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Potty Training Tips

My daughter learned to walk and learned to use the potty all in the same calendar year.  :)  Here are some things that helped us with the whole potty training endeavor...

  • We got her a potty seat as soon as she was interested in what happens in the bathroom (around 18 months).
  • There are many schools of thought on when to potty train but one thing that I read seemed to ring so true...'Start before age two if they show interest.  Before age two they are still wanting to please Mom and Dad, after age two most kids are into testing limits and defiance - thus a harder, longer road.'
  • Never punish or force a child to go potty.  Make it a fun time.  Every time my daughter was successful we had a full-on Potty Party...clapping, singing, dancing.  When she wasn't successful we just brushed it off...maybe next time.
  • Books...The Potty Book (for girls or for boys) We had both and she loved them both., Going to the Potty, Dora's Potty Book.  The best book for me, as a parent, was Everyone Poops.  My daughter had peeing in the potty down but was afraid of the whole poop thing, honestly I read the book to her once and now she is a pooping champ (haha)!
  • Games...Elmo's Potty Time.  My daughter is heavily into Sesame Street.  She can actually play this game on the computer.  She still asks to play.
  • We use a potty chair (Baby Bjorn), potty seat (insert) and a travel potty seat.  She likes them all!  The travel potty seat is so cool I wish they had one for adults.  LOL
Reviews
Ricosgirl
Ladies, thanks for all the tips and the great resources! My son is 16months and my goal was to start training around April when the weather was warming up and he had to wear less clothes. He absolutely loves Elmo and I think it may help to see his friend doing the same. Hey, if he isn't ready though, that is fine, we will keep it a part of every day life until he is.
LBGMeehan
I had a similar situation to the mom who posted this--I knew my daughter had a strong enough personality that if we waited too long, there'd be hell to pay! At the same time, she did show all of the "readiness" signs, and I realized it was only me who was not ready. We started at about 19 months, and now that she is two, we tend to have many more successes than failures. Some tough things about her being so young though: communication is difficult, and self-dressing has only just begun, so we have to be very dialed-in and involved all the time. Some things that helped us--she loved the Elmo Potty Time DVD, and actually had her first poop on the potty after watching it (with me noticing her cues). Also, ditch the pull-ups. If they can't feel it, they don't care. We went straight to wearing nothing on the bottom for a few weeks, until she got used to how it felt (with lots of accidents) and then switched to panties, and had lots of accidents again until she got used to that. She still wears diapers at night, and I don't plan to phase those out until she is very well established. Good luck to you all, no matter when and how! :)
Kim D.
My oldest son wasn't potty trained until age 3. I stressed myself out trying to train him when I was pregnant with my second son. It didn't happen like I "planned". He didn't poop on the potty until 3 1/2 and would get very constipated...probably b/c I was stressing him out! Every child is different and will learn when they are ready. My second son is 2 now and I'm not worried about it. He sits on the potty and imitates his brother. I think he went once by chance. I learned my lesson the first time so I'm not worried about potty training until he's 3. We have all of the books and videos and they're great. The most important advice I can offer is to not stress out about it. It will happen when you're both ready.
GeekyMama
I second the Elmo Potty Game and Everyone Poops. My son, who just turned two, knows most of the words to that book, and while he's still a little skittish about taking his pants off, he likes to at least sit on his potty to go #2. Hey, it's a start.
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