Is your toddler curious about the toilet or big-kid underwear? Can he tell you when he has to go? Does he stay dry for two hours or more during the day? If so, it’s probably time to potty train!
Toilet training is a complex process for your child, and waiting until he is physically and emotionally ready is the first step toward success. With the right supplies and a generous dose of patience, you'll be ready to start. Here are some pointers below to make toilet training easy, fun — and done!
Buy a potty
If you can, take your child to the store with you and let him select a potty — you'll be amazed at the range of colors and styles available. Involving your tot will give him a sense of control over the process.
When you get home, invite your child to decorate the potty using stickers or markers. If your toddler feels invested in "his" potty seat, he may be more likely to get excited about potty training.
Talk it up
From the moment you set out to toilet train your toddler, start the positive PR
campaign. Explain that the potty will be his special seat and that it will help him pee and poop like a big boy. Your enthusiasm for this achievement — “I am so excited for you to take this big step!” — will help boost your toddler’s confidence.
Give it a good first home
When you first bring the potty chair home, place it in a central spot — the kitchen, playroom, or anywhere else your family spends a lot of time — to make it super accessible to your toddler. Consider surrounding the potty with some of your child’s stuffed animals or dolls for company, plus a few picture books to encourage her to sit longer.
Introduce potty time
While the potty is still in a central location, invite your toddler to sit on the chair — with clothes on, if she prefers, or with diaper down if she’s ready. Something may or may not happen on this first try, but be sure to heap on the praise if she’s able to go! Ask your child if she'd like to show her dolls or animals the proper way to use the potty. She’s the expert now!
Move the chair to the bathroom
Once your toddler is using the potty regularly, move it to the bathroom, where big kids and grown-ups go.
The potty-training process may take a while, and that’s perfectly OK. Keep in mind that every child is different and will adapt to new situations at her own pace. Patience, praise, and a positive attitude will help smooth the transition.