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Potty Training Your Toddler

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There has been so much written about training a toddler to use the potty.  It is one of the most monumental and highly anticipated times in the life of a child.  Especially for the parents!  Below are some suggestions of ways to make this task somewhat easier.  

Study Your Child and try to train them in the way they should go!
Every child is different so you must study them and use their patterns to lead them to the potty.  Does your child always “go” after lunch?  Then be sure to start talking about going potty right after lunch, and then consistently take them to the potty at that time.  Try to establish routines around your child’s habits, that way you and he will find the transition to the potty much easier!

Train them in warm weather
It is smart to wait until it is warm outside to start training your toddler.  That way you can let them go without diapers as much as possible.  Being without a diaper will make them more aware of when it is time to go potty, or if they do…and hopefully give you enough time to get them there!

Put a potty nearby
Sometimes having a potty close by might help a child remember to go and sit when the urge hits them.  You can even put it a “private” area of the room so that they will feel less self conscious about going potty.  Why not even put one outside on those days when children are playing?   If the toddler tells you they need to go, it will also be easier to get them to the potty if one is very close by!

Try to help the child make the association
Try to help your child realize when they are going potty.  Ask them, “Are you having a bm right now?”  Having a vocabulary of their own will help them be able to express themselves when they are ready to make one in the potty.  

Let them go without a diaper as much as possible
Wearing big boy undies is a big thing, and it will not feel very good if they do go to the bathroom in their clothes, Hopefully the discomfort they experience will be a deterrent and help encourage them that going in the potty is much better than walking around in wet or soiled clothes.

Reward any achievements with praise and positive reinforcements!
Every effort should be praised.  Even if the baby just sits on the potty or tells you they need to go.  If they really do go, it should be a big accomplishment, rewarded with praise and gifts from mommy and daddy as well as other family members!

Watch a Video with your child
There are many movies out that help a child understand more about going to the potty.  Watch them together, or find a book and start making it part of your day.  The more you reinforce it as something that everyone does, the quicker they will be able to make the transition!

Best advice for potty training?  Don’t be in too big of a hurry.  Change takes time, and it is most important to love your child and give them grace to learn on their own time! It is best said in this quote:  "A child can go only so far in life without potty training. It is not mere coincidence that six of the last seven presidents were potty trained, not to mention nearly half of the nation’s state legislators.”  Dave Barry, Happy Potty training!

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