Learning to use the potty is a big deal for little kids - and their parents. While it's definitely a time-consuming process with many ups and downs, it's also a process that can be easier for everyone with a few simple strategies, the right equipment and new, on-the-go tools that help make potty training fun anytime, anywhere.
Is Your Child Ready?
Many children start showing an interest in potty training around age 2, but others aren't ready until they're older - because successful potty training begins when a child is physically and emotionally ready, which doesn't always happen at the same time for everyone. Here are some signs of readiness you can look for:
- Ability to stay dry for two or more hours during the day.
- Interest in the potty chair, toilet or wearing underwear.
- Communicating with words, body language and facial expressions when they need to go.
- Complaints about wet or dirty diapers.
What You Need
Before you start potty training, consider having a few of these tools ready to help make the transition as smooth as possible:
- Potty chair - Put a potty chair in the bathroom. Look for a model with a removable top that can be placed on top of the toilet seat when your child is ready to start making the transition.
- A small footstool - Some kids feel a little insecure sitting on the big potty. Placing a stool under their feet can help stabilize them.
- Training pants - Training pants are a great way to move on from diapers, and help toddlers feel like a big kid before making the jump to underwear.
- Rewards - In addition to verbal praise for their efforts, consider small rewards such as stickers or stars on a chart. Every five or 10 stickers equals an extra bedtime story or game.
Don't be afraid to try something new. BabyCenter's 2012 American Media Mom Report shows that as many as 65 percent of moms now own a smartphone, and 74 percent of moms let their children use their smartphones. If your toddler enjoys playing with your smartphone, try using it as an educational tool, incentive and reward for potty training success.
Brands such as Pull-Ups now offer a wide variety of mobile tools to ensure you're always ready for potty training success, wherever you go. The new Pull-Ups Big Kid App includes games to reward your child after they have accomplished potty training success. Special identifying markers inside packages of Pull-Ups Training Pants can be scanned with the app to activate an interactive Pull-Ups Big Kid 3 D Celebration, bringing your child's favorite Disney characters to life, and making rewards on the go easy and fun.
You'll probably hit a few roadblocks - and encounter stubbornness at its finest - with your toddler after you've started the potty training process. Keep in mind these dos and don'ts in order to get past them:
- Don't use punishments or threats.
- Always use positive reinforcement.
- Let children learn at their own pace.
- Stay positive when accidents happen.
- Take training breaks if needed.
- Boost fruit and veggie intake to help prevent constipation.
Roadblocks aside, potty training successes are always worth sharing and celebrating. The Pull-Ups® Brand encourages you to share your child's success stories and photos with other parents on the Pull-Ups Facebook page for the chance to win great prizes. Get more details at www.facebook.com/pull-ups.