6 Smart Ways to Make Potty Training Fun
Potty training is cause for celebration. Your child is almost out of diapers and getting so big!
But while it's exciting to see your baby growing, it can be stressful, too. There will be days when it doesn't work. There will be days when you chant to yourself, “They won't go off to college still in diapers.” There will be days when it seems like everyone's kid except yours is getting the hang of this.
It's going to be okay. Eventually everything will click, and one day you'll find yourself with a fully potty trained child (and if you're anything like me, it'll make you a little weepy). Take a deep breath. You got this.
Making Potty Training Fun
And to help out, here are a few things that will make the whole potty training process more fun:
1. Read books together. One of our family's favorite ways to get ready for any new experience is to read about it first. So when we were ready to potty train, we read books about favorite characters while using the potty.
2. Try some apps. There are some really cute, fun apps that help kids understand and get excited about potty training.
3. Give them ownership of the experience. Have them help pick out the potty seat or potty training toilet they're going to use (frankly, we always liked the seats better — they take up less room, and they get kids used to an actual toilet). Let them come along to pick out training pants for potty training. Pampers Easy Ups Training Pants are a great way to bridge the gap between diapers and underwear. Kids can put them on and take them off themselves, but if you're out and about, you can still prevent a big mess if your child has an accident.
4. Have a potty party. It's up to you how big you want to do this. Chances are your peanut isn't the only one potty training right now, so you could invite some friends over to kick off the big event (and maybe get some positive reinforcement when they realize all their friends are using the potty as well). Or you could just have a special lunch together and a low-key celebration with just the two of you. Let them announce to friends and family (those who will understand and get excited) that they're potty training. Maybe make a special phone call to Grandma, or a favorite aunt or uncle who will cheer them on.
5. Set a silly timer. For the first few days of potty training, we did best if the kids went to the bathroom at consistent times. I started with every 20-30 minutes. We'd spend a few days close to home, I'd set a timer to go off every 20 minutes, and when it did, we'd stop what we were doing and go potty. And since I had my cell phone with me constantly, I'd set a silly-sounding alarm (like the duck quacking one) — an alarm that was just used for potty breaks.
6. Implement a sticker chart. Sticker charts are always a great way to motivate kids — you can start out giving stickers each time your child goes potty, and as they get more consistent, switch to giving stickers for each day they stay dry. After a certain number of stickers, go out for a treat together.
Keeping it Easy
Keep in mind that every child goes at a different pace. Not one of the “Potty Train Your Child in 3 Days” books ever worked for me. It took us a lot longer. Whether you have a fast potty trainer, or a child who takes his time, they'll get there eventually. Take a deep breath, relax, and have as much fun with it as you can.
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