1. Pick the right time. I have learned that there are signs to look for which help in the potty training process. If your child is staying dry for long periods in their diaper, if they can pull their pants down by themselves, if they have the ability to verbalize their needs – these are all good signs that a child is ready to start going on the potty.
2. Pray for patience. Potty training is not easy at times. There WILL be accidents. We have had many accidents and there have been times where I could’ve been more gentle in how I responded to those accidents. Our response to our children with any wrong behavior should always be an example to them and should glorify God.
3. Practice. Don’t wait for them to tell you they have to go! They need to be trained first by taking them several times to the potty (we did every 30 minutes for a while) before they begin to catch on to what signals to look for.
4. Persevere. There will be times you want to quit and throw a diaper back on your little one. DON’T! Don’t give up. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. We tried potty training a couple of times before this and gave up at the littlest difficulty. Now that we’ve seen her progress as we’ve kept going, we realize that we surrendered too quickly.
5. Practice some more. When they have an accident, do practice potty runs. We do it 3 times when our daughter has an accident where we’ll run from the living room to the bathroom and sit on the potty. Then we have her practice telling us she needs to go 10 times.
6. Praise and Perks Works Wonders. Always praise them when they go on the potty. This is a new step for them and they need you to affirm that what they are doing is good and that you are proud of them. Also, we did a candy reward for each pee or poop as well as a sticker chart for our princess and once she got a certain amount of stickers, we gave her a “potty party” at her favorite kids’ hangout. She loved it and we loved celebrating with her.
7. Parental Support. Find other parents who have been through this before to glean wisdom from and just for moral support. It helps with the persevering part immensely.
I have found each of these to be helpful in our potty training escapade and hope they will help other moms out there who may be unsure about the how of potty training a little one.
**Potty Training Status: After a month, she still has her accidents…BUT, she has learned how her body signals that she needs to use the bathroom and to tell us of that need, she is staying dry through her naps and most nights, and it has sparked an interest in her little sister who likes to pretend to go potty when her sister is using the big potty. We are very excited about the progress she has made and grateful to God for His help in giving us strength to endure the harder times and for putting people in our lives who have helped and encouraged us throughout this process.