You've looked for all the signs, you've watched your little one get more and more interested in the potty, and even better, you've been the victim of one too many diaper removals (by your child, not you, lol). So how do you get the ball rolling? Is there a series of steps you have to take to make this successful?
While there is no cut and dry formula for helping your child to learn to use the potty, there are some things you can do to ease the process and make things go more smoothly.
- Let your son or daughter watch people of their same sex use the potty. If your son sees his big brother or dad or even grandpa using the potty "like a big boy" then he is more likely to want to try it out and when he does, he'll have a little more understanding of what's going to happen.
- Try to catch some pee at some of the more prime times. Since children approaching potty readiness tend to stay dry for longer periods of time, anytime you open the diaper to change it and it's dry, offer a seat on the potty. You might get lucky and catch the first one. Other great times to try it are after naps, before and after bathtime, before and after bedtime, after meals…
- If they ask to sit, let them! This was the biggest, most easy thing I did to help my daughter on her "self-led" potty journey. From the time she was 16 months, if she asked to sit on the potty, I let her. She almost never did anything, but she was practicing for that big moment when she DID.
- Stay positive! Remember, this is a long lesson and there are bound to be mistakes. Try not to get too upset if they miss. If potty learning stops being fun, they aren't going to want to keep at it.
- When you figure out what is working for you, stick with it. Everyone does things differently and that's okay. If training pants make everything work and everyone is loving them, use them! If your little one would rather wear "big kid underwear" and that's working for you, do it! If you take your child to the potty every 10 minutes, but your bff takes them every 20, then you're both on the right track! You have to figure out what method, etc works best for you and your particular child.
- Try out different potties. Some kids prefer using the regular potty with an insert (very easy to take with you, by the way) while others prefer their own little potty. Just remember, if you go with the little potty, that's one more step in your process that you'll have to work out. But as I said before, this is your journey, you have to figure out what works for you.
- Finally, keep in mind that each child IS different and will be ready at a different age. That's okay! They aren't going to go off to kindergarten in diapers. J In general (and yes, there ARE exceptions to this rule!), boys learn to use the potty a little later than girls. It has proven true three times here. My two oldest boys were each 2 ½ years old when they learned. My daughter was nearing her second birthday when she decided she was ready. And if Ian were going to be on the same track as her, he'd already be in that same place since his second birthday is approaching, but he isn't ready yet.
This is it for our potty learning posts for the month! I hope it's proven helpful to all of you! Good luck!