Just like there are about 500 toilet paper squares on a single roll of toilet paper, there are at least 500 different potty training tips. We've tackled the major methods, having the right tools, the signs, but here are even MORE ideas on teaching your kids the Potty Two-Step.
-- Get some books. Everyone from Elmo to Dora has a potty book, and there are some really great picture books to read with your child to get him or her thinking about (and being comfortable with) trying to learn how to use the toilet. Also, a book about how the body works and the basic facts on what happens when we pee or poop can be useful for some kids.
-- Talk about when you have to use the bathroom. Yes, it sounds odd, but if you remind your kids that you "feel the feeling" when you have to go too. They want to mimic you and be like you. Talking about how you feel before, during and after going to the bathroom encourages them to try it and makes it feel like a "good" thing to do.
-- Let them be in charge of a lot of it. Let her choose her big girl underwear and make a big deal about shopping for it. Have her pick out her small potty, let her decide if it is a pink one or a yellow one. These little bits of ownership empower her and make it more likely she will be excited about using them.
-- When she does go to the bathroom on her little potty, have her help you dump it in the big potty and flush the toilet. This helps her make the connection and transition to the big potty easier.
-- Always be positive, even when she has an accident. Accidents are going to happen. A lot maybe. Keep a positive tone, keep encouraging her. If she needs reminders, point out things that you will work on together next time in a light tone.
-- Switch who is the main coach. Sometimes, especially with boys, it helps to have Dad take a weekend to "be in charge of" the training. Who knows why, but, while keeping the same methods and rules, just using a different person helping can get some kids over a hurdle.
Add your best potty training tips and stories to the list!