How Do I Potty Train My Child?

Potty training can be confusing and stressful for a family. There are so many differing opinions on the best way to potty train a child. We have all wondered, “Which advice do I follow, what way will work for my child, will I be seen as a failure if I make the wrong choice?”

There is no one “right way” to potty train a child. Success depends on an individual family’s situation and their clear communication with their child’s teacher.

Potty training a child who is in school calls for a team effort.  Parents and teachers should establish a potty training plan together. The plan should be encouraging and use consistent methods at home and at school. To create this plan, parents could begin by asking the teacher these questions:

  • What type of potty seat will be used at school?
  • Will my child use diapers, pull-ups or underwear?
  • What should my child wear during nap times?
  • Will my child be rewarded for trying or using the potty?
  • How will potty accidents and soiled clothing be handled?
  • How will we communicate successes and accidents to each other?

Creating a plan for your child begins the process. There are more things you can do to make potty training easier for all involved. Dress your child in hassle-free, pull-on tops and pants. Buttons, tights, snaps, overalls, etc. get in the way when children are learning to be independent.  Keep two sets of extra clothing and an extra pair of shoes on-hand and in your car. This alleviates anxiety. Knowing you have plenty of back-up clothing helps you approach a potty accident with ease.

Eventually, you will come to the end of the road when you believe your child is trained and they are asking to go all by themselves. Yet be prepared for some minor setbacks – time when they might refuse to use the potty. Stop and wait for them to become interested again. Encourage them when there are accidents and calmly reminded him/her that they should go in the potty. Try and be patient.

Remember, potty training is a learning process for your child and for you as well. If you learn to be patient, prepared and persistent, you and your child will both have a successful transition to more independent lives.