Under Pressure Potty Training

It’s a new year! Is Potty Training on your family’s resolution list? Do you hope and dream for a day where your child is staying dry throughout the night? Are they telling you they want a diaper change, or showing signs of discomfort when wet? If you answered yes to any of those, then it sounds like you and your child are ready to step your potty training up a notch!

Each child’s needs are different and what works for one child may not always work for another. Here are some initial steps to get the process started!

Make it a Positive Experience

Allow your child to take preferred toys into the bathroom to play with while sitting so that the bathroom is not aversive. Begin exposing your child to potty training books. Also expose them to videos, songs, and start to use language such as, “pee pee goes in the potty.” By associating preferred items with the bathroom, your child will begin to see the bathroom as a positive experience.

Find That Special Reward

Have a highly preferred item, such as a favorite toy or treat, readily available for when the child voids in the toilet. This can be something as simple as a piece of candy, whatever your child really loves! Parents can also use a preferred activity, such as watching a favorite show. It is important to note that this item should be given for going potty only! Your child should not have the reward at any other time. This increases the value of that item and makes it super reinforcing for your child.

Diapers and Pull Ups

Parents, start changing diapers in the bathroom only while also practicing sitting on the toilet. This will help with sitting on the toilet and allow your child to start associating changing diapers with the bathroom. When parents and their child are ready for potty training, diapers should be replaced with underwear. Wearing underwear would allow your child to experience the feeling of being “wet,” and allow parents to redirect to the more appropriate response of using the toilet for voiding. In the end, have lots of extra clothing available!

Increase Fluid Intake

Increase the amount of fluids your child is drinking throughout the day so they will have to go more often. Allow your child to snack on salty snack items, as this will increase the need to drink more frequently. Drinking more fluids will increase the number of times your child will need to void and increase the number of times you will catch your child successfully going on the potty. You will want to reduce the amount of fluids closer to bedtime to decrease chances of accidents at night.

Toileting Routine

Setting a toileting schedule is highly effective and about every 30 to 60 minutes throughout the day is a good place to start. If your child drank a large amount of fluid, then it may be beneficial to take him/her to the bathroom even 15 minutes after drinking. Your child should sit on the toilet for approximately 3-5 minutes or until they successfully void.

Accidents Happen

If accidents occur, that is no big deal! Sometimes it’s beneficial for a child to feel what it is like to be wet. Typically, it is not a comfortable sensation and can help with your child’s learning process of how to handle their bodily sensations. If your child sits on the toilet and nothing happens, that is okay too! Have your child continue to follow the rest of the potty routine of putting back on their clothes. It is important to save those special rewards for only the times in which your child actually urinates or has a bowel movement in the potty.

Increasing Expectations

As your child is consistently urinating in the toilet and there are less and less accidents, parents can begin to change the schedule of when to go the bathroom to longer durations throughout the day. Potty rewards can also be given every two or three times your child goes to the bathroom and then eliminated completely when there has not been any accidents and your child is more independent with using the bathroom.

Toilet training can be a challenging task for both parents and children and it requires a great deal of consistency. Placing your child in diapers again after working on wearing underwear can be confusing. Parents should feel ready to tackle this life changing behavior, and afterwards both parents and child should be very proud of this huge accomplishment! Hopefully these initial tools can get you started in that crash course to potty training!

Having trouble making progress in the bathroom? Contact our expert potty trainers today to discuss intensive potty training assistance or consultation! They can be reached at 773-780-3003 or [email protected]

Good Luck and happy potty-ing!