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Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Potty Training Series : Post 3

Ok, parents you have done your prep work and considered all sorts of things that may have an impact on your child's readiness for potty training. Now onto some practical tips and references!

Getting Started.....

Whether you are training at home, or in a combination of settings, begin by charting the diapering/toileting of your child. If your child attends Preschool or daycare meet with staff and discuss charting in both places, so that you can look for a pattern in which your child is constantly dry for at least two hours. Use the information to begin taking the child to the toilet before he/she is usually wet.

Decide what your toilet training procedure is going to be. Some experts recommend that stickers or small treats not be used when you are toilet training, while others think that short term use, as a motivator to ‘get your child’s attention’ are okay. This is a strategy you will need to decide about. If your child spends part of the day outside your home, talk to staff at the other location(s) and decide together what the procedure will be, and the language you will use when talking to the child about going to the bathroom. Consistency between settings is very important!

Your child should now begin wearing training pants/regular underwear during the day. Be sure to provide at least one change of clothes for your child, so he/she can be changed when there are accidents. You do not want to confuse your child by switching back and forth between diapers and underwear.

Begin taking your child to the toilet at regular intervals. If he/she attends Preschool or Daycare, bathroom trips may be done at regular intervals with a group, which works very well because children this age love to imitate, and soon want to go to the bathroom in the toilet because they see their friends are.

If your child accidentally wets or has a bowel movement in her/his pants, reassure her/him it is okay and clean up immediately. Use positive, reassuring language, such as “Oh, I see your pants are wet. Let’s get you changed. The next time you have to pee, you can go on the toilet.” Before you begin training, be sure to talk to staff at your daycare or Preschool about how accidents are handled, in order for your child to receive the same message in both places.

Toilet training can be a challenging time for families, and often can be quite stressful depending on the advice you receive, the personality of your child, and other things going on in your life. There are resources available to provide information to support you, particularly if you are having problems. Please don’t feel embarrassed, or that people will judge you, everyone who has  children knows how challenging toilet training can be. Ask for help if you need reassurance or some tips! This too, shall pass.


Kinnell, G., Good Going! Successful Potty Training for Children in Child Care, Red Leaf Press, 2004
Kinnell, G., Good Going! The Potty-Training Guide for Families, Red Leaf Press, 2012

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Potty Training Series : Post 2

Now that you have had some time to assess the readiness of your child, it's time to move on to another assessment of sorts! Does it seem like there is a lot of work before you even get started?! There is! The most important part of potty training is actually the assessment and planning you do as a parent or caregiver before you even bring your little one into the mix! Take some time to consider any circumstances in your life and family that could adversely affect your child and derail your plan.

What types of circumstances Can Adversely Affect a Child’s Readiness to Toilet Train?

Sometimes, the developmental indicators show us that a child is ready to begin the toilet training process, but there may be factors that are not related to the child’s development, that could negatively influence the success of the toilet training. Below are some examples of factors which may indicate that a decision needs to be made about whether to proceed with the training or wait for a better time.

Have there been any recent changes in the household that seem difficult for the child?

Is there a new baby in the family?

Has the child, or the parents, recently had a serious illness?

Have the child’s parents recently separated or divorced?

Has there been death in the family?

Has the family moved recently?

Have there been any changes in the child’s care?

Did the child just begin attending a Pre-School or child care program?

Did the child recently change Pre-Schools or child care programs?

Does the child have a new child care provider or caregiver?

Did the child recently move to a new room in the child care program?

Did the child recently change the bed she/he sleeps in at home?

Is the child in a ‘negative phase’ (you know that phase!) where he/she refuses to do things, argues, is trying to ‘control’ his/her life, and generally resists adult direction? If any of these are factors for you and your child, waiting a little longer to toilet train may be a good decision, rather than getting into a power struggle.

Preparation & Possible Problems to Avoid

The seat, either in a potty chair, or that fits on the toilet, should be ‘child sized’ so your little one isn’t afraid of falling in.

If your child is on the toilet, make sure you have a step stool to place under her/his feet to help her/him to feel secure.

Modify the type of clothing your child wears for a little while, to make training easier: Elastic waist, loose fitting pants, and waist length shirts, help your child to get ready to use the toilet, and avoid accidents when clothing gets in the way.

Use padded training pants or regular underwear when you begin training, continuing to use diapers or pull-ups sends mixed messages and confuses the child.

Your child will have accidents when you are toilet training, be sure you have extra clothing, including underwear/training pants, extra pants, socks, and shoes readily available at home, and be sure to send a couple of sets to Preschool or daycare.

Happy planning, parents! We will share one last post with some guidelines and things to consider as you move into the implementation phase of your potty training!