Whether your toddler is just beginning potty training or has been practicing for quite some time now, you will find there are several methods you can use to help them succeed. Each child learns at different rates and by different methods so just because what you taught your first child worked brilliantly doesn’t mean your current toddler-in-training learns this way. The internet, books, magazines, medical professionals, other parents and even your own creativity are sources to locate a new method that your little boy or girl will be receptive to.
You will need your child’s favorite stuffed animal, superhero or other toy they love; a box of raisins; small squeeze bottle (or something similar that you can keep hidden from your child) filled with water; potty chair or if you prefer a potty seat with a step stool if using the regular toilet; a couple squares of toilet paper; stickers or something other you decide upon as a reward if you desire; plenty of praise for your child’s toy that is being potty trained along with them.
First, you must do some preparation for supplies to already be in place in the bathroom. Put the box of raisins and small water container or bottle hidden in a vanity cupboard or medicine cabinet (a humorous estimate I came across in The Florida Standard online revealed 40% of guests snoop in their host’s medicine cabinet so good luck explaining why you have a box or raisins in there!)
Next, verbally encourage your toddler to help his or her favorite toy go potty on the toilet. Have them carry the toy and walk with you to the bathroom. Hold your child’s hand if you want, perhaps they will want to also hold their potty companion’s hand as well. You can have the toy just go ‘pee’ or go ‘poopy’. Make it a team effort.
Then, once you are in the bathroom, subtly grab a few raisins from the box and/or the prefilled water bottle without your child seeing you do this.
Next, ‘ask’ the toy with your toddler if it is ready to go potty.
Assist the toy, with your child helping you, to position the toy on the seat of toilet. Continue positively talking to the toy.
Next, have your child watch while you subtly make the toy ‘go potty’. Allow them to see what the toy is doing and slip the raisins (for poopy) or squeeze water (for urine) into the toilet.
Make a BIG deal about how proud you and your child are for the toy. Clapping and singing are encouraged and plus they are fun.
Next have your little one tear off a couple pieces of toilet paper to wipe his/her toy clean.
Then have your child give the toy a big hug for a job well done!
Finally, ask him/her if they too would like to try going potty. If not that’s ok however I have come to realize most all kids DO eventually want to be just like their favorite toy. A toddler that has older siblings tends to copycat the actions of their brothers or sisters but if you have an only child or one whose siblings aren’t around much, this is a great visual substitution.
When your child does sit on the toilet by his/her own accord or even by you just sitting them up there (they’ll be ok) you can have their animal or toy that just used the potty sit with them. You can even read a book, watch a video on any of the several portable devices or just talk for a bit with them. I strongly suggest having them remain on the toilet for as long as they will but not so long as to frustrate them. Consider having them drink a bit more even because guess what? Eventually they will have to go and taking them to the potty repeatedly is work for you too
The NYU Child Study Center states during the first five years of a child’s life is when “the brain undergoes it’s most dramatic growth.” Your toddler may surprise you at the tasks (potty training included of course) that they can do. Believe it or not, kids like helping and being able to do things independently. Many children find that urinating isn’t too intimidating but when it comes time to “go poopy” majority of youngsters find this scary and that’s ok. Be sure to comfort their potty training toy partner and they too will feel more at ease when it’s their turn.