the village - Getting ready for potty training

Helping to raise parents with our own blend of parenting stories, advice and cool finds.
The village: helping raise parents with our own blend of parenting stories, advice, hacks and cool finds
Signs of readiness

POTTY TRAINING — PART 1

Getting ready for potty training

by Rosalee Lahaie Hera

As your baby becomes a toddler and you suddenly realize you’ve changed thousands of diapers with no end in sight, potty training starts to sound really appealing.

The thing is, before starting potty training, it’s best to make sure you’ve got a child who is actually ready – and interested. Independent toileting will go much more smoothly and easily if you can establish your little one’s readiness first.

Signs of Readiness

Look for the following telltale signs of readiness from your toddler:

  • Uses the words for “pee” and “poo” correctly
  • Can manipulate their own clothing, e.g., can pull up/down pants on their own
  • Interested in you or others using the toilet
  • Diaper stays dry for at least 1-2 hours
  • Wakes up from naps with a dry diaper
  • Tells you when they are going “pee” or “poo”
  • Hides when they are going “pee” or “poo”
  • Takes their own diaper off before you get the chance to change them, because they feel uncomfortable
  • Asks to switch to wearing underwear

The more readiness signs you see, the readier the child, and – typically – the easier and faster the process.

Prepare and Involve

Once you’ve determined that your little one is ready to ditch the diapers, you will want to stock up on some supplies that will make your journey as easy and enjoyable as possible.

First, you will need to decide whether you will purchase an actual potty, or have your child use the toilet right from the beginning. This really depends on how well you think your child will do with the process. In general, I recommend investing in a child’s potty for younger toddlers (1.5-2.5 years old). It can seem less intimidating for some toddlers. If you decide to move directly to using the toilet, just be sure you purchase an insert for the toilet so that your toddler can sit on it independently without your having to hold them up.

“Think about special items that your child would uncommonly receive and be very motivated to receive in exchange for trying to use the potty and/or successfully using the potty.”

Next, you’ll want to have tiny ‘starter’ underwear on hand for when your toddler is ready to transition into wearing underwear. Lots of toddlers enjoy the process of getting to help picking these out, and this can also serve to get them excited for the potty-training process. I also recommend having pull-ups available, since your child will most likely still need these for sleep times at first (naps and nighttime sleep).

Finally, you’ll want to think about purchasing or identifying some ‘motivators’. Praise and rewards work very well for the potty-training process. Think about special items that your child would uncommonly receive and be very motivated to receive in exchange for trying to use the potty and/or successfully using the potty. Stickers and small food treats work nicely for toddlers.

I would also recommend setting aside or purchasing (with your toddler’s help) a special book that you will read only when your child is on the toilet.

Potty Training Methods

Now that you’ve determined that your child is ready for potty training, and you’ve armed yourself with the essential tools for potty training, you’re ready to decide on a potty-training method. In general, there are three main methods: a child-led approach; a routine-based approach; and, a potty-training ‘vacation’ method.

Rosalee Lahaie Hera is a Certified Pediatric & Newborn Sleep Consultant, a Certified Potty Training Consultant, and the founder of Baby Sleep Love. She’s also a mom to two beautiful little humans. Rosalee is a researcher at heart with a background in healthcare management and a passion for sleep science. She takes a highly analytical approach and uses proven, gentle methods to help families (like yours!) get the sleep they need. Rosalee is a big fan of fancy coffee and great food (both cooking it and eating it). You can connect with Rosalee on Facebook or Instagram.

POTTY TRAINING — PART 1

Getting ready for potty training

by Rosalee Lahaie Hera

As your baby becomes a toddler and you suddenly realize you’ve changed thousands of diapers with no end in sight, potty training starts to sound really appealing.

The thing is, before starting potty training, it’s best to make sure you’ve got a child who is actually ready – and interested. Independent toileting will go much more smoothly and easily if you can establish your little one’s readiness first.

Signs of Readiness

Look for the following telltale signs of readiness from your toddler:

  • Uses the words for “pee” and “poo” correctly
  • Can manipulate their own clothing, e.g., can pull up/down pants on their own
  • Interested in you or others using the toilet
  • Diaper stays dry for at least 1-2 hours
  • Wakes up from naps with a dry diaper
  • Tells you when they are going “pee” or “poo”
  • Hides when they are going “pee” or “poo”
  • Takes their own diaper off before you get the chance to change them, because they feel uncomfortable
  • Asks to switch to wearing underwear

The more readiness signs you see, the readier the child, and – typically – the easier and faster the process.

Prepare and Involve

Once you’ve determined that your little one is ready to ditch the diapers, you will want to stock up on some supplies that will make your journey as easy and enjoyable as possible.

First, you will need to decide whether you will purchase an actual potty, or have your child use the toilet right from the beginning. This really depends on how well you think your child will do with the process. In general, I recommend investing in a child’s potty for younger toddlers (1.5-2.5 years old). It can seem less intimidating for some toddlers. If you decide to move directly to using the toilet, just be sure you purchase an insert for the toilet so that your toddler can sit on it independently without your having to hold them up.

“Think about special items that your child would uncommonly receive and be very motivated to receive in exchange for trying to use the potty and/or successfully using the potty.”

Next, you’ll want to have tiny ‘starter’ underwear on hand for when your toddler is ready to transition into wearing underwear. Lots of toddlers enjoy the process of getting to help picking these out, and this can also serve to get them excited for the potty-training process. I also recommend having pull-ups available, since your child will most likely still need these for sleep times at first (naps and nighttime sleep).

Finally, you’ll want to think about purchasing or identifying some ‘motivators’. Praise and rewards work very well for the potty-training process. Think about special items that your child would uncommonly receive and be very motivated to receive in exchange for trying to use the potty and/or successfully using the potty. Stickers and small food treats work nicely for toddlers.

I would also recommend setting aside or purchasing (with your toddler’s help) a special book that you will read only when your child is on the toilet.

Potty Training Methods

Now that you’ve determined that your child is ready for potty training, and you’ve armed yourself with the essential tools for potty training, you’re ready to decide on a potty-training method. In general, there are three main methods: a child-led approach; a routine-based approach; and, a potty-training ‘vacation’ method.

Rosalee Lahaie Hera is a Certified Pediatric & Newborn Sleep Consultant, a Certified Potty Training Consultant, and the founder of Baby Sleep Love. She’s also a mom to two beautiful little humans. Rosalee is a researcher at heart with a background in healthcare management and a passion for sleep science. She takes a highly analytical approach and uses proven, gentle methods to help families (like yours!) get the sleep they need. Rosalee is a big fan of fancy coffee and great food (both cooking it and eating it). You can connect with Rosalee on Facebook or Instagram.

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