First Time Potty Training? Here are 5 Tips to Make it Easier

small girl on potty seat

As a new mom or dad, it can be hard to juggle the ups and downs of raising a toddler. There comes a time when the diapers must come off, and the potty training process begins. This can be a daunting experience for any new parent, and sometimes, children don’t want to let go of their diapers. Luckily, there are things you can do to make it easier on you and your child.

1. Designate A Specific Bathroom

Children often associate positive things with happy places. An easy way to turn potty training into a fun activity is by designating a certain bathroom in your house as your child’s bathroom. Your child will feel a sense of ownership and pride, since they’ll have their very own potty room. Decorate it with their favorite colors to get them excited about using the bathroom there.

Use bright-colored towels and place their favorite books in a basket near the toilet to read during times when using the potty isn’t so easy. There are tons of fun shower curtains available at JC Penney with popular characters and colorful patterns. By turning the bathroom into a place they enjoy, your child will be excited to use the potty.

2. Read Potty-Themed Books

toddler girl sitting on toilet reading book

There are many different children’s books about kids using the toilet in a fun way. Many books tell stories of how it’s fun to use the bathroom and how everyone does it. Parenting.com suggests that books like Diapers are Not Forever or Everybody Poops help your child to understand why it’s important to learn this new skill.

These books can be read at bed time instead of their normal favorite story or even while they are using the bathroom to help encourage them. Kids like to know that they aren’t the only ones going through a new change in their life.

3. Use Musical Motivation

Make it fun! Kids don’t like boring activities, so don’t let potty training be that way. Baby Centre says to make up a “potty song” to sing while they use the potty. This song should be about the process of getting ready to use the potty, actually using the toilet, and then cleaning up when they’re done.

Make up a fun song to sing together when your child is done so that they have something fun to celebrate. This makes it a process between parent and child that’s fun and motivating for them to go.

4. Treats are Okay

clear container of multi-colored candy sprinkles

Don’t be afraid to use bribes. Treating your child after they accomplish something helps to reinstate the fact that they did something right. Have a bag of their favorite candy on hand so that every time they use the potty, they get rewarded. You can also add challenges to make it more fun. If your child wipes him or herself, then she/he will get five pieces of candy instead of three.

Keep in mind that these bribes can be simple like M & M’s or even pennies! Parents.com says that by using pretend money or real pennies, you can motivate your child to collect savings for something special. Keep a piggy bank in the bathroom for them to put their earnings in.

By keeping the bank in the bathroom, it’s a visual reminder of what they are working for. Inspire them to save for a new toy or to buy candy the next time they go grocery shopping with you.

5. Don’t stress Out

One important thing to remember during this process is that every child learns differently and will therefore react how you react. If you get frustrated, so will your child. Be sure to use positive words even when there is an accident. Earnest Parenting says that being negative will only hinder this process.

You don’t want your child to feel anxious about this, because it can be scary enough for them to lose their diapers. In order to be successful with potty training, you must stay upbeat and calm. Remind your child how great they are, no matter what!

Potty training is an experience for the entire family. It’s important to remember that your child will learn at a pace that works best for them. If you stay positive and make it a fun environment, your child is sure to enjoy it and be our of diapers in no time.

Images courtesy of thejbird and stevendepolo via Creative Commons license, some rights reserved.

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  • Rod December 30, 2013, 9:42 am

    I am the father of triplets, two boys and a girl, I can tell you some great stories about potty training, both in public and in private…what great memories;)

    The important thing to remember and Emily points this out is to NOT stress over it, they will get it, some quicker than others. There are some great tricks and I used all of them, for the boys I found a great an awwesome device called Lil Marc and for my little girl it was all about patience, which by the way is the secret ingredient to parenting at any level.

    Parenting is a challenge for sure, but it’s always worth a good laugh.
    Rod´s last blog post ..Boys need something different

    Reply
    • Amy LeForge December 30, 2013, 12:15 pm

      Wise words, Rod. I have nothing to say that would improve on them besides “bravo!” and “congratulations….triplets?!?? wow.”

      Reply
  • Susan.N January 9, 2014, 5:08 am

    Take what you can use from the parents who have successfully potty trained their children. Some of their advice may be repetitive, but, heck, if it worked for them, it might work for you too!
    Susan.N´s last blog post ..Prepare For Potty Training Sessions

    Reply
    • Amy LeForge January 10, 2014, 1:36 pm

      Susan I agree. 🙂

      Reply
  • Atthasanto Goei January 15, 2015, 1:26 am

    I agree with these tips, it will work! Children will refuse potty training if parent can not make it fun. That’s why we need specific designed bathroom (or at least, potty), potty themed book, music, and treats.

    Another thing that parent should consider in potty training is giving praise. Praising children will make them more motivated and feel that potty training can make their parents love them more.

    Sometimes I also write some articles about potty training. If you are interested, you can visit my blog here:

    http://parentingthumb.com

    Regards,
    Atthasanto

    Reply