EduKids Early Childhood Education Centers

Potty Training

Posted on: February 21, 2011

Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director

Potty training is, once again, a hot topic.  There are new and improved products being advertised that will “assist” in helping your child stay dry.  Parents are starting to pay serious attention to potty success because their toddler is going to move up to an early preschool class next September.  We are all thinking about summer.  Summertime is a time of bathing suits and cotton shorts.  Diapers are a required nuisance for toddlers and their families.

Here is some information and standard tried and true tips for potty training:

  • Know your child – each child is not ready at the same time; don’t compare siblings.
  • Typically, children in good health have potty success by the time they are 3 or are in their third year.  While training older infants and young toddlers comes in and out of fashion, these children have difficulty “reading” their body’s message to eliminate.  When they “go” it is typically because an adult knows the signs and can get them to the bathroom in time.
  • Girls typically potty train faster than boys.  Urinating is successful ahead of bowel movements.
  • Help your child in all ways.  Celebrate effort as well as achievement.  Be patient.  Never scold or belittle a child when accidents occur (and accidents always occur!)
  • Daytime potty success precedes nighttime success.  Many children will have nighttime / sleep accidents long after they use the potty with complete daytime success.
  • Set up success – have a potty chair or potty seat in your home bathroom if you think your child will use it – keep it clean.  Keep toilet paper in easy reach.  Teach children to wipe carefully and wash their hands after using the potty.
  • Routines are helpful.  At wake up time, after snack and meals and before bed are critical times to set up for a visit to the potty.  Make this a fact of life.
  • Eliminate drinks and cereal with milk before bedtime.
  • Once started, don’t go back on forward potty progress.  It has been my experience and my training that mixed messages don’t work.  When children start to wear underpants, diapers are gone. Children, at this point, know that cloth underpants are to keep dry as best as they can.   Pull-ups (while convenient for bedtime and older toddler play) are diapers in the shape of underpants.  It was ok to soil a diaper but now they know that they should and they want to keep underpants dry – so what should they do?
  • Buy underpants that your children want.  A Princess or Spiderman can be very motivating!
  • Expect the unexpected.  Have extra supplies, clothes, etc. in your car, at grandmas and at childcare.
  • Most importantly…Relax about potty training.  Stressful situations delay success.  Work with your child’s childcare program or babysitter so that everyone is on the same page.

Consider this:  it took your child over a year to walk and over 2 years to talk – give them some time to potty train!

“Remember, don’t pee-pee on Iron Man – he might get rusty.”
Dad talking to his little boy while in the middle of a successful period of training!

-Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director

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