Potty training can be both an exciting and stressful time for both parent and child. Wait until your child shows signs of being ready – including interest in the toilet or asking you to change their diaper when he or she is wet. Once you know your child is ready, prepare yourself with the following items to allow for a smooth transition:
- Books, Videos and DVDs: For yourself, purchase a book on how to potty train your child. Your child is not the first to be potty trained – use the skills of others to make the change easier. In addition, you can find many potty books and videos available for your toddler. While on the toilet, read and sing with your child to help him or her through the frightening experience.
- Potty Seat or Potty Chair: Based on your preference, you can choose to purchase a potty seat which can go over or replace the existing toilet seat, or a potty chair that is a stand-alone piece that is independent from the toilet (or certainly, you could purchase both). There are many potty chairs to choose from, here’s an overview of what’s available:
- Travel/Portable Potty Chairs: Generally on the smaller side and usually portable and light, these chairs are perfect to take along with you when you are traveling. Most of these also come with disposable bags and liners for ease of use while you’re on the go. Some portable potties are a single piece that do not necessarily fold for out-of-the-house travel, however they are easy to move around inside your home.
- Wooden Potty Chairs: Traditional, yet not quite as functional, wooden potty chairs provide a wide selection of modern characters that may interest your child.
- Musical Potty Chairs: Some musical potties play when your child presses, pulls, or pushes a trigger – some have encouraging phrases along with the music. Others have a sensor at the bottom of the pot so the music actually comes on when your toddler goes in the potty.
- Multipurpose Potty Chairs: These potties can not only be used as a stand alone potty chair, but also a step stool as well as a potty seat. There are many interesting varieties within this category.
- Special Needs Potty Chairs: There are a number of chair and toilet seats available that are specifically designed for toddlers and children who may need extra assistance during the toilet training process.
- Training Pants: It is important for your toddler to be able to pull on and off their pants without adult help to increase their chance of getting to the potty on time, as well as allow for additional independence. Training pants can bed padded, waterproof and extra absorbent – you’ll have to figure out what works best for your child. Throw-away diaper pull-ups can also be used during this transitional period.
- Toilet Training Rewards and Aids: There are many products available to provide a positive training experience for your child. Reward charts, toilet targets for your child to aim at, stickers, and stuffed animals all provide further reason for your toddler to go on the potty. To keep mom and dad calm during the process, items such as car seat liners, toilet seat covers, flushable wipes, and stain removers will help keep your home and your car clean from unpredictable accidents.
- Potty Training Dolls: Toddlers love to imitate and learn from example. Potty training dolls give you the opportunity to see, listen and hear how to go to the potty. For instance, if the doll goes to the potty, you throw the doll a small party or give the doll a reward. This desired consequence by your child will encourage him or her to go to the potty to get a party or get the same reward.
- Step Stools: A wide selection is available in the step stool category – they come in many different shapes and sizes. The steps stools that are generally best for potty training and use in the bathroom are those made of plastic. They come in many colors and are sturdy, yet light enough for your toddler to carry from the toilet to the sink. Your child also may enjoy one that contains a character he or she is fond of.
Like most things in life, energy and hard work are going to help your child’s potty training experience be successful. The items mentioned above will help you ease through the process, leading to a more independent child and less diapers to have to change.