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6 Epic Potty Training Tips For Busy Parents

6 Epic Potty Training Tips For Busy Parents

Guest Post by Katy Fleming, MA, LPC, BSN, RN

Transitioning from diapers to the potty is a huge step for toddlers and sometimes an even bigger change for parents. You may wonder if your child is at the right age for potty training and how to get started. Check out these 6 potty training tips to ease your busy schedule!

Epic Potty Training Tips 

Often dreaded by parents, potty training takes preparation and diligence. Two-thirds of toddlers in the United States have the development skills to begin toilet training by 18-30 months. 

6 Epic Potty Training Tips For Busy Parents

"Ideally you want to give you and your kiddo as much time and practice as possible before preschool starts. This ensures there is less stress to get it done by a looming deadline and naturally there will then be less pressure on you and your child. When there is pressure to get a child out of diapers there is usually resistance which can make potty training more challenging... so be sure to start potty training as early into the summer as possible!" Kim Lippy, Potty training consultant at The Pottys

When you’re balancing responsibilities in adult life, there’s little time to waste. Avoid frustration and common errors by implementing our epic potty training tips below.

Check for signs of readiness 

It’s easy to compare your kiddo to others their age. However, ensuring that your toddler is physically, mentally, and emotionally ready for potty training is more important than their age. 

Try not to focus on when your neighbor or friend’s child started toilet training, but rather look for signs of developmental readiness. 

Here are some typical signs that your little one can start potty training: 

  • Showing an interest in the potty 
  • Able to stand, walk, and pull down their pants 
  • Can follow simple directions 
  • Understands basic words involving the toilet
  • Keeps their diaper dry for at least 2 hours
  • Able to sense the urge to go

Avoid beginning potty training during transitional times such as before a family vacation or as a new sibling joins the family. Choose a time without any major changes and when your toddler is feeling overall healthy. 

The bottom line– follow your little one’s lead. Start potty training when they’re developmentally prepared and interested in potty training.

Consider potty style

Some kiddos prefer a potty chair whereas others want to use the “big toilet.” Assess your toddler’s preferences and the most comfortable option. 

Potty chairs are toddler-sized with a bowl that you empty into the toilet afterward. If your child wants to use the main toilet then purchase a child’s seat to ensure your little one is comfortable. Additionally, a step stool promotes independence and may assist your child’s positioning to ease bowel movements.

It’s recommended to have more than one potty option for a toddler in training. Consider putting a child seat onto most of your toilets or even keeping a potty chair in the back of your car when traveling.

Epic Potty Training Tips For Busy Parents

Find a reward system 

Positive reinforcement is key to successful potty training! Set up a reward system to encourage your toddler to continue using the potty. This may include getting a sticker every time they use the potty appropriately and then earning a fun activity after 5 stickers. 

Ensure the reward is only attainable if they use the potty. If the reward is a chocolate chip cookie that they can easily get for dessert, then there’s no interest in earning the prize. 

Also, consider healthy and non-food rewards to avoid overindulging in sugar. Their favorite stickers, pretzels, or even listening to a special song may encourage your little one while avoiding extra sweets.

Celebrate the small wins 

Let’s be honest– toilet training is not always easy and certainly isn’t a linear process. Every time your toddler uses the potty, it’s considered a win. 

Especially in the beginning, celebrate the small wins with praise and excitement even if it’s simply sitting on the toilet. 

Don’t shame or punish your little one for having an accident. It doesn’t help and may leave your kiddo feeling defeated. 

Instead, attempt to identify the problem such as your child didn’t have enough time to get upstairs to go to the bathroom or was scared to ask to use the restroom at a restaurant. 

Empathize with your toddler’s feelings and show support through the process. Try praising with positive phrases such as, “Good job peeing on the potty!” and “I’m proud of you for asking to go to the bathroom.” 

Avoid associating the bathroom with negative words such as dirty or stinky. Help your little one create a safe and positive association with using the toilet.  

Schedule potty breaks 

Start a routine by scheduling potty breaks into your child’s day. This typically includes immediately upon waking, 15-30 minutes after meals, and after naps. 

In the beginning, ask your child to use the toilet approximately every 2 hours. 

Never force your kiddo to stay on the potty. Let them get up whenever they’re ready. 

Scheduling time to sit on the toilet will build a healthy routine to mentally and physically prepare your child to use the potty regularly.

Be prepared 

Whether it’s a school activity, a family gathering, or running errands— parents are always on the go. When you’re taking your toddler out, ensure that you’re prepared for potty breaks. 

As mentioned, bring a potty chair or seat with you. Just in case, have another pair of underwear and a change of clothes. 

Look for signs that your kiddo needs a bathroom break such as squirming or holding their crotch. Educate your child on these signs, as well! 

Ensure that their clothing is easy to remove, as well. Jeans with buttons may present a challenge for a little one that desperately needs the toilet! 

Lastly, educate your child on proper hand hygiene and wiping from front to back.

Potty Training Tips

Want to learn more parenting hacks? Check these out: 

Typically boys take longer to potty train than girls. Keep in mind that mastering dry underwear overnight will take more time, also.

Remain calm, prepared, and positive. Toilet training is an ongoing process that won’t happen in a week. 

If your child continues to struggle with potty training, reach out to their pediatrician for further support.

As a licensed counselor and registered nurse, Katy approaches freelance writing with years of experience and a unique perspective. Alongside her partner, Katy loves to travel the world and embrace other cultures from volcanoes in Iceland to villages in India. 

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