Potty Training 101

For all you parents out there, you know how big of a deal potty training your child is. It’s decided that the time is right to transition from diapers to the toilet – Finally there is light at the end of the tunnel! But don’t get too far ahead of yourselves because potty training can take a while with many accidents and mistakes along the way. Every child learns how to use the potty at their own pace and some can learn more quickly than others…while others take a little longer. We at Jolly Fun House believe your child is ready to learn to use the potty when they are around 2 or 2 ½ years old but not before 2. It’s important to not pressure your child or force them to learn to use the potty. It should be an encouraging and positive experience for your child. Below are some great tips on how to make potty training easier for you and your child. Buy Underwear

Take your child to the store and let them pick out their favorite underwear. If you’re not able to take him or her with you, pick out fun printed underwear you know your child will love. Fun underwear will make your child more excited about wearing underwear and ditching the diapers.

Potty Chair

Keep the potty chair in the bathroom and have your child sit in it (preferably without a diaper) to get acclimated to what it feels like to sit on the potty. To have him or her understand what happens in the potty, you can show them how to use the potty by showing them how you or other family members use the potty. You can also take their dirty diapers (with #2 in it) and dump the waste within the diaper into the potty. This will show your child that poop and pee are supposed to go into the potty.

Potty Breaks

Schedule allotted time slots for your child to sit on the potty and try to go. Try every half hour or hour and have him or her sit on the potty for a few minutes each time but keep them engaged. Read them a book, let them read a book, let them play with a toy, etc. If your child doesn’t use the potty and only sits on it that is okay. Praise them for trying and try again in another half hour! Don’t stress your child out or make him or her feel bad about not having gone in the potty – It will happen eventually!

Make it Fun

Make a potty chart or picture chart with your child and tape it on the wall in the bathroom. Have them put a small sticker on for every time they sit and try to use the potty and a big fun sticker every time they actually use the potty to pee or poop. Sweets on occasion are great incentives as well but should only be used sparingly or for a short amount of time. Otherwise, your child will try to force out pee or poop just to get a treat, or will expect a treat every time they use the potty. We recommend healthy and organic sweets as opposed to candy and junk food.

Pull-Ups

It’s best to get rid of diapers when starting to potty train.  Pull-ups are great for your child to wear during naptime and at bedtime. Pull-ups also have to be pulled up and down like underwear so it makes using underwear full-time more comfortable as well.  During the day Jolly Fun House recommends using training double-crotched underwear. Gerber makes a 3-pack in plain white found at Target for one-third the price of pull-ups. Your child will notice it’s not as comfortable to go to the bathroom in this type of underwear so he or she will be more inclined to transition to the potty easier. The fact that they are white will give your child more incentive to transition to the cute “Big Boy” or “Big Girl” underwear you have already purchased upon completion of their training process.

Be Patient

Accidents will happen! We can’t stress enough how important it is to remain patient, kind, loving, and encouraging when your child is learning to use the potty. This is a huge milestone in your child’s life and children react much better to positive encouragement than negative encouragement. Always remember to pack an extra pair of clothes, underwear, pull-ups, and wipes when going out for the day to be able to clean messes up easily and efficiently. Put a rubber pad on your child’s care seat in case they have a potty accident in the car.  Happy potty training!