Parents start potty training their children are different times and what “works” for one child doesn’t necessarily work for the next. Consistency is key but there are other factors to consider too. We recommend parenting to the child you have. When having a setback, negative reinforcement may cause a child to shut down or have a negative association with using the potty. Using positive reinforcement will make an already stressful situation more tolerable. When negative reinforcement is needed, success has been noticed when rewards or treats were taken away. The “treat” does not have to be desserts or sweets. It can be going or not going to a favorite park or any activity that has “value” to the child.
With the thought that potty training is an inevitable part of life, we recommend purchasing training pants whenever you stumble across them at a discount price. Purchasing training pants in sizes 2T/3T and 3T/4T have a very high chance of being used. And the good news is that any pants that you don’t use can be turned into a useful children’s birthday gift that almost any parent can use. Occasionally, there will be a time where training pants (and diapers too) are discounted so well, that they’re hard to say no to even if they’re designed for a specific gender. Until a child reached 3-3.5 years old, they’re probably not focused on whether there’s a girl or boy character on the front of their training pants. If there is a concern about the “optics” of which training pants are being worn, you would simply let them pee and/or poop in them at home and use other training pants when going to daycare or out and about.
Other basic potty training tips include but are not limited to:
Determine if your child is ready for potty training. Determine if they’re interested in the potty.
Take your child to buy big kid underwear. This can turn into a bonding experience as you pick a favorite character and talk about staying “dry”.
Establish a potty schedule. It’s helpful to know going to the potty is a routine thing.
Sing a potty training song. Tinkle Tinkle Little One is a modern classic but there are plenty of song ideas online.
If you have floors are hardwood, vinyl, or easy to clean, foregoing training pants altogether is an option. We recommend having paper towels handy.
Read a potty training book. Tinkle Tinkle Little One was also adapted to a best selling potty training book but there are plenty of books online.
It’s encouraged to teach boys how to pee sitting down. Once they have advance from novice to expert, it’s a great time to try peeing standing up.
Once boys start peeing standing up, invest in store brand “O” shaped cereal. This is a cheaper alternative than purchasing potty “targets” online.
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