before starting (and ditching the diapers), create a countdown that they can participate in so they can really see when the big change is going to happen.

Preparing yourself (and other caregivers):

  • Learn your child's potty signals: if you don't already know when your child is going potty in their diaper, start watching them a little closer to see what clues they give you. These could include: reddened face, holding their breath, crossing their legs, touching or grabbing at their genitals, hiding, squatting, or having a frozen stare. Learning these signals will help you to recognize them once the diapers are gone, which will set you up for catching a potty success!

  • Be mindful of your child's personality: because there isn't a one size fits all approach to potty training, it will be helpful to apply your child's personality to the training process. Consider how well your child reacts to change, how much control they seek, and how they learn best.

  • Include all caregivers in the process: Make sure everyone that will be helping the child use the potty is on the same page with when to start and the method that will be used.

  • Create a support team: potty training is not an easy journey. Talk with people close to you about how they can be supportive if you're struggling.

  • Do your research or hire help: it will take some time to discover which method is best for your child and family, but it is important to have a plan in place. I'm here to help you along this journey!

Preparing your house:

Expect accidents to happen, but always remember they are learning opportunities! Here are some ways to make clean up a little easier:

  • If possible, roll up any rugs. Cleaning up a mess on a hard surface will be easier and save some time

  • Cover carpeted areas with a drop cloth, towels, or something to help catch any accidents

  • Keep a tote or tub of cleaning supplies so you can easily carry it to wherever the accident occurs

Once you feel like you and your child are ready to start training, set aside at least 3 days where you can focus solely on your child and the training process. Keep in mind that this is a journey, and commitment, confidence, and consistency will lead you to success.


Potty Talk Mama

Click here to learn about when you should start potty training.


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